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The Hay Group Strategic Issues Matrix

Phases of Business Development

The Hay Group Strategic Issues Matrix provides a useful way to evaluate and analyze various business entities based on characteristics and the phase of the business development life cycle.

Note: normally this would be presented as a tabular matrix but is broken down by characteristic here due to formatting constraints.

Style Characteristics
EmergenceLimited delegation by strong leadership
Variety of schemes are possible
DevelopmentalHighest degree of delegation and freedom supported
MatureDelegative to controlled
Flexibility in meeting fixed goals
LiquidationVery limited delegation and freedom

Decision Making Characteristics
EmergenceFormalized goals virtually nonexistent
Information limited
DevelopmentalGeneral goals exist
More information for decisions
MatureHigh degree off clarity
Information based decisions
LiquidationRigid goals
Information for control

Planning and Control Systems Characteristics
EmergenceInformal, highly qualitative (milestone oriented)
DevelopmentalCapable of selling broad goals and measuring results (program oriented)
MatureSupportive of careful goal setting and control (P & L oriented)
LiquidationDe-emphasize long term planning quantitative controls (balance sheet oriented)

Responsiveness to External Conditions Characteristics
EmergenceLimited responsiveness at first, focus on establishing a position
DevelopmentalHighly responsive
Adapt to market opportunities
MatureLess responsiveness required due to decreasing rate of change in markets
LiquidationResponsive but under very limited conditions

Integration and Differentiation Characteristics
EmergenceHigh degree of differentiation among organization
Integration at top
DevelopmentalDecreasing differentiation among units
Integrative functions becoming more “local” to markets, products
MatureContinuing decrease in differentiation
Integration “local”
LiquidationLow differentiation
Integration at the top (corporate)

Leadership Characteristics
EmergenceEntrepreneur, strong leader
DevelopmentalEntrepreneur / business manager
MatureSophisticated manager
LiquidationAdministrator, S O B