The 7S Framework

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Explanation of the 7-S Model of McKinsey.


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What is the  7-S Framework? Description

The 7-S Framework of McKinsey is a management model that describes 7 factors to organize a company in an holistic and effective way. Together these factors determine the way in which a corporation operates. Managers should take into account all seven of these factors, to be sure of successful implementation of a strategy. Large or small. They're all interdependent, so if you fail to pay proper attention to one of them, this may effect all others as well. On top of that, the relative importance of each factor may vary over time.

Origin of the 7-S Framework. History

The 7-S Framework was first mentioned in "The Art Of Japanese Management" by Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos in 1981. They had been investigating how Japanese industry had been so successful. At around the same time that Tom Peters and Robert Waterman were exploring what made a company excellent. The Seven S model was born at a meeting of these four authors in 1978. It appeared also in "In Search of Excellence" by Peters and Waterman, and was taken up as a basic tool by the global management consultancy company McKinsey. Since then it is known as their 7-S model.

The meaning of the 7 Ss


McKinsey 7-S frameworkShared Values (also called Superordinate Goals).

The interconnecting center of McKinsey's model is: Shared Values. What does the organization stands for and what it believes in. Central beliefs and attitudes. Compare: Strategic Intent


Plans for the allocation of a firms scarce resources, over time, to reach identified goals. Environment, competition, customers.


The way in which the organization's units relate to each other: centralized, functional divisions (top-down); decentralized; a matrix, a network, a holding, etc.


The procedures, processes and routines that characterize how the work should be done: financial systems; recruiting, promotion and performance appraisal systems; information systems.


Numbers and types of personnel within the organization.


Cultural style of the organization and how key managers behave in achieving the organization's goals. Compare: Management Styles.


Distinctive capabilities of personnel or of the organization as a whole. Compare: Core Competences.

Strengths of the 7-S Model. Benefits

  • Diagnostic tool for understanding organizations that are ineffective.
  • Guides organizational change.
  • Combines rational and hard elements with emotional and soft elements.
  • Managers must act on all Ss in parallel and all Ss are interrelated.

Book: Ethan M. Rasiel, Paul N. Friga - The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem Solving Tools and Management Techniques -

7-S Framework Forum (28 topics) Help
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  CDOCi Acronym | CDOCi Tool
You can combine 7S analysis with a method called "CDOCi":
A way of reviewing a strategy or project by getting a team of people to write down their perspectives on the:
- C - Current situation
- D - Desired situation
- O - Obstacle...

7S Data Collection and Analysis

What are some of your data collection methods for the 7 S model when using it as a diagnostic tool. The questions provided in the 7S Checklist provide nice direction regarding the "what" we are seeking, but what a...

7S X 7S Matrix: Tracking the Mutual Congruency of the 7S Elements

I have used the 7S for organisational assessment and analysis. I used it in a 7x7 matrix to check the S's for coherence as whether Structure supports Strategy and so on.
This analysis highlights the mutual inconsistencies between all S's....

7S Checklist with Questions for each S

Here's a list of questions you can use to analyze an organization in terms of the 7S Framework:
- What is our strategy?
- How do we intend to achieve our objectives?
- How do we deal with competitive pressure?
- How...

Measuring the Scores on each S of the 7S Framework

Hello all, have there been parameters developed to measure and/or track the 7 elements of the McKinsey 7S framework in detail?...

Guiding a Change Program with 7-S Model

How can the 7-S model be used to inform or guide a change program?...

Competitive Edge with 7S Model?

(How) Can a firm achieve a competitive advantage with the 7S framework?
For me its the shared values and style that make up the competitive advantage of a company. It spells what it really is as an organization, bonds the workforce and competes ...

Changes in Shared Values and Staff

The values of the organisation may change over time with changes of personnel entering the organisation from the outside. Especially in a growing company a few things happen quickly:
1. Advent of fresh ideas from outside (new people joini...

7S McKinsey for ISO 14001

How is the 7S Model from McKinsey used as frame work for ISO 14001 implementation?...

One More S: Solidarity

I think this is a sound model but Solidarity is missing in this model. It should be the 8S model. Solidarity is a concept of oneness. See the concepts of Dr. Abdullah Alama Muhammad Iqbal which has been taken from Quran (the holy book of Allah) and M...

7-s Model as Basis for a Project Audit

Could McKinsey's 7-s model be used as a standard/norm for auditing control over projects in organizations. Anyone with experience on this matter?...

McKinsey 7-S Model on Innovation

I am interested in the application of the 7-S model on organizing innovation structurally in a company.
For instance: what are the choices available for each S, related to the environment of the company.
In other words: How do you link the ...

What is the NEW 7S Framework?

The new 7 S-es are:
1. Superior Stakeholder Satisfaction
2. Strategic Foretelling
3. Positioning by Speed
4. Positioning by Surprise
5. Shipping rules against competition
6. Signalling strategic intent
7. Simultaneo...

Involving Staff in 7-S Framework

Implementing the 7-S can be challenging especially without the buying in of staff and management. How can these people best be involved for a swift strategic change?...

McKinsey 7-S Background

I am doing a presentation on the 7-S framework and was wondering if anyone knew the first time it was successfully implemented and by who? Any other interesting ideas are welcomed as well....

7-S within Government

It has come to my attention that the 7-S Model is rarely mentioned in its completeness when strategic session or planning is performed at government level. Could it be that government leadership is either unfamiliar with the concept or is it that th...

Extra S-es in the 7S Framework by McKinsey

I was able to utlize the 7S model very effectively to conduct the assessment of the state of the public health system for my research thesis. However, the model was limited in coverage of other critical factors that required assessment and was expand...

Why are Shared Values in the Center of 7's?

Why are Shared Values in the Center of 7's? Please help me... Thank you..^^...

Applying the 7 S Framework. Implementation

I believe the 7's is very difficult to implement at the ORGANIZATION level. So if we would be able to implement the HARD S's i-e Strategy, Structure and System that would be more then enough for a company to gain competive advantage in the market....

7S model organisational Change Overcoming Barries

How do companies use the 7s model to overcome their barriers while establishing organizational changes?...
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Categorizing the S-es in McKinsey's 7-S Model

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McKinsey's Approach to Problem Solving

Consultancy, Organizational Analysis and Change

7-S Framework

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Compare with the 7-S Framework: Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change  |  Ashridge Mission Model  |  Strategic Alignment  |  McKinsey Matrix

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