The McKinsey 7S Framework

The 7-S Framework McKinsey model was designed in 1980s. Initially this model was widely used as a strategic planning tool by the academics and practitioner’s .The purpose of this model is to focus on the seven internal elements of the company i.e. Strategy, Structure, Skills, Staff, System, Style and Shared Values. All these elements are aligned together to achieve effectiveness and productivity in the company. Each seven areas in the model are interconnected to each other; any change in one area will require a change in the rest of the areas in order to function effectively in the company. The seven elements are categorized in the model as either Hard or Soft elements.

The Hard elements are easily identified and defined as management can influence these elements directly. These are Strategy elements, organization charts and IT systems.
While the Soft elements are difficult to identify as they have a major influence of the culture and are less tangible that includes Style, Staff, Skills and shared values.

Following are the seven factors explained in thorough detail:


It is a well developed plan by a company to attain a competitive advantage. A successful strategy is one that has a strong vision, mission and clear defined objectives. It should also be aligned with other factors in the model. It refers to the sequential course of action with the company’s objectives .It also deals with the resource allocation, customers and the work environment.


It is related to the way the whole organization is structured and who reports to whom in the workplace. It basically represents the manner in which the business divisions and units are made organized .In short, it is considered as the organizational chart of the company.


It involves all the processes and procedures of the company including the daily business activities and how different decisions are made in the organization, performance appraisal system, financial system and IT systems. System is that one area that shows how business is done and it should be the major focus for the managers for any kind of organizational change. 

Shared Values

It defines the core principles of the company. It refers to the norms and standards that actually guide employee behavior and actions. It is considered to be the foundation of every organization. These values are ingrained in the company’s corporate culture and the general ethic work.


It refers to the core competencies of the employee working in the organization and the abilities that enable them to perform well.


It is the manner in which the top level managers manage the company, the way they interact and their symbolic value. In short, it explains the management style of the leaders in the organization.


This element refers to the numbers of employees in the organization. It is very essential for an organization to deal with its human capital in order to achieve a competitive advantage.

The following seven elements tell us how the organization is originally created and where it stands. If an organization has not been performing well it actually indicates the inconsistencies between some of elements explained in the model. In order to lessen these inconsistencies, the organization has to align all the internal elements to understand that they all contribute to the shared goals and values.

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