º Skills Matrix Team ~ benefiting from changes through Lean and Agile approaches

Skills Matrix Team

I discovered the  Competency Matrix a few years ago, and I have used it to unlock situations of low knowledge within the teams about their own skills.

As well detailed in the technique Competency Matrix in this link: 


The idea is to know and deepen the knowledge of the team, as well as their motivations to learn or deepen in more global knowledge to improve the whole.

In order to become aware of the team and project an evolution, as well as an internal knowledge of each person and team, we often perform the dynamics of the skills matrix but adjusted to the context.

In a first round, each person posts the list of technical knowledge they possess in post-its.

Once this first round is made, for each member of the team, the rest of the team can increase the list of knowledge of each member. If for example the team considers that John is knowledgeable about Z technology always with John's consensus that post-it is added to his list of knowledge.


In a third round, the team analyzes all the knowledge contributed by the team, looking for possible knowledge currently demanded and that does not exist in the team, to add to the list of knowledge.


We have allowed ourselves to broaden the spectrum of responses (colors) to obtain a greater depth with sentimental affinity about their interest or not in knowledge. It is an annex of ours, with free admission by the teams, as long as it gives the more value to this dynamic for the teams.

With all the resulting list of knowledge, each member of the team evaluates himself in:

- What I do not like. (Red).

- I like it and I can also work to make you feel comfortable. (green)

- I want to learn / improve. I have no knowledge or have any knowledge, but I would like to develop skills in that field. (yellow)

- I feel indifferent. I do not have passion but I will not have problems to learn about that subject if necessary. (green with +)

- I do not stand in my place. At this time, it is not among my priorities. (White)

The idea is to perform with unknown teams and with new members in the team that they evaluate as apprentices, practitioners or experts.

If the members of the team have worked with each other before, or have been working together for a while, the idea is to expand their knowledge in depth with the scale listed above.

In this way, when a new need arises in the area, it is quickly known that people are more favorable to this type of initiative, such as preparing future training plans, such as helping people establish a path of continuous improvement in the area. , look for your own purpose in the company. Identify what problems exist and create contingency plans to alleviate these problems.

It is a step 0 to create a complete Kaizen area. It always works, and it is considered something so obvious that it is rarely done, providing much information and value to the team.

The result:



It can go well:

All the team members get to know each other by creating stronger informal relationships to help each other acquire more knowledge, create mentoring programs, continuous improvement programs (kaizen).

It allows them to have a global vision to get ahead in knowledge based on the annual roadmap of projects, skills and knowledge demanded. It allows them to see a global map of their knowledge and their weaknesses to work as a team in a future.

In contexts where collaboration is recognized or rewarded, or that incentive is starting, joint work, employee growth culture, this dynamic not only helps managers, leaders and teams, it has helped me with HR managers to change its internal career policies and plans, even to carry out a sponsored top-down transformation.

It can go bad:

On the contrary, in contexts with strong competition, time pressures, etc., I cannot say that it has been a disaster, because you always have to think positive, and thinking positive there are always lessons, or possible levers of transformation in the future, then I list these situations:

In contexts where specialization is rewarded against generalization, dynamics can only be valid for managers, as a starting photo to identify gaps, in my experience.

This dynamic has never worked for me in situations where the company does not accompany the development of skills, training plans.

In that situation, I try, if possible, and one is empowered to reach rrhh to discuss the skill matrix with them, to generate a sense of concern or need.

The same thing happens depending on your level of urgency are receptive or not.

My opinion:

In teams or areas with strong competition or specialization, focused on objectives has not worked very well. In some cases by their own competence, in others as I have commented before because "we don't have time to train", "we don't have internal training".

What is true, and has always "germinated" even at the team level, team leader, leader, manager or simply an empowered team member, is to obtain a starting photo of the real problems of the area, or team to deal with to the management of your work or demand.

My conclusion:

Some frustration can be generated if there are no levers that help to evolve those skills in case they are needed or people want to generate them. But it is a great starting point to identify these levers, try to help empower that group and generate groups in the company with the same need to improve knowledge. The sum of all improves the set and generates leverage.