The Team Competency Matrix is an “official” Management 3.0 practice and was developed by Christof Braun (https://management30.com/practice/competency-matrix/)
We use this technique with some of our clients in leadership and team management workshops.
Most of our clients want to adopt agile practices, and building agile teams is one of their goals. As we know, these teams are flexible, autonomous, endowed with great expertise, purpose, independence, and intrinsic motivation.
The team competency matrix is a perfect tool to give a team or organization an insight into the skills they possess and/or need. It can be used to promote the development of competences in general, but also when it asks the teams to organize and configure them completely.
Within the scope of the teams’ autonomy and self-organization this practice can help them as an organization to give the team members some restrictions and guidelines on how to organize themselves.
The team gains full awareness of its strengths and points to develop.
In our experience, the team leader started by describing the objectives to be achieved in the project.
It was then explained to the team that it was necessary to define the most important technical skills and soft skills to carry out that project successfully.
From then on, each member of the team should reflect on two essential skills, technical or behavioral, which they consider crucial for the team to achieve the outlined objectives.
After this step, we asked each of them to give me a post-it with the competencies they identified so that we could build our competency matrix.
We collect all the data and set up our matrix.
We asked each team member to explain why they chose those items, and each time a brief explanation of their choices, which allowed us to gain greater transparency and confidence.
We then asked each one to make a self-assessment about the items and their knowledge of those competences, based on the scale of the competence matrix used in Management 3.0.:
Beginner: What is it? (Red);
Practitioner: I can do this. (Yellow)
Expert: I can teach. (Green)
After this self-assessment, we set up our final competency matrix.
With the matrix fully populated for the first round of skills.
We repeated this process objective by objective for the project, previously identified by the Team Leader.
To design the competency matrix, we made an excel chart that we designed during the workshop. One line for each skill and one top line for the names of your team members. We then add a column for each team member plus two extra columns. In the first column, you write down skills. The second column is very important as it will contain the skill requirements you need.
The first column specifies skills, the second column specifies required levels, and the other columns represent your team members.
In the end we were able to perceive:
– The number of people per skill level for skill;
– Make an action plan to improve the skills that were needed and the team did not have a sufficient degree;
– Prioritize skills in view of the outlined objectives.
This practice has fantastic results and allows the team to see what their resources are for each project, and what they need to improve.
It also shows in a very transparent and honest way how each one can contribute and what added value they bring.
And finally, it helps each team member to evolve, grow and develop, which brings greater motivation, and therefore increases productivity.