Many businesses I visit have a skills matrix. Very few of them are using them effectively when I first meet them.

Do you have one in your business?

What do you do with your skill matrix?

Does it help with planning, or does it gather dust?

Let me share with you a few options to make a skills matrix a key tool for your business.

  • Organise training. Review the skills matrix periodically to make sure that you have the right number of people trained in the right activities.
  • Link to SOPs. Tie your skills matrix to your Standard Operating Procedures, so there is no doubt what the skills matrix is referring to.
  • Integrate with your appraisals. Use the gap analysis of a skills matrix to determine what focus you need team members to have going forward.
  • Include with checklists for staff joining and leaving the organisation. For new people, it helps develop their induction programme. For people leaving, it helps you to identify gaps that need to be filled (through recruitment or training).

If you find maintaining a skills matrix too time consuming then consider piggy backing it. Tie the various reviews in with existing management habits.

A good skills matrix can help simplify decision making. Tying it into your policies can make unlimited training requests a thing of the past too.

If you have a skills matrix and it is there for ‘box ticking’ presently, I hope this article makes you think otherwise.

Giles Johnston
Giles Johnston

Giles is a Chartered Engineer and the author of several books on process improvement including, What Does Good Look Like? and Effective SOPs.