Skills Matrices Software

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Skills Matrix

Once the competency framework has been created, you can begin to create these skills against individuals, to create a skills matrix.

A skills matrix can be plotted against an individual, or a range of individuals. You may choose a particular department, a certain area of manufacture, or job function. An example skills matrix, once populated, may resemble the following:

Simple Skills Matrix for Department Managers

  Company Induction Delegation Time Management Conflict Management Project Management
John Smith
Human Resources
100% 75% 100% 75% 50%
Naomi Nicholson
Quality
100% 100% 75% 0% 100%
Douglas Bailey
Production Sector A
75% 100% 100% 75% 25%
Imogen Simmons
Production Sector B
100% 75% 100% 100% 100%

Note how the above matrix only includes the actual competency level. Although useful for quick reference, it is important that the supporting evidence for each competency level is easily accessible.

Note that target competency levels may also be included on the matrix. In addition, all competency target levels must be explained to give them meaning and relevance.

The above example illustrates how spreadsheet software would struggle to capture all of the information required. Because of the two-dimensional nature of spreadsheets, it is not possible to capture supporting evidence while maintaining reporting capability, without using advanced coding techniques. Therefore it is often easiest to outsource a competency management system from a third-party supplier.

Please note that it is now illegal under UK law to display the above information for public viewing within your workplace. This data must be kept confidential for authorized visibility only.

Skills Matrix Images

Some web sites provide skills matrix templates for you to download and use. Many of these use images to represent competency levels, instead of actual numbers.

The example below uses this approach:

  Company Induction Delegation Time Management Conflict Management Project Management
John Smith
Human Resources
Green Dot Green Dot Green Dot Green Dot Amber Dot
Naomi Nicholson
Quality
Green Dot Green Dot Green Dot Red Dot Green Dot

Although visually more appealing, this approach introduces problems:

  1. The images have no meaning.
    A user would have to do extra work to discover the meaning of each coloured image
  2. When used in a spreadsheet, you lose all ability to sort and filter by competency level.
    For example, Microsoft Excel will allow you to use its Sort and Filter functionality to run simple reports. By using images instead of real numbers, this functionality is lost, which seriously restricts the usability of this approach.

Use of Colour on Skills Matrices

As an alternative to the above approach, you should consider colour formatting based on the original example:

  Company Induction Delegation Time Management Conflict Management Project Management
John Smith
Human Resources
100% 75% 100% 75% 50%
Naomi Nicholson
Quality
100% 100% 75% 0% 100%

The ideal skills matrix should use only two colours, which would represent competent staff and non-competent staff.

Sadly there is a tendancy for people to include various other colours when creating their own skills matrices. Remember that a person is either competent or not competent - there is no in-between! The example matrix above should ideally be simplified further to remove the amber status.

In reality, many employees like to fit themselves into the in-between area! This comfort area allows people with some experience to avoid being highlighted as a workforce champion, while also avoiding the requirement to undertake more training and assessment! This poses many risks for businesses, as it creates problems with being able to identify who is able to correctly perform the required duties within the organisation.