A skills matrix is used to identify the skills and competencies of your team members. With it managers can assign tasks more effectively, give your team the knowledge to grow, and improve productivity and morale. Here we’ll discuss the importance of this tool, plus templates and a step-by-step guide to putting one together for your team with resource management software.
What is a Skills Matrix?
A skills matrix is a visual tool that maps people’s skills, knowledge, and abilities. It’s often represented as a simple grid showcasing employees, job roles, and the skills each person possesses.
That’s why it’s important for resource managers and team leaders to have one in their arsenal. As this matrix to get a handle on what each team member is capable of. This is useful for ensuring better task assignments, project planning, and as a broader skills management strategy.
Let’s see why this is so.
Why Use a Skills Matrix for Project Resource Planning?
Quite simply, using a skills matrix can help managers make more informed decisions. Both in the short and long term.
Almost immediately, a skills matrix improves employee task assignments. That’s because it allows resource and project managers to assign tasks to team members based on their strengths and areas of expertise. This ensures that tasks are assigned to team members who have the necessary skills and experience to complete them efficiently and effectively. In this way, a skills matrix can help to optimize resource allocation and overall improve team performance.
In the long term, it can be part of a wider skills management initiative. By identifying skills gaps, resource managers can plan training programs to develop the necessary skills or hire new staff to fill the gaps.
Furthermore, a skills matrix can assist in succession planning by identifying team members who have the potential to take on additional responsibilities. Or to help others move into leadership roles. By identifying these individuals, resource managers can provide the necessary training and development opportunities to prepare them for their future. And the future of your company.
Read more! A skills matrix is just the beginning, see how to put together a comprehensive skills management strategy with Ganttic.
Benefits of Managing Employee Skills
Skills management is directly related to many benefits for your organization. These include:
- Better Task Management: When you understand your team’s skills, you can assign tasks to team members who have the necessary knowledge, experience, and expertise to complete them efficiently and effectively. This helps to optimize resource allocation, improve productivity, and reduce the likelihood of errors and delays. The right resource at the right time for the right results!
- Identifying skill and knowledge gaps: Understanding your team’s skills can also help you identify areas where your team may be lacking in knowledge or experience. This allows you to plan training programs and professional development opportunities to address these skill gaps, ensuring that your team has the skills they need to succeed.
- Improving team performance: By understanding your team’s skills, you can provide targeted feedback, coaching, and support to help team members improve their performance. This can help to improve team morale, motivation, and job satisfaction, leading to better project outcomes.
- Growing your team’s (and company’s) potential: Understanding your team’s skills can also help you identify team members who have the potential to take on additional responsibilities or move into leadership roles. This allows you to provide the necessary training and development opportunities to prepare them for these roles, ensuring a smooth transition when the time comes.
How to Make a Skills Matrix
When you’ve decided to embark on a skills management plan, here’s the steps to take:
Step 1: Define Job Roles and Skills
Identify the job roles within the organization and the skills required for each role. You can gather this information from job descriptions and input from managers and employees. Create a list of skills required for each job role. While this can be technical knowledge, you can also include soft skills, certifications, and other areas that may impact your business.
Step 2: Assign Skill Levels
Assign a skill level to each skill required for each job role. This can be a rating system, such as beginner, intermediate, and advanced or a numeric scale, such as 1-5.
Step 3: Assess Employee Skills
Now it’s time to assess the abilities of each employee. Do this by assigning a skill level or other value to each skill. This can be done through self-assessments, manager evaluations, training documentation, certifications, or skill testing. Involving your team is the best way to ensure that all the information is included and accurate.
Step 4: Create the Matrix
Create a matrix in your software of choice. Usually this consists of job roles or names on one axis and the skills on the other. Then use your assigned skill levels to populate the matrix.
A simple matrix can be created with Excel and other spreadsheet software. And for this, there are plenty of templates available which speeds up the process. But by using resource management software your skill matrix will be located in the same spot as where you do your project and task planning. Allowing you to directly assign tasks when the time comes.
Step 5: Analyze the Matrix
Once your matrix is complete you can start to analyze it and plan for the next steps. Use it to identify skills gaps and areas where additional training and development may be needed. Then use this information to design training and development programs which are tailored to the needs of individual employees.
Step 6: Update the Matrix
Regularly update the skills matrix as employees gain new skills or job roles change. This ensures that the matrix remains an accurate representation of employee abilities. While allowing it to be used in up-to-date resource allocation decisions.
A Skills Matrix Template Using Resource Management Software
Here’s how to make a skills matrix using Ganttic’s resource management software.
- Create a rundown of different skills sets.
Do this in Ganttic by adding Resource Data Fields. Some of these fields may include: Project Management knowledge, current training courses, or Certification links.
Tip! You can also import existing skill sets from other software via a CSV Template!
- Add employees and different resources to your planner.
Complete this step by creating or uploading Resources into the planner, for example: Mike, Janis, T.J. If you have a list of resources in another program, download a CSV template and add them in bulk.
- Assess each employee’s skill level.
Input values for your data fields i.e. 0 (no knowledge) -5 (expert), www.certificationlink.com, yes/no.
This can be done as you create each new Resource, or in the same CSV template you use to upload them to Ganttic.
- Check out your Skills Matrix.
After populating the planner, head on over to your Resource List. All these skills are laid out right from here!
- Adjust to your needs.
All the Column Headers at the top can be manually dragged and moved around. Making it easier to change the order and hone in on specific data. Just drag and drop from the Header to put your team’s skills in an order that makes sense.
- Search and filter values as needed.
Looking for someone with a special certification? Or a background in a specific programming language? You can also filter out data or search for specific terms. Simply click the fields under the Column Headers.
Select and deselect values for List and Check type data fields
Type in search terms for Link and Text type data Fields
- Put your people to work!
By clicking the Resource’s icon you can see all the resources in your pool. Along with their different skill sets, certification links, and training modules they are currently enrolled in. Use this for analysis or to start matching the best resources for different projects and jobs.
Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Skills Matrix
Be sure to watch out for the following when making your own employee skills matrix.
Using too many or too few skills
If your skills matrix is too broad, it can become difficult to evaluate each skill thoroughly. On the other hand, if it is too narrow, you won’t have access to the complete picture. The key is striking a balance between being comprehensive and concise.
Failing to involve employees
Employees can and should be involved in the process of creating a skills matrix. This ensures that the tool reflects the actual skills and competencies of the team. By talking with your team, they may have insights into skills that are overlooked by management. As well as being able to provide examples of how they have demonstrated certain skills in various real-world situations.
Tip! Toggle your user settings and allow users to update their own skill set data fields.
Not updating the skills matrix regularly
Skills and competencies change over time. That’s why it’s essential to update the skills matrix regularly to ensure its accuracy. This is especially crucial when there are changes in job responsibilities or organizational structures. Or when certifications need to be updated on a regular basis.
Focusing on the wrong skills
While technical skills are important, it’s also important to evaluate other, “softer” skills. This may include communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Focusing too much on technical skills can lead to a one-dimensional view of employees’ abilities. And one that doesn’t give you the full extent of your team members’ abilities.
Using the wrong software
While Excel templates are commonly used in the creation of a skills matrix, other tools let you put it to better use. Resource management software can simplify the process and help in maintaining the matrix. Not only does It allow for easy updating and analysis of employee skills, the software can be integrated with other HR tools. Such as performance management and professional development programs.
Start Managing Skills with Ganttic
By using a skills matrix in resource management software, organizations can ensure that they have the talent they need to achieve their goals and remain competitive in their industry. Ready to take your skills management to the next level? Try out Ganttic and create a skills matrix today! Optimize your team’s potential and achieve project success with ease.