Guide #013: How to create a skills matrix for each role on your team


Guide #013: How to create a skills matrix for each role on your team

MANAGING PEOPLE

Create clarity around what it takes to grow on your team. Define roles and levels, from junior to senior, with responsibilities and accountabilities for each level.


Approach creating a skills matrix as a work in progress

As the team learns new things — a faster way to deliver on its product or service, a better experience, or as the industry evolves — the skills matrix should be updated to reflect the team’s most up-to-date approach. Socialize your skills matrix and reinforce it regularly — host lunch and learns, for example. Invest in making sure your team is speaking the same language and has a shared understanding of what the team does.


Document how the team delivers its product or service

Host a series of process workshops to document how the team delivers its product or service. Talk through the process and what it looks like end to end. Invite participants at every level of the organization involved in delivering the product or service so that you create a sense of shared ownership and accountability for the process.


Identify all the roles involved at each step of the process

Document all the roles required in delivering the product or service. For each role, determine the skills and activities that are required in delivering the product or service. Assign a RACI for each activity and determine which roles are responsible, accountable, consulted or informed for each activity required to deliver the product or service.


Create levels, from junior to senior, for each role

Using a list of all the roles involved in delivering the team’s product or service, take each role, one at a time, and document responsibilities and accountabilities for each level from junior to senior. For example, what does it look like to be an associate experience designer? What does it look like to be a principal experience designer?


Create a framework that layers the responsibility of each role on top of the business process

For a given role, from junior to senior, capture the business processes that role will participate in. Layer in the skills and expectations of each level on top of the business process. For example, if my role is an associate (i.e., junior) experience designer participating in a usability test (i.e., the business process), what skill sets should I have and what am I responsible for delivering while participating in this process?


Don’t over index towards one person’s way of doing things

Avoid making your skills matrix too individualized or reflective of a single person's approach to doing things. Create a panel so that multiple contributors can refine the matrix and identify biases where they might exist. Think about what the team needs to grow and scale.


A skills matrix should account for two growth paths — an expertise track and a manager track

Create growth paths on your team for both people managers and project managers. When new people join your team use the skills matrix to set expectations for what those two paths look like and what the responsibilities and accountabilities are for each level from junior to senior.


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