What is a skill or competence matrix? A skill or competence matrix is a widely proven and…

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What is a skill or competence matrix?

A skill or competence matrix is a widely proven and suitable method for structuring, evaluating and visualising the distribution of skill or competencies   in a unit or a firm (an example is shown. in Fig. 4.10). It is also easy to apply  SMEs.


Why use a skill/competence matrix?

•           The matrix shows were skills/competences are lacking or a unevenly distributed

•           The matrix helps you to assess training needs

•           By the matrix recruitment of new staff (which competences and skills do we need?) and succession planning is supported

•           A wider skill/competence distribution (multiskilling) increases the flexibility of

the organisation.


How to create a skill/competence matrix?

1.  List tasks and skills/competences needes to carry-out these tasks.

2.  The employees and skills/competencies are placed together in a matrix (see Fig. 4.10). Thus, you get an overview of the performance profile of your company.

4.9    KM-Tool: The Skill or Competence  Matrix                                                                   149

Fig. 4.10 The competence matrix: who can do what and how well?

The skill/competency matrix : overview over levels of proficiency















High competence








medium competence







Basic knowledge


You can see whether particular competencies are covered satisfactorily and plan the creation of new competencies systematically. In a table, the skills that are typically found in daily work in the company are placed next to the employees. You might structure skills/competences according to process steps, technologies, language and social competences .

3.  Every employee does his/her own evaluation and in parallel the supervisor assesses the competencies of collaborators. In an appraisal meeting evaluations of both sides are discussed and unified.

4.  You can read the competence profile of an individual employee vertically. If you see horizontally, you get an idea of how well the respective competence is covered in the company. Set minimum standards. Depending on the size of the company, one or more employee should have top grades in each competence.

5.  Knowledge gaps are formed if none or only one employee has top grades for a competence category. If this person is missing, the efficiency of the company reduces because no employee can fill in with matching skills. You should fill in such knowledge gaps. Create a goal for yourself: For example, in my company, each competence category should have three employees with “+++” and two employees with “++”.

6.  You can extend the table by entering new competencies. The central question is,

“which skills/competences must be available in the company in one, five or ten years?”  Subdivide  the  objectives  in  smaller  actions  or  necessary  individual skills. You can set a deadline in the table for these tasks. It would be useful to note  down  not  only  the  name  of  the  employees  but  also  further  information such  as  cost  centre,  scope  of  work,  activities  or  qualifications  (for  instance, ability to operate certain machines, first-aid knowledge etc.).

7.  You can also use the table to set incentives for the employees. For instance, an employee who has top grades in four competencies would get a bonus.





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