Workshop Exercises: Understand

Skills Star Mapping

Uncover skills and opportunities for learning and growth

Illustration of Skills Star Mapping
Run a Skills Star Mapping play

Also called: Skills Matrix, Competence Matrix

Alternative plays: Market of Skills

Follow-up plays: Market of Skills

Timing: Discovery

Run time
60-90 minutes

Group size

Why: Gain insights into the skills and expertise of a group and identify opportunities for personal and professional growth

When: Use to explore the collective skills and knowledge of individuals within a team or organization

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Kick off with an initial discussion about the purpose of the team, characteristics of the work performed, customers, stakeholders.
  2. Part participants in groups of two to discuss the following in a 5 minute Timebox:
    1. Green sticky notes: What skills, knowledge, and experience the team needs to perform its work
    2. Red sticky notes: Clarifications
  3. Playback the result and discuss. Is there anything missing?
  4. Put up all the green sticky notes on the board in a vertical line (rows) on the left side of the board.
  5. Sort all the notes by importance to perform the team’s wor
  6. Draw the matrix. Put sticky notes with the name of each team member as columns.
  7. Each member rates themselves on each skill using the following categories:

    1. Blank: I don’t know anything about it, but I’m interested to learn
    2. Small dot: I don’t know much, but I’m willing to learn
    3. Large dot: I know enough to work independently
    4. Star: I am good at this and can teach it

  8. Identify rows where the team is thin on skills. Ask two questions about thin skills:
    1. What can we specifically do to ensure we have larger dots here?
    2. What are you going to do to spread knowledge and infuse the team with new knowledge?

Tips to perfect this play

Master and adapt the play to fit your context and needs.

Tip: Skills Swap

Encourage participants to offer and exchange their skills with others in the group, fostering a culture of skill-sharing and collaboration.

Tip: Skills Development Plan

Use the Skills Star Map as a basis for creating individual or team-based skills development plans, setting goals and identifying resources for acquiring new skills.

Related plays

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