New & Improved Free Skill Matrix Template (v. 7.31.07)

New and improved free skill matrix template: these are beautiful words to the ears of a Lean thinker. Thanks to the Excel skills of our Lean office guru Marcie MacRae, we have “the kaizen of the month for July 2007” at Gemba. The color-filling of the four-quadrant skill grid has been improved in version 7.31.07 of this skill matrix template.

What does version 7.31.07 of the Free Skill Matrix Template do? You simply enter a number between 0 and 5 in the top right cell of each skill box (outer box, not inner box that is colored in), and Excel will automatically fill in the color. Note that there is a “0” in cell E2 above, and as a result, no color. Entering numbers 1 through 4 will give you one, two, three or four blue cells respectively, while a 5 will give you four yellow cells.

Note the value of “3” in cell Q2, coloring 3 of 4 blue quadrants blue. How does it work? It is through the magic of something called conditional formatting, I am told. If you know how this works, you can change values, colors, etc.

Have you ever thought “There must be a better way” about something? The big secret that everyone knows in their heart, but seems to forget in their head: there always is a better way. This simple example just goes to show.


  1. Andy

    December 8, 2007 - 10:15 am

    My sincere thanks to Jon posting and Marcie’s great work in developing this.
    I am in the middle of set up a new operation and is ready to conduct a lot training to new hires.
    This is great!
    Thanks again.

  2. raghavendra

    May 13, 2008 - 12:00 am

    i thank both of you for this great work.
    great help.

  3. Guna

    July 16, 2008 - 10:30 pm

    Thanks Jon and Marcie
    I was one of the guys wasted time in finding a good skill matrix. My search has ended here.
    Thanks a lot

  4. David

    November 24, 2010 - 8:49 am

    This was just what I was looking for.
    However, I have made a few additions to it and would be more than willing to share these changes should you wish me to submit them.
    It makes it easier to enter the details, makes it filerable and has the first steps towards reporting on the number of people with the skills, identifying areas where skills are low etc

  5. Anonymous

    February 15, 2011 - 4:54 pm

    The matrix is really great and very much helpful..But i was wondering, what was yellow cell(5) rate for …i have my existing matrix and my legend is only up to 0 to 4 ..and if im include the 5 (yellow) …what does it rate for?

  6. Khanh Le

    August 16, 2021 - 4:41 pm

    The matrix is really great and very much helpful for me.
    Thank you so much.

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