Capabilities Matrix

In April 2020, DEG Members Donna Dailey (KDW/NY) and Sharon Decker (Ropes & Gray/NY) facilitated a virtual roundtable discussing the Future of the Document Production Center. Each offered insights, techniques and considerations they use running their firms’ respective centers – an incredible session! Yet, each expressed the very same concern: given the talent and tenure of their centers’ members, what will we do when these skilled professionals retire?

Enter the DEG Capability Matrix and Career Paths Working Group. This small assembly of DEG members went to work crafting a comprehensive planning and preparation tool, designed to

  1. identify current capabilities of a document center
  2. anticipate future requirements and gaps and
  3. catalogue potential career paths for those entering the role of a document center professional. The tool, once aligned to a firm’s specific team, can then be used to communicate needs and plans to firm leadership.

Specific ways the matrix can be used include but are not limited to:

  • A long-time member of the team plans to retire; what capabilities will be lost? What succession plan will you need?
  • You have a very strong team, yet no individual team member is capable of providing coaching. How will you address on-boarding new joiners? What capabilities can be developed? What capabilities must be hired?
  • Your Document Center has been asked to service additional capabilities from emerging practice areas. Add the Capabilities required to the fully-editable matrix (if they are not already listed there), assess the team to determine the capabilities you must develop or hire.

In summary – this matrix is: 

Designed to catalogue and visualize the capabilities of your document center team. It should be used to communicate, analyze, and visualize trends – teams should commit to assessing capabilities every quarter to visualize progress made, or anticipate risks up ahead.

In summary – this matrix is NOT: 

Designed to be an HR tool as the focus is less on the individual and more on the collective skills of the department and of the team. It is also designed to aid in identifying the core competencies of the center in terms of meeting the demands – current and future – of the service it provides to the firm.

We encourage you to download the tool, review the Guidance Worksheet then edit to align it and confirm current capabilities of your team. The DEG is here to help you identify your next steps and build your future center.

Download the Capabilities Matrix and Guidance Sheet

Watch Sherry Kappel and Richard MacDougall explain the Capabilities Matrix and show how it was used in a real situation.