From the Blog

YakTrak’s guide to team capability assessment

The people who work for your business are your largest asset – after all it’s their capabilities that you’re relying on to deliver services, hit KPIs, innovate, demonstrate organisational values, and create culture. So, there’s a lot riding on their skills, behaviours and expertise – the collective organisational capability of your organisation. Investing in people development is clearly a huge part of improving organisational and team capability, but how do you know where the gaps in those capabilities are?

It can be challenging to accurately assess your team’s skills and capabilities – and even harder to understand which skills and behaviours need development. This is where a team capability assessment is crucial. Before you can start coaching team members and implementing learning and development you need to identify the gaps and figure out the skills and competencies that will improve with tailored development.

What is a capability assessment?

A capability assessment is a structured approach to measuring and evaluating the capabilities of your organisation’s workforce. Using skill assessment tools it helps identify and provide visibility over your team’s skills, competencies, values and behaviours – importantly capturing where there are gaps and growth needs.

You can use it to audit organisational capabilities and get a baseline capability score for individuals and teams which can then be used to target growth areas.

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Conducting a capability assessment

There are several steps involved in conducting a capability assessment.

Step 1: Identify the skills you want to measure

Ensure that what you are evaluating aligns with your business’s strategic goals. A Harvard Business Review article offered 11 “generic capabilities” that included innovation, leadership, and learning as a starting point, while acknowledging that each business’s “critical capabilities” will look different (Smallwood N & Ulrich D 2004).

Step 2: Develop your evaluation criteria and evaluation metrics

This step will allow you to measure and assess identified capabilities in an unbiased way. Be clear about how you’re evaluating capabilities and the evaluation metrics your organisation will use that map to skills, behaviours and expertise demonstrated. 

Step 3: Evaluate your people

There are different approaches to this depending on the maturity of your organisation’s people development programs. A capability audit is one approach and can provide a “reset” where everyone is evaluated at once to quickly establish a baseline. Another approach is to roll out capability evaluations as part of current development activities. This approach is a more integrated approach and can take longer.

Step 4: Analyse the results

Your team capability assessment will give you data that can help improve your understanding of where capability gaps are. Use this information to invest in people development to target needs areas.

Step 5: Maintain continuous assessments

There’s no point gaining an understanding of the capabilities of your workforce – and not maintaining the understanding as the workforce changes and development programs are implemented.

Conduct assessments on a rolling basis, including doing assessments when new team members start.

Step 6: Target capability needs and track growth against capability investment

Once you have a baseline capability score quantitatively track individual and team progress and speed to competency through regular observations. You should be able to see how your investment in people is tracking with improved capability scores.

Our final tip is to recommend that everyone in your business uses the same capability assessment tools to understand its people capabilities and track capability growth. With everyone using the same tool you’ll be able to get a clear picture and understand where people development investment is paying off.

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Measure team capability growth with YakTrak

YakTrak makes team performance evaluation easy with team capability profiles linked to:

  • every role across your organisation
  • every other YakTrak form your organisation uses.

With everyone using the same skill assessment tool, evaluations can be completed by quality assessment teams, coaches, subject matter experts and peers, with self-assessments integrating with observations from others.

YakTrak provides visibility over both team growth and its development needs, allowing leaders to see which behaviours lead to the best results and where training is needed.

Watch how YakTrak makes it easy to measure team capability and provide bespoke coaching programs for everyone in your organisation – from your newest hires through to senior executives.


Improve visibility across your organisation and start assessing and developing capability with YakTrak. Contact us today to find out more.


Smallwood N & Ulrich D 2004, Capitalizing on Capability, Harvard Business Review,


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