August 9, 2023
For Teams

9-Box Grid for Team Development

Gain insights into the strengths, weaknesses and developmental needs of your team and plan for succession

What is the 9-Box Grid?

The "9-box" grid allows managers to visualise where their team members might lie in terms of who's ready for their next step of career growth. It is designed to assess and analyze the performance and potential of individuals or resources within an organization.

How we measure someone's potential and performance can be subjective, but it's not arbitrary. As leaders, we should be able to set some standards of our own and benchmark our team's performance and potential against those standards.

The grid consists of a 3x3 matrix, with performance on one axis and potential on the other. The performance axis typically measures an individual's or resource's current level of competence, skills, and achievements, while the potential axis evaluates their ability to grow, develop, and take on more responsibility in the future.

By using the 9-box grid, organizations can gain insights into the strengths, weaknesses, and developmental needs of their resources. It helps in making informed decisions regarding talent management, succession planning, training and development initiatives, and resource allocation.

While typically used by HR departments to manage talent, managers can also benefit from doing a similar exercise to understand how to support their team better.


  1. Simplicity and Visual Clarity
  2. Actionable Insights and follow-up development plans:
  3. Performance-Potential Integration


  1. Restructuring and Talent Placement
  2. Performance Management
  3. Succession Planning


  1. Subjectivity and Bias
  2. Balancing Development vs. Performance Focus
  3. Lack of Contextual Information

Watch it in action

Watch a short snippet of one of our coaches introducing the framework.

What other managers are saying

"The 9-box model gives a good perspective on how to categorize different talents."
"The 9-box grid is a useful tool to help me observe the evolution of my team members and the overall balance of my team."
"The 9-box grid framework was useful. I was able to place my subordinates in profiles and understand better how I can manage them."

How to use the 9-box framework effectively

Apply the 9-box grid for succession planning today

The 9-box grid's simplicity, integration of performance and potential, talent segmentation capabilities, and alignment with succession planning make it a widely adopted and effective tool in talent management.

Download our toolkit to gain access to all the resources you need to start using the 9-box grid in your own organisation.

  • Actionable ways to develop your team members in each of the 9 boxes
  • A template to map out where your team members are and where they need to be
  • A guided reflection for succession planning

More Resources

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For Organisations
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Successful management of stakeholders helps you to achieve ambitious goals, and builds trust around you