Talent management – maximise the capabilities of your workforce

As projects incorporate increasingly complex technology, the resource pool’s skill and competency levels need to step up a gear. Where project number are large and they cover multiple sectors and technologies, emerging technical shortcomings may not immediately be visible. But the consequences of falling short can be severe in terms of quality of work, timescales and costs.   Talent management helps the organisation rise to the challenge.

Implementing talent management – what are the steps?

The starting point is to quantify the emerging gaps between the skills demanded by the project workload and those available within the resource pool. Which roles show the greatest risk and how large is the gap within each? Taking a few steps will quantify the shortfalls and enable appropriate remedial action.

  1. Detail the range of skills and competency levels that the project portfolio requires from for each role in the organisation. Then, for each skill, assess the numbers of resources likely to be needed at each competency level?  Classifying this analysis using the Organisation structure makes a lot of sense.
  2. Use a Skills matrix to maintain up to date details of each person’s skills and competency levels.
  3. How do the numbers for each skill/competency combination compare with what’s required?
  4. What action is required? It’s likely to be a combination of training and recruitment. For existing employees prepare and agree personal skills development plans for as many people as possible to plug the gaps.

The patterns of demand will change as new proposals start to demand more of one skill and less of another, or different levels of competency. So the Gap analysis will need to be repeated at regular intervals to ensure that capabilities stay in line with changes in demand. Talent management looks to be an important component of strategic business planning and Resource planning tools, such as Innate, help to make it happen.

Barry Muir is a Director of Innate Management Systems Ltd. We have been implementing resource management software in a wide variety of professional services organizations for more than 20 years.
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