Wednesday, 30 December 2015

AutoCAD Test Scores Around The World

According to Wikipedia, AutoCAD is defined as 'a commercial software application for 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting, available since 1982 as a desktop application and since 2010 as a mobile web and cloud-based app'.

The 2016 release marked the 30th major release of AutoCAD for Windows. The 2014 release marked the fourth consecutive year of AutoCAD for Mac.

Over the years, KnowledgeSmart has captured test scores for thousands of AutoCAD users, in multiple countries across the globe.

Here are the variances in our overall benchmark data, from 2009 to 2015:

Average Score: 59.5%
Average Time: 1 hr 16 mins

Average Score: 61.0%
Average Time: 1 hr 18 mins

Average Score: 62.0%
Average Time: 1 hr 13 mins

Average Score: 62.0%
Average Time: 1 hr 10 mins

Average Score: 58.5%
Average Time: 1 hr 13 mins

Let's take a look at some overall aggregate score and time data on a country vs country basis. Numbers of test scores vary, so this list does not imply that one country is 'better' than another. It's interesting to see what kind of data is generated in different parts of the globe.

Country Score (%) Time (secs)
Australia 63.3 4777.9
Bahrain 61.8 4330.0
Canada 47.1 3395.0
China 54.6 7542.8
Hong Kong 37.7 3610.0
India 49.1 4203.8
Ireland 49.5 5573.8
Kuwait 45.7 3741.4
New Zealand 69.7 4399.8
Oman 39.3 5649.2
Philippines 50.3 4881.8
Poland 62.0 3150.0
Qatar 50.9 5003.4
Saudi Arabia 60.5 3361.3
Singapore 49.4 4752.0
South Africa 49.2 4468.0
Spain 62.7 3481.0
UAE 62.6 5112.7
UK 53.4 4572.3
USA  61.3 5511.8

We also capture data on a per State basis, for our US customers. The list below represents those States where the volume of data makes for meaningful data sharing.

State Score (%) Time (secs)
USA (all) 61.3 5511.8
California 63.4 5580.1
Florida 70.6 3140.9
Georgia 48.4 5096.4
Louisiana 67.3 3263.3
Nevada 75.3 3282.8
New York 52.6 5444.5
Washington 45.5 7336.9

Score and time data varies quite considerably, from country to country and between US States.

Even though the software has been commercially available for over 3 decades, there are still notable skills gaps across the overall user base. Our data shows quite clearly that AutoCAD users reach a performance 'plateau' after about 5 years and then remain at a similar skill level in subsequent years. 

When we started capturing skills data in the AEC industry, over 10 years ago, AutoCAD was the principal tool of choice for design and engineering firms. Whilst still widely used, the growth of BIM in the Construction sector has seen a rise in the number of different software tools deployed on projects  in the built environment.  Users must now learn a wider variety of software tools to do their jobs, than in years past.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Benchmark Stats for Popular KS Test Titles

Benchmarking software capability at individual, team and office level is a key part of the KnowledgeSmart experience.

Our library of skills assessments for the AEC industry covers a variety of  popular software tools, used on projects on Construction projects worldwide.

Our results data comes from a wide variety of countries and territories, including: US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Vietnam, India and the Middle East.

Here is the overall average results data for our most popular topics (% score and time to complete):

Test Title % Score Time
3ds Max fundamentals 54.5 57m
Adobe InDesign occasional 64 45m
Adobe Photoshop occasional 62 48m
AutoCAD 2D fundamentals 58.5 1h 13m
AutoCAD 2D occasional 73.1 36.5m
AutoCAD Civil 3D fundamentals 67.2 1h 3m
AutoCAD Civil 3D advanced 52.2 45.5m
AutoCAD Plant 3D fundamentals 63 53m
Bentley ABD fundamentals 51.5 1h 28m
Bentley ProjectWise fundamentals 59 1h 3m
BIM Management 68.5 46m 
InfraWorks 360 fundamentals 58.5 1h 2m
Inventor fundamentals 64 1h 15m
MicroStation 2D fundamentals 59.3 1h 24m
MicroStation 3D fundamentals 52.5 58m
Navisworks fundamentals 58.4 43m
Revit Architecture fundamentals 68.5 1h 8m
Revit Architecture advanced 57.1 1h 24m
Revit Content Creation 57.8 1h 3m
Revit MEP fundamentals - Electrical 63.7 1h 6m
Revit MEP fundamentals - Mechanical 62.2 1h 7m
Revit MEP fundamentals - Plumbing 70.1 1h 11m
Revit MEP advanced 53.3 1h 2m
Revit Project Process 56.4 46.5m 
Revit Structure fundamentals 67.1 1h 12m
Revit Structure advanced 57.2 1h 4m
Rhino 61.2 44.5m
SketchUp 53.4 50m

KnowledgeSmart independent skills testing enables businesses to compare performance and capability against industry standards and benchmark their organisation against peers, competitors and partners. Measuring and demonstrating technical software experience and BIM capability is a key differentiator for AEC firms when bidding for new projects.


Monday, 9 November 2015

KS Country Stats

In the course of carrying out multiple thousands of skills assessments in recent years, we have gathered a wide range of fascinating and useful user demographic data. In the months ahead, we will be presenting a range of information, which can be used for measuring, comparing and benchmarking performance.

Let's take a look at some overall aggregate score data, across a number of different KS library test topics, on a country vs country basis. Numbers of test scores vary, so this list does not imply that one country is 'better' than another, per se. It's just interesting to see what kind of data is generated in different parts of the globe.

CountryScore %
Argentina 75.6
Vietnam 72.0
Nigeria 71.6
Poland 69.8
USA 69.6
New Zealand 69.0
Singapore 68.1
Sweden 67.3
Hong Kong 66.4
Saudi Arabia 65.9
Bahrain 65.8
Australia  65.5
Egypt 65.4
France 65.2
Canada  64.7
UK 63.0
Spain 62.2
UAE 61.7
Portugal 60.8
South Korea 58.8
Jordan 58.3
China 57.1
Ireland 55.7
Germany 55.3
South Africa 53.5
Philippines 52.6
India 52.4
Qatar 52.4
Italy 51.9
Kuwait 51.2
Brazil 46.0
Oman 45.9
Pakistan 45.2
Denmark 45.1

We also capture data on a per State basis, for our US customers. The list below represents those States where the volume of data makes for meaningful data sharing (i.e. if any States are missing, the overall number of tests taken is too low to publish).

US StateScore %
Illinois 76.9
Nevada 75.1
Virginia 74.9
Missouri 74.4
Louisiana 74.0
Michigan 73.6
Ohio 73.5
Delaware 73.4
District of Columbia 73.1
Utah 72.9
Texas 72.1
Minnesota 71.0
Wyoming 71.0
Oregon 70.5
Mississippi 70.1
USA (overall) 69.6
Wisconsin 69.0
Pennsylvania 68.9
California 68.8
Kentucky 68.0
New York 68.0
Georgia 67.6
Massachusetts 67.6
Maryland 67.5
Alabama 67.4
Florida 66.4
Kansas 65.9
New Jersey 65.7
Washington 64.1
South Carolina 63.1
North Carolina 60.7
Hawaii 59.7
Colorado 58.6
Arizona 57.5
Nebraska 48.8


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

KS Devs Update

So, the children are back to school and summer in the UK is fast becoming a memory. The autumn rains are upon us, which means it must be KS Devs update time!

We've had a busy year in 2015, keeping the KS library titles up to date with the latest releases. We've also been working steadily through the customer wishlist, improving existing tools and adding some new ones into the mix.

Here are the highlights..

New Query Tool

We've been working on new and improved ways to filter and search KS results, users and invites data.  This will be a 3-phase dev, as follows:

Phase 1

Create new query tool. We have built a new tool for searching, filtering and capturing KS data.

Query outputs can be captured in a table and exported to csv.

We are capturing a list of popular 'pre-defined' queries, which can be copied and edited.

For example:

Most popular test topics by number taken 
Average score and time for top 5 test topics
Global benchmark comparison for top 5 test topics
Users who have 'incomplete tests' 
Last 20 results: user names, test names, scores & times
Top 20 skills gaps (i.e. training tags)
Top 20 hardest test questions (i.e. lowest scoring average)

And so on.

Phase 2

Allow KS admins to perform a series of bulk actions, with the results of a query.  

For example:

Delete users
Move users from one account to another
Invite users to a test
Delete results
Move results from one account to another
Delete invites
Change invite expiry date
Re-send invites

And so on.

Phase 3

Graphics & charts: we aim to display summary fields on  a new dashboard landing page.

For example:

No. of invites sent in last 30 days
No. of completed tests in last 30 days
No. of incomplete tests in last 30 days
Most popular test topics by number taken
Average score and time for top 5 test topics
Average score for Employees vs Interviewees
Global benchmark comparison for top 5 test topics
Last 20 results: user names, test names, scores & times
Top 20 skills gaps (i.e. training tags)
Top 20 hardest test questions (i.e. lowest scoring average)

Plus offer an auto email report to KS admins, which can contain custom values and timescales.

Survey Tool

We have built a survey tool, which sits inside the KS admin dashboard and allows you to create a hybrid assessment/survey. For those times when you want to include questions in the mix, which don't have a 'right or wrong' answer. The UI is mobile responsive and captures survey results and charts in the same KS admin dashboard, for further analysis.

Other Items and a look ahead to 2016

Add Ecommerce page to KS site 

Helpdesk part 1: Add new 'Support' section in admin dashboard. Simple form to complete for tech support which is captured in KS CRM system. Future updates may follow, if more functionality and issues log is required.

Design refresh on main dashboard login page/password reset page: make page mobile responsive. 

Go live with new KS test report design.

Design refresh on main test taking UI: make mobile responsive;  add 'confidence meter' and associated admin dashboard links.

API calls: we have an ongoing dev with a third party vendor, to add more integration to training material hosted in their LMS.

Admin UI design refresh.

System mails: Revisit logic for KS system mails (invites, results, reminders) and how admins/others are copied on system mails. 

Allow more than one user group/dynamic group to be selected at a time when sending invites.  

Allow selection of default landing account for admins of multiple accounts.

Allow bulk copy & paste of emails on invite page.

Allow bulk upload/import of KS questions.

Key skills search tool.

As always, we'll keep you  posted as these devs progress to go live status.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Smartest Human Resources Officers are 'Knowledge Smart'

According to (the UK's leading student and graduate careers advice service) Human Resources (HR) Officers must have a clear understanding of their employer's business objectives and be able to devise and implement policies which select, develop and retain the right staff needed to meet these objectives.

The smartest HR Officers are therefore subscribing to KnowledgeSmart to assess the CAD and BIM skills of new hires and to guide skills improvement over time.

We use KnowledgeSmart to enable our clients to recruit smarter candidates and to prove their ability; we find that it ensures better outcomes. By replacing guesswork with the KnowledgeSmart skills assessment, our clients know precisely how and where their candidates will add value to their organisation before they hire them.

Mike Johnson Managing Director, JohnsonBIM, London, UK

In addition, HR Officers use KnowledgeSmart skills assessments to:

- Liaise with team leaders to identify skills gaps and improve staff performance;
- Interview and select job candidates;
- Develop and implement policies for performance management;
- Advise on pay and other remuneration issues, including promotion and benefits;
- Plan, and sometimes deliver, training - including inductions for new staff;
- Analyse training needs in conjunction with departmental managers.

With subscribers spread across 6 continents KnowledgeSmart online skills assessments are used by architects, engineers, construction firms and contractors, to great effect.

Using KnowledgeSmart Skills Assessments to Inform Annual Appraisals

At HOK – a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm with a network of 24 offices on 3 continents – the HR team actively supports staff to be the best they can be. This in turn delivers significant value for individuals and the organisation at large. With a focus on continuous improvement, HOK's skills assessment results are reviewed annually as part of the appraisal process and continuous improvement is rewarded through the company bonus scheme and through improved promotion opportunities.

We have learned lots of back-end lessons using KnowledgeSmart. Most notably, we have realised how and where we can improve productivity and profitability for the whole company.

David Ivey Building Smart Manager, Chicago, USA

HR teams, operating at the highest level within HOK, welcome this approach to integrated assessment and support the Building Smart Managers in their work. With similar motivations for improved service and performance, Stantec – a 15,000-person strong professional services firm – is embracing KnowledgeSmart to proactively make skills development a corporate initiative.

We have made the employee and his supervisor responsible for identifying goals and for measuring progress as part of the annual review process. This empowers and supports teams and enables individuals to reach their full potential and KnowledgeSmart is an invaluable ingredient.

Susan Clark-Serdiuk HR lead at Stantec, Toronto, Canada

HR Officers are Increasingly Knowledge Smart when Hiring New Staff

Smart recruitment firms and HR Officers are turning to KnowledgeSmart for insight when hiring. Gone are the days of simply sifting through CVs and arranging interviews, firms now demand more from their recruitment teams.

Hiring new staff without first assessing their BIM and CAD skills is an extraordinarily expensive way to do business as many firms may not learn how bad the new recruits have performed until much damage is done to the project's data quality. With KnowledgeSmart BIM Skills Assessments we gain the insight we need to make the right decisions.

Senior Director of Professional Services, US CAD, California, USA

To avoid such unnecessary expenditure and to reduce their risk, California-based US CAD invites all job candidates to complete a KnowledgeSmart BIM skills assessment and makes it clear from the outset that there is no intention to fail anyone. US CAD openly uses the BIM skills assessment results to better plan for training needs and to benchmark a candidate's assessed-ability against his own claimed-ability to better understand the individual.

HR Officers are Bringing KnowledgeSmart Results to the Project Resourcing Table

At RTKL – a worldwide architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organization – HR leadership challenged its BIM management team to source a BIM skills analysis tool to help the firm make smarter, more well-informed data-driven decisions about people's CAD and BIM skills when resourcing project teams. The team reviewed the market and selected KnowledgeSmart.

HR generally understands 'why' people were hired and provides a high-level view of the firm's talent base, but historically it has not fully appreciated some of the finer details about CAD and BIM skills. The nature of project-centric resourcing determines that individuals are moved from one project team to another as the workflow rises and falls across a project's lifecycle, and their BIM skill-levels will critically influence their ability to contribute to their new team. With KnowledgeSmart results and analysis in hand, HR now has perhaps the most comprehensive oversight of all staff and their skills.

Andrew Victory Associate, RTKL, London, UK

Identifying Skills Gaps for Training Needs Analysis by HR Teams

Australian-based A2K Technologies – one of the largest Autodesk channel partners globally – finds that HR Officers are very often involved in purchase decisions for training. Furthermore, A2K finds that HR Officers are very interested in benchmarking for greater insight into team performance; enabling them to extend their role beyond welfare and Health & Safety.

As the recession fades and growth again is the driver for change, firms are increasingly motivated to retain their best staff. KnowledgeSmart helps HR Officers measure their teams' software skills as part of their culture to support, reward and retain value-adding staff.

Sean Twomey ANZ Consulting Manager, A2K Technologies, Sydney, Australia

A2K also believes that KnowledgeSmart provides younger staff with targets to aim for; finding that KnowledgeSmart results can contribute to the building of a framework for ambition and career growth.

If you are a HR Professional, looking for a better way to measure staff skills and interviewee experience, why not get in touch and request a free trial of the KS tools?


Thursday, 6 August 2015

A Well-trained User is a User for Life

In April 2015 a brief published by “Bersin by Deloitte” reported that “…organizations which perform well on business outcomes have a talent strategy.”  It went on “…of those organizations rated least effective at business outcomes, between 70 percent and 80 percent lack a talent strategy.”  Naturally the ‘Learning Strategy’ is an essential ingredient of any successful talent strategy.

It should therefore come as no surprise that KnowledgeSmart subscribers may fall into the top 20% of all similar organisations as they are able to identify skills gaps, target training investment, and report measurable productivity gains with a clarity that is otherwise out of reach.

“We couldn’t have achieved such marked levels of increased productivity without a total solution for skills analysis and improvement.”

Peter Taylor, Engineering Systems Manager, Tata Steel Projects, Manchester, UK.

While an organisation’s talent is a strategic priority, skills improvement is a functional requirement for improving team productivity and data quality when collaborating on AEC and BIM projects.

Using KnowledgeSmart to demonstrate BIM-readiness

At USCAD – a BIM and manufacturing industry consultant and one of the largest Autodesk Authorized Platinum Reseller Partners in the USA – the transparency afforded by KnowledgeSmart’s Revit skills assessment results is clear.  

“As firms are fighting hard to win new projects, many say they are “BIM ready” but few can truly prove they are “BIM Ready” without skills assessment results as proof to validate their claims.  Including ‘BIM’ on your resume is no longer a reliable indicator of competence; you have to back up your claims with hard facts.”

Jeff Rachel, Vice President, USCAD, Las Vegas, USA.

The US CAD team leads by example, using KnowledgeSmart skills analysis services to assess their own staff and to support their business case when pitching to supply professional services and training.

Thinking Outside of the Box

North American firm Stantec – a multi-discipline AE firm with 15,000 employees – has turned training on its head since adopting KnowledgeSmart.  Gone are the days of training staff to use software without first assessing their abilities; the process was too long winded and too expensive and in many instances quite unnecessary when a user already had strong CAD and BIM software abilities.

“We have named our strategy for learning and development ‘Flipping the Classroom’ because the process for skills improvement and assessment has been reversed.  Today, a user’s BIM skills are assessed using KnowledgeSmart before they register for any training courses.  We then use the results to analyse and recommend specific training modules to help the user fill in their knowledge gaps as identified by their KnowledgeSmart score.”

Jim Marchese, Corporate BIM Education Leader, Stantec, Philadelphia, USA.

As a bonus, Stantec leadership now enjoys better reporting insight into CAD and BIM productivity and skills;  using the KnowledgeSmart skills gap analysis to provide insight and a business case for continued training investment.

Using KnowledgeSmart Scores to Build a Business Case for Training

A2K Technologies is one of the largest Autodesk channel partners globally with offices throughout Australia, New Zealand and China.  A2K is also a KnowledgeSmart advocate:

“Training decisions are easier to make when informed by needs.  The days of filling classrooms with people to sit through a multi-day training course are numbered.  Using skills assessment services from KnowledgeSmart we are now able to tailor our training courses to their skill level.  Saving valuable time and budget for additional activities.”

Sean Twomey, ANZ Consulting Manager, A2K Technologies, Sydney, Australia.

Some firms are using their KnowledgeSmart assessment scores to build a business case for securing training investment.  By first demonstrating a need to train, the training investment is easier to secure.  Better still, post training assessments are a proof point for skills improvement and demonstrate measurable return on investment (ROI).

Plugging Skills Gaps via Bite-sized Training

As new software is released and adopted, upgrade training is required to maximise the benefit realised.  However, many teams cannot spare large chunks of time away from their desk when a project is active.

“Big-Gulp training isn’t easy to fund or organise:  It takes people away from project work for too long in one sitting, and it is disruptive to production workflows.  For Stantec as a large geographically distributed enterprise we find that ‘self-paced’ modular training makes more sense.  By first testing our staff to benchmark their skills we can very efficiently prescribe a learning development path which limits time away from the project and maximises the new skills learned.”

David Spehar, Corporate BIM Lead, Stantec, Stantec, Cleveland, USA.

By combining one of the many online self-paced learning environments with KnowledgeSmart, subscribers will increase their learning efficiency and reduce their training costs to spend more time delivering projects.

Training can be a Team Sport – But Not Always

At RTKL – a multi-discipline design practice with global presence – training is regarded as a group activity, often delivered via online technology to enable a very open and flexible forum for discussion.  

“Such group sessions can be very hard to manage effectively as there is invariably a delta between the stronger and weaker users which can leave some feeling overwhelmed while others may feel bored as the training lacks pace.”

Andrew Victory, Associate, RTKL, London, UK.

For RTKL however this is no longer an issue.  Using KnowledgeSmart’s online skills assessments, RTKL first assesses each user’s skills before grouping users by ability for training.  And as HR owns the training budget – allocating it as needs demand – KnowledgeSmart helps to make the budget go as far as possible by benefitting the neediest for maximum training ROI.

Playing the Long-Game and Trusting KnowledgeSmart Scores

HOK – a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm with a network of 24 offices on three continents – is now in its 4th year with KnowledgeSmart and has taken its time to build up a depth of knowledge through annual skills assessments.

“The whole team is now able to trust the KnowledgeSmart assessments and results to clearly connect skills improvement to training investment.  We have learned lots of back-end lessons using KnowledgeSmart, most notably, we have realised how and where we can improve productivity and profitability for the whole company.”

David Ivey, Building Smart Manager, HOK, Chicago, USA.

Today annual skills assessment results indicate areas which require improvement and bite-size training courses are arranged through the “HOK University” – a global learning initiative setup for all HOK staff to improve skills in all work-related areas including CAD and BIM software.

Training Content Providers use KnowledgeSmart Score to Improve their Own Offerings

White Frog offers strategic educational planning when adopting BIM technology and workflows and works with AEC firms to select, refine, and apply standards and protocols for BIM use prior to adoption.  Generally all training programs embrace AEC Standards and where necessary include other international standards such as those from the USA including LEED, AIA, etc.

“We offer the opposite of ‘BAG’ training (Basic, Advanced, Good Luck!).  We start by assessing all existing Revit users with KnowledgeSmart before they embark on a rolling Revit learning program.  We also use KnowledgeSmart to inform our own developments.  By reviewing test results from our customers we can sometimes identify areas of our own training materials and processes that need to be improved.  For instance if some questions never get a strong score it may be because there are improvements required to our service delivery and training course creation.  So we use those test results to improve our own offerings.”

Paul Woddy, Technical Director, White Frog, Shrewsbury, UK.

Before adopting KnowledgeSmart, White Frog reviewed other skills testing solutions but found them all wanting in one way or another.  Some offered no randomisation of questions while others were missing robust analysis and insight tools.  For the BIM experts at White Frog, KnowledgeSmart was the only complete solution.

Using KnowledgeSmart Services to Maximise the Value of Software and Training Subscriptions

Tata Steel Projects (TSP) – a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy working on rail, nuclear, security, energy, power and construction – is a mixed Bentley and Autodesk shop that has an Open Access agreement with Bentley for software procurement.  TSP tested the skills of every single user in their organisation via KnowledgeSmart and then analysed the results to identify skills gaps/trends and build custom learning paths to streamline access to rich learning resources in Bentley LEARN including online videos, tutorials, virtual classroom, etc.

“One year later, after completing targeted training, our retest scores are 30-40% higher; providing substantial return on investment (ROI).  We couldn’t have achieved these levels of improvement without a total solution for skills analysis and improvement.”

Peter Taylor, Engineering Systems Manager, Tata Steel Projects, Manchester, UK.

KnowledgeSmart is now central to TSP’s talent strategy.  All future assessments will be administered by HR and tied in with annual appraisals for continued skills improvement.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Assembling an “All-Star” Team

According to the Harvard Business Review, “…evidence from a variety of industries suggests that star employees outperform other employees by a country mile”.  Indeed in their 2013 article ‘Making Star Teams Out of Star Players’ the HBR wrote: “When it comes to an organization’s scarcest resource—talent—the difference between the best and the rest is enormous. In fields that involve repetitive, transactional tasks, top performers are typically two or three times as productive as others.”  KnowledgeSmart subscribers agree.

 “We know we’ve hired super stars when they score highly on KnowledgeSmart.  We also know that we can plug super stars into any team and they’ll increase team productivity.”

Peter Taylor, Engineering Systems Manager, Tata Steel Projects (TSP), Manchester, UK.

Taylor is responsible for reviewing emerging software offerings as he develops and maintains the strategy for best use of software on TSP projects. 

Being ‘KnowledgeSmart’ when resourcing Projects 

At Stantec – a multi-discipline AE firm with 15,000 employees – KnowledgeSmart skills analysis improves insight for management when comparing skills, knowledge, and performance across project teams.  Stantec also uses KnowledgeSmart to improve the productivity of teams and by balancing team skills.  

 “Where a team is already resourced, we use KnowledgeSmart scores to ‘Re-shuffle the deck’ so that we may better position people to maximise the effectiveness of their contributions.  For Stantec this ability to ‘course correct’ teams and individuals delivers increased efficiencies.”

 Jim Marchese, Corporate BIM Education Leader, Stantec, Philadelphia, USA.

It’s not just AEC firms who benefit by resourcing projects with the best talent.  HBR states that the best developer at Apple is at least nine times more productive than the average software engineer at other technology companies.

Daily Decisions Should be Data Driven

At A2K – one of the largest Autodesk channel partners globally with offices throughout Australia, New Zealand and China – they recognise that the world has changed.   They claim that with 20-20 insight into software skills, project team leaders can now resource projects with greater levels of certainty for higher quality outcomes.  

 “With customer loyalty programs gathering data about our every purchase and with Amazon predicting what we are ‘likely’ to ‘want’ to buy in future, BIG DATA has changed how we interact and behave.  In much the same way we can now use KnowledgeSmart BIM skills assessment results to remove emotion from the project team resourcing process, to guarantee the best outcomes.”

 Sean Twomey, ANZ Consulting Manager, A2K Technologies, Sydney, Australia.

Twomey is not alone; “Old school subjective assessments are unreliable.” explained Lonnie Cumpton, Senior Director of Professional Services at US CAD.  “Such assessments are mere opinions unsupported by facts.  And when the opinion is wrong it very often proves to be “an extraordinarily expensive way to do business.”  He concluded.

 Informed Inter-Team Mobility Delivers Productivity Gains

AT RTKL – a multi-discipline design practice with global presence – KnowledgeSmart is being used to make smarter, more well-informed data-driven decisions about people’s software skills when resourcing project teams.  

 “HR is involved in the process of project resourcing when new project teams are assembled.  HR knows ‘why’ people were hired and retains a high-level view of the firm’s talent base.  At RTKL, the nature of project-centric resourcing determines that individuals are moved from one project team to another as the workflow rises and falls across the project lifecycle.”

 Andrew Victory, Associate, RTKL, London, UK.

HOK agrees.  “HOK is committed to making sure every team member’s skills and knowledge are as deep and as broad as can be to streamline the project resourcing process.”

 Even Super Stars Need to Train

Back at Stantec, the HR department recognises that super stars are not ‘born’ they are ‘developed’.  From years of experience, Stantec knows that world-class talent of all kinds will multiply the productivity and performance advantages of an all-star team.

 “By providing JIT training we are making it easier to resource projects.  We can select the right people for a given project based on their domain skills and using KnowledgeSmart skills assessments we can identify and eliminate skills gaps by completing targeted ‘small sip’ training modules.”

Susan Clark-Serediuk, HR Leader, Stantec, Toronto, Canada.

In this way Stantec is gradually assembling a series of all-star teams.

HBR’s key takeaway

 “Companies that are good at managing “A” players keep comprehensive, granular data on where their people are currently deployed, what those people do, how good they are in their current roles, and how transferable their skills may be.”

KnowledgeSmart companies use that information to continually improve their staffing resources and to deploy them more effectively.