Monday, 17 December 2018

New BIM360 Assessment Collection in Development



We have recently had our annual technical workshop in Bath and future library content is always on the agenda.

Taking into account the industry trend towards software as a service and cloud-based solutions, we are very excited to announce that we will shortly be commencing on a new project to develop a new assessment library that will cover the Autodesk BIM 360 portfolio of services as well as the required workflows linking the design authoring software to the services.

As the AEC (architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry requires a flexible configuration to cater for multiple disciplines collaborating across sites, companies and geographical locations, it requires design tools that can support such setup.

BIM 360 covers all aspects of a construction project, enabling project managers, subcontractors, designers, architects, and other construction management professionals to have total control over the processes and phases of their project. From conceptualization and design all the way to the commissioning and handover, BIM 360 has all the solutions and the tools to help you and your team perform to your optimum best.

The below list of features will help guide us on developing this new content but we will also be focusing on assessing a user's knowledge of best practice workflows.













  • Quality and safety operations
  • Design reviews
  • Work assignment and tracking
  • Project control
  • Real-time project status
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Documentation
  • Full project visibility
  • Single project repository
  • Issue management
  • Construction safety
  • Change visualization
  • Deliverable coordination
  • Design collaboration
  • Multi-discipline coordination
  • RFIs and submittals
  • Controlled work sharing
  • Quality management
  • Document control
  • BIM coordination
 If you want to give any input as this new assessment collection take shape please feel free to email us here.
 
Other titles coming soon are:

  • MicroStation Connect / AECOsim Connect
  • Newforma advanced
  • Revit Structure Advanced

KnowledgeSmart Skills Matrix Update



With the new KnowledgeSmart skills matrix tool (currently under development) you will be able to capture the Qualifications, Certifications and Skill Levels of your staff in defined topics.

“Skills” is a collective term for an individual’s knowledge, qualifications, certifications and abilities.  The Skills Record is populated from a Skills Survey, which is built using the Survey tool.
Surveys can easily be created which are purely Skills related.  Skills specific Modules are assembled from the Skills Library questions. The construction of the Survey can be related to the role of the User.  This way a Designer may receive a different Skill Survey compared to a Project Manager

You will have the ability to issue multiple Skills Surveys. For example, one on Engineering Software Skills, one on Microsoft software, one on Business Skills, etc.

This information will be used to,
1.    Search for staff with specific Skills; required by the business for project, mentoring or training activities,
2.    Identify strengths and weaknesses in staff Skill levels. This should inform training needs, and ensure training investments are made in the correct area

The benefits of the KnowledgeSmart skills matrix will stretch from the individual to the team, the organization and even to external clients.

So just where will you start? Identifying the core set of skills your project demands or team needs is a fundamental step to any skills matrix process.

When creating your list, include:
  • Current skills or experience: The skills or experience that your team members use today to perform their role.
  • Future skills or experience: Skills or experience that your team will need in the future as you plan to use new approaches or tools.

The first phase is then to issue a skills survey whereby you ask the individual team members to provide feedback as to how they rate themselves on these skills.

There are a number of different scales available but the most common one seems to be a 5-point scale



We hope to give you a little flexibility in designing your own scale.

Your skills defined in the first phase will help you structure your actual competency assessment.

This would be the skills assessment process already in place within your KnowledgeSmart admin dashboard.


The third phase is an interesting one and often overlooked. A KnowledgeSmart Skills Survey question can also be used to get information on the User’s interest level in a Skill.  For example, a question on Revit Architecture competency could be followed by one on Revit Architecture level of interest, and/or desire for training.When people enjoy what they are doing productivity tends to rise speedily.

Survey options here might include the following two options:
  •     No interest in applying this skill or knowledge
  •     Interested in applying this skill or knowledge
We hope to have a way to allow a User’s Manager to approve the User’s self rating. A Skills Record will be created and stored for each KS User.  It will be accessible though the KS Admin and User Dashboard, and through a Team Page or Dashboard for a Manager. Once this information is available the results can be populated on a matrix. Users will be able to log in to update Skills Surveys or view Skills Survey results.

What we are hoping to achieve with the new development is to build a bridge between the above results and actual skills assessment results. We have found it very often that a user's understanding of his own skill level is very different from actual results. Managers will then gain new insight in looking at the combination of the assessment result as well as the skills survey.


From a reporting perspectice the outputs we hope to deliver include a Skills Matrix, People or Talent Finder, Heat Maps and related charts. And in light of our big focus on Microsoft PowerBI we will also make sure there is a PowerBI friendly export.

The better the data the better the insight. We will keep you updated but hope to have this development live within the first quarter of 2019.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Critical MS Excel Areas to Test – Prior to Hiring


I recently came across a great article by Kat Boogaard from GoSkills which goes through six critical things any Microsoft Excel user should know how to do.

1. Sorting Data
2. Removing Duplicate Data
3. Basic Math Functions
4. Freezing Panes
5. Date Functionality
6. Making the same change across worksheets

According to a course curriculum structured by the Macquarie University taught by Dr. Yvonne Breyer, Director, Learning and Teaching the following skills would be essential to master their beginners Excel Skills for Business Specialization:

1. Crucial navigational controls in Excel
2. Performing Calculations - formulas and functions
3. Excel Formatting Tools
4. Working with data - managing your spreadsheets
5. Optimising your spreadsheet for printing
6. Creating and modifying charts in Excel.

I am sure we can all agree that Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used business tools today and with it becoming increasingly important to isolate the data needed as fast as possible.

During a typical interview, the panel might prompt the candidate to elaborate on their current Excel skills and possibly examples of projects they have worked on. The response from the candidate is entirely subjective and based on self-perception.


Imagine you could include a well-designed skills assessment as part of the evidence you gather to evaluate for feasibility, acceptability, and desirability. A skills assessment based on these 6 critical areas highlighted by Kat Boogard and Macquarie University?

Validity

KnowledgeSmart skills assessments are valid: they measure what they are supposed to measure. Our Microsoft Excel (amongst other) assessments offer two levels, i.e., fundamentals and advanced. From the results of these assessments, an employer or potential employer would easily be able to ascertain who has a good understanding of the program and who doesn't. Two elements are reported namely score (accuracy) and elapsed time (the time the candidate took to complete the assessment, module or specific question). 

Reliability

Authored by industry experts, our assessments are reliable and consistent which means any candidate can easily be benchmarked against current employees or candidates. 

Discrimination

The one area that I particularly like is that independent skills assessments do not discriminate between people based on anything other than their ability to demonstrate and apply their skills.


The next time you are facing a possible new hire consider including an independent skills assessment as part of your decision matrix analysis. KnowledgeSmart skills assessments are entirely customisable which means the assessment can be adapted to your exact requirements. There are also some unique datafields that allows administrators to personalise the background data captured.

So much more than a test score

You will not only gather great insight into the candidate's skills as far as accuracy and speed of working is concerned, but you will also be able to capture a valuable background data.


Below is an example of how your KnowledgeSmart Results and Background Data can then be visualised to be placed onto a Microsoft PowerBI Dashboard if needs be. Group the background data most critical for your company,

Comparing Candidates

With all this information readily available you would also be able to plan inductions plan a lot more effectively once you have made your selection.

Microsoft PowerBI KnowledgeSmart Visualisations - Example Dashboard

Don't just take our word for it. Have a look below at what JohnsonBIM have to say.

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

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The #1 Question to Ask When Considering a Training Initiative


I am sure we are all in agreement that your employees, your people, are the company's most important asset. Sadly many companies place a lot of emphasis on their recruitment and interview process, and the investment stops there. Most people are expected to just get on with it. Employees only meet expectations when they are clear about what's expected and connected to the short to medium-term goals for the company.

It is, of course, true that some companies are very passionate about people development and training but get they tend to get lost in a sea of training content that managers subjectively believe their teams need to be trained on. Without focus, a quantifiable case study of why the training is mission critical right now, defined time frameworks and evident ROI's, the senior management team are not likely to sign off on any training plans anytime soon.

While training initiatives may ultimately contribute to a company's long-term success, which of them are critical to the short to medium term goals of the company.

Go through the proposed training plans and identify the ones that you believe will grow the knowledge with the power to make or break your company right now. 

Is the proposed initiative a nice to have or is it aligned with the goals and objectives the company has set for the next 3-12 months?

How critical is this training initiative for your company's success in the next 3-12 months? According to an interesting Randstad Survey, many employees are aware they need upskilling, but they are frankly not taking ownership of this. The survey reveals over a third of U.S employees have done nothing to upskill in the last 12 months, even though they knew it was important. The reasons survey respondents gave for not charging ahead with their own upskilling was as follows: 67 percent of U.S. employees say they feel they need more training and skills to stay up-to-date. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. employees say their employers have not offered and paid for anything related to upskilling. 40 percent of U.S. employees say they wouldn’t arrange for and pay out of their own pockets to upskill themselves. I would agree that employees need to take personal responsibility for their own upskilling but that employers must take more interest in enabling and encouraging them to do so.

Another insightful article worth a read is from the Harvard Review focusing on the fact that managers are not doing enough to upskill their employees for the future. This article advocates employees being invited to contribute to the process of identifying the knowledge, skills, and abilities they’ll need in the short and long run.

I would agree with a more collaborative approach, but this must always be underpinned with good objective data as employees opinions might not be precise. What we think we know and need, is sometimes very different, from our actual knowledge or what the business critically needs right now.


One such enabling tool is Degreed. Degreed is an education technology company that is engaged in enabling and recognizing professional and lifelong learning and skills. The platform allows users to learn, develop and measure their skills. Degreed is free for individuals. An enhanced version, Degreed for Enterprise, connects internal learning and talent systems to global ecosystems of free, open and paid learning resources, and is available to organizations for a fee as a hosted cloud-based solution. I recently analyzed how KnowledgeSmart background and results data could integrate with solutions like Degreed, and it was an insightful exercise.


KnowledgeSmart also recently announced a new integration with Pinnacle Series. The integration between Pinnacle Series and KnowledgeSmart allows users to evaluate their skills and have a personalized learning path assigned to expand their knowledge. Identify skills gaps and work to close them with courses specifically designed for an individual's needs.


These type of tools can help empower companies to enable their teams to upskill while being able to report useful business metrics to justify budget spend and contribute to other strategic areas beyond training and development such as project resource management and future recruitment for example.

Let's circle back to that number one question you should ask when considering a training initiative.
How critical is this training initiative for your company's success in the next 3-12 months? If the answer is not a resounding yes then it is time to reconsider and befriend the KnowledgeSmart data query tool.


Monday, 30 July 2018

How do your users' Revit skills measure up?

5 Must-Know Revit Skills for Beginner Revit Users
Image Screenshot Source: http://blogs.autodesk.com/revit/
I came across a great article this morning written by Jeff Hanson called Five must-know Revit skills for beginners. Autodesk's content experience team has developed some valuable video content on the five must-know Revit skills for beginners.

The article identifies these skills as:
  • Trim and Extend Elements
  • About the Crop Region
  • Best Practices: Printing
  • About Curtain Wall Panels (Add a Door to a Curtain Wall)
  • Workflow: Select Fields for a Schedule
You can find the videos here.

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/collection/5-must-know-revit-skills

 This brings me to a couple of salient questions:

  • How does your users' measure up in terms of these skills?
  • Should they be spending valuable company time watching these videos at all?
  • Are there more relevant videos based on their skill gaps?
  • What percentage of people on your team do need more training on these topics?
  • What is the percentage skill gap amongst your users?
The only way to accurately and objectively answer the above questions is through a skills assessment process. Each user starts their Revit journey with a unique set of skills and knowledge, and a one-size-fits-all training policy is hardly ever appropriate.


Skills assessment and training go hand-in-hand - always!

So could skills testing help a company align the right training? Absolutely! KnowledgeSmart customers strategically use skill-based testing to identify learning needs, highlight areas of strength and expose areas of growth both before and after employment.

 So how did I create the visual above?

I analysed some of the KnowledgeSmart demo data based on question performance. I isolated all questions with training tags linked to the 5 skill areas the Autodesk article identifies and then sorted them in order of priority in Microsoft PowerBI. Based on my industry experience and the fact that these five skills were compiled from Autodesk customer data I agreed with Autodesk's findings that these Revit skills were important for users. Looking at my results data, it would appear that worksharing, view properties, detailing and worksets were priority areas for my group.

Next I can start thinking about slicing this data based on office location or perhaps based on some of the other valuable background data that KnowledgeSmart offers. But I will save that for another day.

Focus your time and efforts and assign training where it is needed most. Increase productivity and reduce project risk.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

KnowledgeSmart and the 6 Secrets of Project Resource Management

How can the KnowledgeSmart tools influence the process of allocating scarce resources among the various projects or business units in your company? 

According to the Thinking Portfolio team, there are 6 secrets to good project resource management.

There are of course many different types of resources in any project, e.g. people, machinery, materials, technology, property and anything else required to deliver the work. Many project plans also demand internal and external resources to be managed.

Here at KnowledgeSmart, we tend to focus on people, possibly one of most critical resources project managers have to manage.

KnowledgeSmart Tools and 6 Secrets of a Project Management Resource Plan


We have included our logo icon in the image above indicating where we feel the KnowledgeSmart tools can have influence.

Resource Estimation

Before you are able to do any kind of estimation you need understand your team's expertise and job responsibilities. The KnowledgeSmart skills assessments and customisable datafields can be great to gather this important data.

  Collection of Data

KnowledgeSmart Survey ToolThink critically about what information is needed. What data do you actually need, what data is known now, what data will be useful This will narrow down the data that needs to be captured. Is there additional data that might be better captured using the KnowledgeSmart survey tool or will you only use the skills assessments for now?


Don't just analyse your KnowledgeSmart results data. Remember your 5 unique datafields which can be customised to your requirements as well as the default background data KnowledgeSmart captures during the assessment process.

Once you have analysed your data think about how best to include it in your resource plan. With KnowledgeSmart being a cloud-based tool and working on all devices your team and you will be able to reflect, learn and repeat the process as many times as is needed.

A good resource plan

KnowledgeSmart Results BenchmarkingHaving an objective global view on the skill levels of your available resources can be very powerful in identifying potential pitfalls in project delivery and enable the introduction of productivity improvement measures necessary for the business to meet its strategic objectives.

The KnowledgeSmart data query tool, charts, and benchmarking tools can make a valuable contribution to your resource plan.


The KnowledgeSmart user profile area encourages engagement to make sure that all team members are aligned and working towards common objectives.

Schedule Development

Use your KnowledgeSmart results to influence your activity duration estimates. All results can be viewed based on score (accuracy) and elapsed time. If for example, you see your star user took 4 minutes to complete a question on detailing, this might help you estimate this part of the project schedule a bit more accurately. Consider grouping your results based on project teams as this will help you re-shuffle the teams based on project requirements as well as design urgent training interventions where it is needed most.

If you know the project requires certain aspects of the project to be delivered within a tight timeframe, you can allocate your top 10 users to this component for the critical days. Use the KnowledgeSmart Data Query Tool to filter to your top users within seconds. Allocate the right people to the right segments of the right projects based on actual skills.

 Negotiating for resources

When negotiating for resources, there are a few components that require consideration. The negotating parties might include your client, other project stakeholders or other functional managers within your organisation. In all cases, there might be differing opinions on project feasibility. There is no doubt that your negotiation skills will be tested. To negotiate about resources you need a clear understanding of the other party's needs and be able to clearly explain how you plan to meet those needs.

Having a solid understanding of the skill levels and skill gaps of the team behind you is indeed good ammunition.

 No more guesswork, data-driven decisions.

 Let KnowledgeSmart be one of the project resource management tools you can't live without.


Monday, 14 May 2018

The abounding value of KnowledgeSmart (Part 3)

Once you have done your analysis on the current status quo and formulated realistic, achievable goals and objectives, it is time to use your KnowledgeSmart data to help you get back on track.



This phase of strategic planning includes typically:
  • Developing supporting strategies and initiatives
  • Structuring action plans including resource plans
  • Deciding on the appropriate tracking systems
With the results analysis of your current resources in place, you can now quickly identify where new resources might be needed to support any growth plans. You can also make sure that you hire the right people for the right projects. You can start using your 'star users' easily identified from your KnowledgeSmart results to help support team members who need further training and development. Department managers can restructure their project teams according to skill level and project requirement using both the score and time aspects of your KnowledgeSmart results. You might even grow your competitive advantage by identifying unique resources or capabilities within your team that may be difficult for other organizations to emulate?

The efficacy of training/coaching and mentoring plans can be tracked by doing follow up assessments customised to the contents of those plans. These types of assessments are short and very useful. Training budgets are often tight, and with your KnowledgeSmart results, you can direct training only where it is needed and prioritise which teams should get assistance first. Monitor improvement in scores, time elapsed, improvement in self-rating scores and a reduced number of training requirements and personal skill gaps.

Bid for new projects with confidence knowing the team that is behind you will be able to deliver.

The KnowledgeSmart Tools deliver so much more than skill assessments and should instead be seen as an essential strategic management tool.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The abounding value of KnowledgeSmart (Part 2)

Following on from our previous post, let's consider the second strategic question.

Where to do want to be?













During this significant phase of strategic planning, a company can use their KnowledgeSmart assessment results combined with research on future trends and competitor analysis to formulate a series of positioning statements.

Review the valuable data collected in the last action.
  • What trends can be identified?
  • Do you spot any visible areas of weakness or strengths?
Look beyond just the assessment results in terms of score and elapsed time. Consider the additional data captured by KnowledgeSmart by default such as:
  • Primary learning method
  • Years of experience
  • Self-rating (this indicates confidence)
  • Frequency of use (this could help focus your training plans where it might have the most significant impact)
This step in strategy development  might also include:
  • Vision statement
  • Mission statement
  • Goals
  • Objectives
  • Positioning statements
KnowledgeSmart Assessment data can also be beneficial in helping companies formulate realistic, achievable goals and objectives.

Once companies have an objective measurement of the current situation, they can set more realistic achievable goals and objectives. Companies can even use KnowledgeSmart's internal or global benchmarks to influence their goal setting. Repeat assessments can assist with measuring interim outcomes as plans progress.

How will you align your teams with your strategic goals? Use your KnowledgeSmart data to restructure according to skill and productivity.

What are the roles and responsibilities going to look like? Use your assessment results to identify your star users and retain them through additional development and recognition. Focus learning just on what is needed and re-assess after training interventions to report a positive ROI.  Have confidence in your team when pitching for new projects.

No more guesswork. Reliable, objective, valuable data to influence this phase of strategic planning.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

An overview of the value of KnowledgeSmart

The abounding value of assessment and strategic data capture to drive: better recruitment, effective project resource planning, productive training and development plans as well as strategically focused human resource management teams.

The abounding value of KnowledgeSmart (3-part series)

KnowledgeSmart helps businesses calibrate the data they need to answer the 3 most important strategic questions for any business:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How can we get on track again?
Let's focus on the first question.
KnowledgeSmart strategic value
KnowledgeSmart and 'Where are we now' question
During an assessment KnowledgeSmart captures data that can, together with your results data, influence your analysis and strategic decision making. This data includes: Number of years experience, Primary Learning Method, Learning Country, Frequency of use 
Primary Industry/Discipline, Self-Rating Data, Primary Role and more. 
KnowledgeSmart User Data Capture
Additionally companies get to customise 5 unique datafields to capture further information that might be of value in filtering or grouping their results or users e.g.Project Team,Project Experience,Office Location,Certified (yes/no),Current Manager.
Filter KnowledgeSmart User Lists and Results
KnowledgeSmart Data Query Tool
Strategic planning is not only about having a clear direction to steer towards, but also about building resilience and agility to respond to change. KnowledgeSmart data can be an instrumental part of your environmental scan and evaluation of your current strengths and weaknesses.

Look out for part 2 soon.

Friday, 27 April 2018

New Test Title - Newforma Fundamentals

KnowledgeSmart's skills assessment library helps AEC businesses capture evidence of individual and corporate skills capability, across a wide variety of essential technical software titles.

This includes popular software products from major vendors, including Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Graphisoft, Oracle, Adobe and Microsoft.

One of the most popular requests in recent months has been to create assessment content for Project Information Management tool, Newforma.

This assessment looks at knowledge of using Newforma, across a range of core functions, and is written primarily with novice users in mind.

Modules covered include:

User Interface
My Projects
Email Management
Info Exchange
Transmittals

We will also be adding content for intermediate and advanced users, in the coming months.

R

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

BIM Implementation Workshop - 25 April - London

Evolve’s BIM Awareness Workshops help AEC businesses prepare and develop a strategy for adopting BIM on design and engineering projects. KnowledgeSmart will be talking about the importance of skills assessments, measuring BIM capability and capturing key business metrics to support a wider learning and development framework.

Through interactive one-day workshops presentations, best practice advice, discussion, and hands-on project-based exercises the Evolve team make sure AEC firms appreciate how BIM integrates with existing workflows and production of project deliverables. By the end of the day, teams will be able to identify key actions and prepare a company-wide, office or project BIM strategy.

DEFINING BIM
Assessing what Building Information Modelling really means and how it applies to your business.

BS1192
Understanding the basic requirements for data production & exchange.

PAS1192
Understanding the expectations of BIM Level 2 and managing projects.

THE PILLARS OF BIM
Additional documentation designed to align BIM methodologies across design teams.

COLLABORATION
Appreciating the issues of digital production and data exchange.

INTERNAL UNDERSTANDING
The education process; maintaining production while minimising risk.

NEXT STEPS
Formulating an action plan and the necessary strategies to implement BIM.

Join Evolve and KnowledgeSmart at Evolve's offices on WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL 2018 for this powerful opportunity to drive your BIM understanding and adoption.

Click here to book your place. KS customers and partners can enter the code KSBIM01 for a 20% discount at the checkout.

R

Thursday, 5 April 2018

KnowledgeSmart for Human Resources Management

This new video focuses on the tremendous benefits Human Resources Departments can expect from a KnowledgeSmart Subscription. 

How would it be if you could:
  • Liaise with team leaders to identify skills gaps and improve staff performance (backed up by inter-company and global benchmarks)
  • Interview and select job candidates and add reliable, objective skills assessment data to the selection criteria
  • Develop and implement more effective policies for performance management
  • Advise on pay and other remuneration issues, including promotion and benefits based on valuable metrics
  • Plan, and sometimes deliver, more effective training - including inductions for new staff based
  • Analyse training needs in conjunction with departmental managers using an intuitive, intelligent data query tool

 

KnowledgeSmart for Human Resources Management

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

10 Best Practice Tips for Writing Custom Assessments

KnowledgeSmart offers companies a flexible solution for assessing their teams.

Choose from a wide range of 'off the shelf' test titles, for design and engineering software or write your own custom assessments from scratch.

We have put together a handy guide with 10 best practice tips for writing custom assessments.

10 Best Practice Tips for Writing Custom Assessments - KnowledgeSmart

Friday, 9 March 2018

4 WAYS TO GARNER MANAGEMENT SUPPORT FOR YOUR SKILL ASSESSMENT PLAN



The most critical element of any skills assessment activity is to draw together support from management to drive the process and ensure a successful deployment and adoption.

Experience shows that it is helpful to gain support from the following key business areas:
  • Human Resources and Learning & Development
  • Technology and Building Information Modelling Management (to ensure alignment with company CAD / BIM standards and protocols e.g. BIM Level 2)
  • Senior Management
Without collective management support, your skills assessment activity might turn into a very frustrating, futile exercise.

Clarify the concept of skills assessment

People’s perception of skills assessment may be very different. Make sure that you define your interpretation of skill assessments, keeping in mind the priorities for each business division and ensuring alignment.

Once the definition is clarified it is substantially easier to explain the resulting benefits. Since most people have an adverse reaction when the word ‘test’ is mentioned, it is often a good idea to start with a quick comparison between ‘test’ and ‘assessment’. In most cases, the purpose of most tests is to assign a score. They offer limited diagnostic information to identify areas for improvement. Users often report feeling judged when tested and fear results might be used for other purposes than skills development.

To achieve the ultimate purpose of assessment - to improve learning and development - we need to answer not only questions on how our teams have learned but also questions on how they learned and why specific results occurred. Thus, an assessment is a far-reaching concept, focalising its efforts on learning, and serving the purpose of enhancement and development through a variety of ways.

Demonstrate the benefits

Firstly, your influencing skills will be tried and tested. There is no doubt that you will have to demonstrate how a skills assessment process can help your organisation with quantifiable benefits.

Linking the skills assessment benefits to a current strategic goal will undoubtedly go a long way towards helping to spark and keep management attention.

The most important benefits typically focus on the company’s recruitment process, efficient use of training budgets, productive skills development plans and optimised project resourcing. The challenges that each business division face might differ, but you will often find they are symbiotically interlinked.

In some cases, it is best practice to identify a ‘pilot’ group within the company first and develop a compelling internal case study before rolling out an assessment plan across your whole organisation. Stay aware of the tangible benefits of each business division. It is not productive for managers to continually fight fires. A successful assessment process shines a light on the root causes of some of the challenges faced. A successful skills assessment plan allows for the necessary course correction to be identified and implemented.

Catalyse improved management with improved data-driven decisions

Make sure you understand how your management team is measured and what their current strategic deliverables are. Connect the outcomes of the assessment programme to the overall metrics that management needs for reporting and to the overall strategic priorities and you will have a better chance of getting approval and buy-in. 

At RTKL – a global architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organisation – 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 based on reasons described by Andrew Victory, an Associate at RTKL, London, UK.

                              

HR now 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.”

Remember the financial benefits

Remember that a big priority for any successful management team is to show a good return on investment or prove financial benefits. Make sure you illustrate how the outcomes of your proposed assessment plan can lead to those management priorities. 

A quick cost-benefit analysis focusing on one of the following factors could be helpful:
  • the cost to employ inappropriate personnel over a 3-month period the cost of losing top performers (due to lack of recognition, support or training)
  • retaining an under-performing user (due to poor performance management)
  • project productivity gains due to identified performance improvements (being able to deliver on projects faster or with fewer resources

KnowledgeSmart is an invaluable tool for professionals that helps businesses capture knowledge on a wide range of software tools, workflows and, standards. More information is available at www.knowledgesmart.net