Every resource manager knows that it’s not just about having the correct capacity for a project, but it’s having the right resource for the job. That’s where skills management comes into play. With it you can ensure that you have the best person, with the necessary skill set for whatever you have planned. See how to tackle this with the help of Ganttic.
What is Skills Management?
Skills management is the process of identifying, assessing, developing, and utilizing the skills of an organization's workforce. The process involves determining the skills needed to achieve organizational goals and objectives, identifying the skills that already exist within the organization, and developing strategies to fill any gaps.
This makes skills management crucial not only for HR departments, but also for project management, resource management, and capacity planning. That’s because project managers must have a clear understanding of the skills and expertise required for each task within their projects and the portfolio as a whole. And from there, manage the allocation of resources to ensure that the right people with the right skills are available at the right time.
Tools for Skills Management
A simple skill matrix can be completed in a spreadsheet. Or you can go all out with specialized skills management software for HR purposes. However, resource management software makes the process quicker to implement and easier to update. Plus, it allows you to put those skills to work. By presenting your staff’s skills alongside their availability, work capacity, and what it costs to the business.
Already have a skill matrix in Excel? You can import your existing resources and their data fields into Ganttic using our CSV template. Learn how to do it here.
A Skills Management Process in Ganttic
Here’s the steps for an effective skills management process, as well as the features and functions to get started in Ganttic.
Step 1. Identify & Catalog your Team’s Skills
The first step is to identify the skills needed to achieve the organization's goals and objectives. This involves analyzing the job roles within the organization and determining the skills required to carry out the work effectively.
Real Life Use Case
This is achievable in Ganttic by using Resources and Resource Data Fields, space to add any kind of unique data to the resource pool.
Put it into Action
Need to know! In Ganttic your Resources are the who’s - who will take on a job, who is qualified for specific tasks. But in order to find out who’s the best fit, you need a way to differentiate one person from another. By using Resource Data Fields you can outline and highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and other vital information within the resource pool.
Adding Skills via Resource Data Fields
The Resources you add to Ganttic are not only the ones who will be assigned jobs and completing tasks, they are also containers for all your team’s skills and abilities. That’s why it can be easier to start building your planner by first outlining the skills your resource pool will eventually have.
Certifications, background and experience, software knowledge - all this is defined by which Resource Data Fields you add.
Here’s some of the best Resource Data Fields for skill management:
- List - Create a field with a dropdown list of values, for example: primary skills, secondary skills, etc. Or use a specific skill for each data field you create with the values ranging from 0 (none) - 5 (expert), for example: project management knowledge, meeting effectiveness, Word, etc.
- Check - A binary box that can be checked yes or no, for example: external, Java Script, Power Point
- Text - A text box of different sizes. Insert any text, numbers or special characters. For example: a brief description of the person, or a mention of the current trainings they’re attending, or all their skills separated by commas.
Adding Resources to Ganttic
Once you’ve outlined the strengths, abilities, and knowledge of the resource pool, you can begin to add Resources and mark their qualifications.
The easiest way to add a lot of Resources is via the Resource List. Use it to populate your planner with all the people and team members you have on hand. If you already have a list of resources in another program or Excel, you can also download our CSV template to quickly add them all in one go in bulk.
Step 2. Assess & Visualize Current Skills
The next step is to assess the skills of the organization's workforce. This involves evaluating the skills that employees currently possess and applying a visual aid to see how it's all laid out.
Real Life Use Case: Skills Matrix
A skills matrix is a commonly used method to identify the skills and competencies of employees within an organization. It provides a visual representation of the skills required for various job roles and the skills possessed by employees. Resource management software can be used to create a skills matrix that can be easily updated and accessed by managers and employees. Here's how one can look in Ganttic.
Put it into Action
Assign Data Field Values to Resources
Once your Data Fields are defined and your Resources are added or imported to the planner, you can begin to assign values to the Data Fields. Open the Resource Edit Dialog to select, check, or type in the kind of skills and abilities each Resource possesses.
Step 3. Allocate the Right Resources to Tasks and Projects
After you know the kind of skills your workforce retains, you can begin to allocate the best people for your projects and tasks. Doing so not only helps the work be completed in a more timely manner, but it can improve employee morale and motivation. That’s because employees who feel that their skills are valued and that they have opportunities for professional development are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work.
Real Life Use Case: Match Resource Skills to Project Demands
When deciding who to schedule for any given project you can use Project Data Fields to define that Project’s requirements.
If required skills are different for each Project’s Tasks, you can break it down even more at the Task level. Achieve this by adding Task Data Fields to each of the Projects’ Tasks.
After making your work-breakdown structure you can begin to assign Resources for each of these Tasks.
Cross reference what skills and certifications a Project or Task needs by adding filters to return Resources which possess those that match.
On top of the Resource Data Filters, availability filters show you who can take on the job. And can reduce a large resource pool to only the ones available at the moment.
Read on: Here's a step-by-step guide to matching resource skills to project demands.
Put it Into Action
Demonstrate Requirements via Task and Project Data Fields
- List - Create a field with a dropdown list of values, for example: rigging, supervisor, primary skills, secondary skills, etc.
- Check - A binary box that can be checked yes or no, for example: special certification needed, billable, etc.
- Text - A text box of different sizes. Insert any text, numbers or special characters. For example: a brief description of the task, or all the necessary skills separated by commas.
- User - Link a User to a Task or Project, for example, supervisor, maintenance, or field worker, etc.
Create a View
A View is a segmented piece of the larger plans. But instead of seeing all your resources and tasks, you are able to tailor each View for a specific purpose.
In Ganttic you can create an unlimited number of Views which can be tailored to fit the person doing the planning and allocation. The View you use and create all depends on the preferred scheduling style of an organization or individual manager.
Need help creating a View? Book a demo and our customer experience team can walk you through the process.
View of Required Skilled for Tasks
For example, a project manager is looking to book resources for a specific type of Task, one that requires special certifications or skill sets.
From a View, add the Filters which match those Task types.
This will return all assigned and unassigned Tasks that have those skill requirements.
To narrow down your resource pool you can add availability filters on top of these Task filters. As well as Resource filters that match your Tasks’ criteria.
Hide extra info and even placeholder Tasks (the tasks which don’t match the filter criteria) from the View’s Visibility Settings. Leaving you with a trimmed down View for easier booking.
View of Skilled Resources
If you prefer to assign Tasks directly to the best fitting Resources, then you can create another type of View. In this one, add only Resource Filters to return those that match your specifications.
If you have multi-skilled resources and you’re using Text-type Data Fields, use the search function and type in the matching terms you want included.
Or exclude certain terms with the Is Not function.
Additional availability filters can be used in conjunction. This will narrow down the pool of resources to those with the capacity to take on the new tasks.
New Tasks can be scheduled directly to the people who are available.
Step 4. Tracking and Developing the Most In-Demand Skills
An effective skills management strategy is not only knowing the kind of skills your workforce already possesses, but spotting the areas where they can be improved. Once the skills gaps have been identified, you can begin to develop strategies to address them.
Real Life Use Case: Resource Availability Call Sheet
If your work changes from one day to the next, ensure that you have necessary backup at the ready. In reports you can make a daily (or weekly) call sheet that can be printed or emailed out with available workers ready to step in whenever you need them.
This gives you a clear list for who is available on that specific day and what machine, product or area they can cover. As well as showing the areas where certain skills are needed and may need to be developed for future jobs.
Putting it into Action
A chart can give a quick visual of which Task and Project skills are most in demand in the immediate future. That way you can pinpoint areas where upskilling is necessary, new training programs should be implemented, or where freelancers and outsourced labor can step in for a time.
A report can help see which kinds of resources are used the most. By combining utilization % and different skill data fields, you’ll get a rundown of which Resources are being scheduled more often. This can help decide the next steps of your skill management strategy.
Step 5. Monitor your Strategy
Skills management requires input from lots of different people. Whether it’s your project managers tracking their projects and resources, your HR department updating new skills and certifications, or your staff doing it themselves. In order to ensure that you’re keeping all your resource skills up to date, it may require that you have multiple people across numerous departments doing just that.
Real Life Use Case: Add and Invite Users in Bulk
Once you send them the invitation you’re giving everyone the chance for a crystal clear picture of the skill sets your workforce already has, and the specific requirements that each project may eventually need. Helping those doing the upskilling and recruitment where the skill gaps can be found.
Putting it Into Action
Restrict User Rights
All account Administrators and Owners can adjust the permission settings for all regular Users. With these rights, specify if you want to grant users limited access to just certain resource information. Or even allow the people behind your Resources to update just their own data fields. Useful if they improved a skill or received a new certification, and you want your planner’s data to reflect the latest info.
Keep Plans Secure When Users Leave
If your skills management strategy requires more help than you have at the moment, hiring freelancers and short-term workers is always an option. When this happens and their contract has finished, you can ensure your future plans are secure with Ganttic’s security features. From User Security, you can manually change and reset passwords. And once a freelancer’s work or contract ends, Admins and Owners can simply delete their accounts.
After everything is planned, ensure that no one is overworked and overburdened in the process. Read more about tracking utilization with your Ganttic planner. As well as some tips on capacity management.
And if you’re ready to try out skills management in Ganttic for yourself. Sign up for a free trial.