Proper skills management within a project aims to provide the project with the appropriate resources. If the required resources do not exist in this way, it is necessary to develop or qualify employees for their corresponding roles in the project. Skill management can also be used to improve the search for suitable employees and thus ensure optimized personnel deployment. In addition, skills management is used for strategic project planning within the framework of project portfolio management and for the needs-oriented further development of the company’s own employees for targeted qualification as team members. A prerequisite for skills analysis is transparency and the comparison of the skills of individual employees with the target requirements profile.
In order to be able to optimally staff a project to be worked on, it is first necessary for the project managers to determine which skills the individual team members must have. This is the only way to ensure that the goals of the project are achieved with a sufficiently high level of quality and that the customers are satisfied. And satisfied customers are a guarantee for future growth, as they will also have future projects implemented at this company. The process is divided into four steps:
- Step 1 – Definition of the required skills
First of all, the skills required for the task processing must be defined. These are based on the descriptions of the individual work packages that make up the project structure.
- Step 2 – Determination of the necessary skill quality
In the second step it is determined how well the team member must master his skills. Is the knowledge of a beginner, an experienced employee sufficient or is expert knowledge necessary? Clues are experience and the ratings of theoretical knowledge..
- Step 3 – Candidate search by self-assessment
Once the required competencies and the level of skills have been determined, the company searches for suitable employees for the project team. A practical means of doing this are questionnaires in which employees are asked to perform a self-assessment.
- Step 4 – Comparison of target/actual profiles
Finally, based on the data, it is determined whether all required skills are available in the company. If it turns out that not all skills are available in the company, they must be covered from external sources.
In this process, it makes sense to put together a competency model for the project consisting of a skills catalog and all the required competencies. This is not just about technical competencies; methodological and social competencies as well as the personality of the employees should also be taken into account at the same time. The professional and character traits of each employee can thus be recorded and make the selection for the next project easier, since professional and personal qualifications are already recorded.
Before skill management is established in the company, it is necessary that all employees do not see the specification of their professional and personal qualifications as a value judgement, but rather that they are raised in order to staff projects in a targeted and motivating manner. This ensures that the project can be implemented successfully. In addition, the survey of the skills of all employees can also be used to determine which missing skills can be promoted through targeted training measures and to close existing skill gaps. Recording the available skills of all employees in a company-internal knowledge database ensures that projects are optimally staffed and provides the HR department with valuable insights for further personnel planning and development.