Skills Management in a 2.0 Light

November 3, 2009 — Leave a comment

Now that we’ve got an e2.0 platform up and running we’re looking at our next big phase in turning everything social:  integration with (or replacement of) other enterprise systems.  One of the first that comes to mind is our Skills DB.  The Skills DB does what it sounds like – it’s a database of skills.  However, now that each employee has a social profile on this new e2.0 platform, a portion of which contains skills information, what’s the point of having a separate system that has essentially become redundant?  Additionally, retiring an enterprise system like the Skills DB would certainly help the e2.0 business case.

In the 1.0 world, an employee was required to access the Skills DB once a year and update his/her skills with ‘level of experience’ and ‘last time used’ information; afterwards the employee’s supervisor would log into the system and validate the information.  In the 2.0 world, that process becomes unnecessary.  It will be important for employees to have a current listing of their skills for search and ‘recommendation’ reasons.  But an employee’s skills or expertise will be determined in other ways.  If your e2.0 system is designed to be put in the knowledge worker’s workflow, their profile will be dynamically generated by the work they do:  the documents they author, the ideas they generate, the discussions they participate in, the artifacts they tag, the questions they answer, the reviews their peers generate through feed-back loops.

Now, when a hiring manager is looking for a software engineer with .NET experience, instead of going to an isolated Skills DB (where the info might be a year old), all they have to do is a quick search in the e2.0 tool.  Immediately they will be given much richer, up-to-date, information on all the employees with that skill set.  Plus, the hiring manager will be able to validate the claimed skill by looking through the activity of the employee, the projects they’re currently working on, the feedback from peers, etc…

Some takeaways:

  • We can retire an enterprise system – good, bottom line-savings there
  • Employees no longer have to compartmentalize logging their skills as a separate part of their day, it’s now in the workflow – good, productivity gain, current skills info maintained
  • We’ve completely revamped the way we manage our skills and look for talent to fill internal job req’s.   – process improvement, if we can fill reqs faster, we can get to market faster
  • ‘Work’ is now out in the open to be judged  – wow
  • Peers can provide feedback in an open, public forum – geez (are we ready for this?), skill validation can now be vetted as opposed to the opinion of one person
  • Information (Skills DB) previously accessible/searchable only by hiring managers is now out there in broad daylight for anyone to see/search/use – empowering, organizationally flattening, potential for emergent outcomes.
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