One of the first requirements of building an effective team that consistently delivers results is having dynamic team members with the right skill set. This means having the right number of people with the right skills working on your projects at the right time.
For instance, if you’re building a new app to manage meeting hall bookings in your building, you need people skilled in front-end and back-end development, API integration, data modeling, quality analysis, quality control, and root causes analysis. You don’t need every employee to be skilled in all these areas; instead, you need a team comprised of individuals skilled in different areas who, together, can leverage their individual skills and contribute collectively to the success of your project.
So, how do you know if the people in your team have the required skill set to complete your projects? Conduct a skill-gap analysis. A skill-gap analysis helps you identify the gaps in subject matter expertise among your team members. Additionally, performing a skill-gap analysis helps you:
1. Strategically plan projects, including budget, resource, and technology requirements.
2. Determine the need for additional training or an increased workforce to bridge the skill gap.
3. Increase productivity by aligning individual interests with project goals, giving team members an opportunity to hone their skills.
Here’s a simple technique to perform a skill-gap analysis. First, identify the category-wise skills required to complete a project; then, map team members against those skills based on their proficiency levels. To determine proficiency levels, look at the average number of story points completed by each team member in various categories. You should be able to get this data (story points completed by each user) from your project management application.
The report below gives you a high-level overview of your team members’ proficiency across various task categories.
Each team member is associated to a particular bubble color, and the size of the bubble indicates their expertise in the respective category.
You can see from the illustration above that for certain task categories, such as API integration, there are people available across various expertise levels to handle complex, mid-level, and simple tasks. However, for certain task categories such as root cause analysis (RCA) and data modeling, there aren’t enough people to handle mid-level and simple tasks, respectively.
This means that simple and mid-level tasks in these categories have to be assigned to highly skilled people. This might not be an effective use of their time or skills. A good practice is to ensure even distribution of skill sets across all major categories.
Typically, a well-balanced team should have the perfect blend of specialists (people with unique skills to do the heavy lifting) and generalists (people with a wide array of skills who can work on many interdisciplinary tasks). This will ensure that your team has the right balance of people to handle both simple and complex tasks. However, if you’re working on a complex project that requires more specialists who are highly skilled in specific categories, you can tailor this report to cater to your project’s skill requirements.
Once you’ve identified a skill-gap, the next step is to train your team to fill those gaps. Impart internal training or engage the help of industry professionals to conduct workshops, training sessions, and seminars; provide the latest reading material including expert articles, journals, and publications. Create a mentorship program so that highly skilled team members can transfer their knowledge to other team members.
The report shown above was built using Analytics Plus, ManageEngine’s business intelligence and IT analytics application. Analytics Plus integrates out of the box with project management applications such as Jira Software along with other popular IT software like ServiceNow, Zendesk, and a number of applications from ManageEngine’s suite of IT monitoring and management applications.
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