Resource planning

To the path of growth with competencies – both as a company and as an employee

Toni Uimonen
Toni Uimonen
Advisor

Different companies have a wide range of expertise, some of which is visible every day. However, some of the expertise may be hidden from project leaders, HR, and upper management. There might be a constant need for a certain type of expertise, while some expertise may even be wasted if suitable projects are not available. So, how do you get the hang of the skills of the employees?

Figuring out the skills and the goals of the employees

We have listened to our customers and gotten a lot of new ideas on how different skills could be incorporated into everyday resourcing. In Silverbucket, competency mapping starts by building different categories that can be useful in current and future projects. In an IT company, a category can be, for example, “languages” or “programming languages”.

Different competencies are created under the “languages” category, let’s say Finnish, Swedish, English and German. “Programming languages” could include Java, C++, and Python, depending on the company's projects. The company can define the categories and competencies according to its needs. Categories can also have subcategories. Such a bunch of categories is called a company’s competency hierarchy.

Once the competencies have been defined, different skill levels are entered into Silverbucket. The levels can range from 0 to 5, for example. An employee's Swedish skills can be at level three, for example, and Java skills at level five. Once employee's skills are identified, they can be updated as the skills develop. Little by little, Silverbucket becomes a valuable HR tool combined with efficient resourcing. A path to personal growth is being built for the employee. At the same time, the entire company's skill set can be found in one place.

In addition, so-called target levels can be set into Silverbucket. An employee may currently speak English at level two, but the goal is to raise the competence to level four. Targets can be defined together, for example in a regular development discussion. The progress is easy to monitor. The approach is quite people-oriented, and following your own growth becomes meaningful.

Skilled experts for projects – quickly and efficiently

Projects have different needs – for example, the need to fulfill a certain expert role. With the help of Silverbucket, you can find employees with just the right kind of skills; you might be in a need of, for example, a Swedish-speaking architect. Combinations can be more complex as well. A company may need a programmer who speaks German and Java or Python. With the help of Silverbucket, the right kind of expert can be found in the blink of an eye.

Ideally, an employee is able to develop his or her own skills in project work. The employee can hope to gain more experience in using English, for example. In this case, the company can help this expert to get involved in English-speaking projects. At its best, therefore, the project will get just the right kind of expertise, and employees are allowed to do projects in accordance with their own competence targets, as well. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Once the competencies have been assessed, the target levels for the employees have been set, and the employees have been allocated to current and future projects, the workload for different skills can be assessed. Are certain type of skills constantly overloaded? If so, do we need to recruit more Swedish speakers? Or should we train our current employees for some completely new skills? Are there no suitable projects available for some of our experts? If so, should we target our sales according to these available skills? Silverbucket helps to find answers to these questions. In this way, the competencies of the employees can really be led from the top level of the entire company, from a bird's eye view.

When to start using Silverbucket’s competencies and for what kind of companies does it work?

If your company is brand new in using Silverbucket, you may want to start resourcing at the project level first. Once the basics of resourcing are in order, the use of Silverbucket can start in the field of competencies. Like this, it is much more agile to start using the tool rather than trying to figure out all the features of Silverbucket at once.

Silverbucket's competencies section is useful for companies of all sizes. The more employees there are whose work needs to be resourced, and the greater the range of skills needed in projects is, the greater the benefit of the tool, of course. 

Many companies still have the traditional Excel as a main resourcing tool. In addition, the HR may have a separate tool in use for the employee skills. The tools of resourcing and HR often don’t talk to each other, and a huge amount of information about the competence of employees is wasted on a daily basis. However, Silverbucket combines these two tools. The strength of Silverbucket comes from combining resourcing and project management with the employees’ skills, desired skills, and abilities. This is a huge and a completely unique benefit for companies.

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