How to Build Your Skills Database

Author: Rachel Hentges

Actionable Insights from RMI’s 2019 Survey Series: Skills Tracking and Management

According to the latest research from the Resource Management Institute in their Survey, Skills Tracking and Management, it is apparent that many PMO leaders wish they knew how to deploy resources better for a resounding success. With that in mind, we put this infographic together for a quick view of the key takeaways and insights from the latest research report.

In order to utilise talent wisely, RMI Survey results point to three main actions to take in creating and using a skills database for the greatest impact:

    1. Define skills by role —This is practical, ground-level knowledge you will always need to master. But what many project managers tend to overlook or fail to capture is data including both hard skills and soft skills. While it is difficult to capture and catalogue, soft skills are just as important in resource allocation and can help differentiate your Professional Services or Enterprise IT teams to your stakeholders. This is helpful when assigning resources and especially in shifting resources around to ensure the right person is assigned to the job. In the survey, 40% of respondents had no skills definition by role, which leaves a gaping hole in the ability of those companies to achieve desired results.
    2. Ensure that regular updates by employees are part of your process – Lack of input into the challenges faced by your staff as well as the winning skills they bring to the table, is harmful and stifles growth for both employees and the company. Best practices for resource skills management and tracking indicates that this is a must for our PMOs, 44% still use ad hoc methods to keep up with their employees’ changing and growing skills. Even worse, 33% have no process at all. Whether you have a formal RMO leader or this is left to resource managers, it is essential to assure a two-way conversation that keeps your skills database both detailed and up to date.
    3. Make sure this employee skills database is validated regularly by management or subject matter experts - According to the survey, only 50% of respondents have a manager involved in the validation of employee inputs to ensure integrity of the data. While this data is inevitably subjective, self-reported data will always be more accurate if it is validated a second time. Furthermore, including resource interest and career path also helps keep a skills database that ensures project managers have the most pertinent information and can align the needs of the project.