Defining New Skills and Knowledge
The deliverables were exactly as agreed, delivered when agreed - a re-skilling plan to bridge the gap between competencies available today and those needed for the future for each one of the fifty staff. It was a big job that involved working over distance and across cultures.
The Client and Their Requirements
Our client was one of the Big Four accounting firms that had won, with TimelessTime’s help, a major contract for supply of services to a national telecommunications regulator, the Communications and Media Commision of Iraq. TimelessTime was on the team to provide a specialist understanding of the telecoms and human resources domains.
TimelessTime’s task was to determine if the skills and knowledge existing in the regulator were adequate considering the revised strategy and updated technology intended to be acquired. And if the skills and knowledge were deemed to fall below that needed, TimelessTime was to propose a programme of work to up-skill the existing fifty or so staff.
As TimelessTime’s John Berry commented, “The job was procedurally relatively straight forward. We had first to determine the skills and knowledge needed by the regulator in its intended new guise. Then we had to assess its present state. Those two done, we had to propose a re-skilling plan to bridge the gap.”
TimelessTime consultants then set about specifying the future activities with the intended new technology using a number of perspective views. Possibly the most useful was a set of comprehensive process models. Process models made simple the answer to the question ‘what staff competence and behaviour are needed to excel in this activity?’
As an example of the scope, the regulator made use of about thirty processes used by about twenty types of user. These processes spanned from fee calculation to license enforcement.
Whilst processes revealed many of the competencies, those revolving around strategy were not obvious. To capture these, TimelessTime consultants worked with the Big Four client to elaborate a strategy for the regulator. This strategy worked with the processes to determine the necessary policies and operational plans.
As John Berry continued, “To complete the picture, we developed a comprehensive set of strategy documents, capturing policies and plans. Those worked with the processes to yield a complete set of skills and knowledge needed. We then expressed this in a competency matrix against the manpower plan.”
One example of the sort of competency needed was to ‘be able to model the economy and markets, estimating the contribution that natural resources make to the economy, security and society’. That was one for economics specialists.
The final deliverable was a master development plan for staff from call-taking staff though subject specialists to CEO.