IT organisations suffer from skills gap. The main reason is that they aren’t great at strategic resource planning.
- Resource management is not given a high priority.
- IT leaders seem unable or unwilling to take a long term, strategic approach to their workforce development.
- Responsibilities for strategic resourcing is unclear
- Generic processes aren’t seen as value adding and it seems difficult to make them useful and pragmatic.
Generic professional profiles
IT organisations need to be agile and responsive to changing demands. The traditional approach to job descriptions acts as an organisational straight jacket to flexibility and innovation. Generic professional profiles provide a different way of approaching job descriptions. They offer time and cost savings. More importantly they support strategic resourcing and talent management for your technology / IT workforce. They enable an agile and responsive organisation to meet changing workforce requirements.
Talent management sounds great. It covers a range of activities but is usually a catch all for a set of well meaning good practices. The problem is that a commercial, business focus is missing. IT organizations should target specific business issues and opportunities. They can then deploy plans and actions to systematically tackle those. This produces measurably better outcomes than the introduction of non specific good practices.
Modern workplace learning
Learning in the workplace has changed and IT organisations need to catch up. Training in IT is too reliant on the classroom, on e-learning and on certifications. This approach cannot keep up with critical skills gaps. It focuses on training activity rather than business outcomes. We need to shift to supporting people to excel in their jobs. To do this; learning needs to be accessible, flexible and personal.
Sustainability of improvements to the IT Workforce
IT organizations find it difficult to make workforce management improvements stick. Their biggest challenge is sustainability. IT leaders can see the benefits and are often prepared to sponsor the required changes. Once mobilised they will implement specific actions and make improvements. But after initial enthusiasm; initiatives often fail to deliver long term benefits. The changes are not embedded in the culture, governance and practices of the IT organization.
Succession planning for IT organizations
Non-specific processes for succession planning are off putting to IT organizations. They don’t get to grips with specific IT related issues. Succession planning does not just have to be only about high potentials, or only focused on senior managers. It should be useful and relevant to the strategic and operational aspects of running IT.
IT Skills assessment
IT skills assessment is a popular topic. The ever present IT skills gap make skills assessment a key consideration for all IT leaders and managers. It also sounds simple to do. However a skills assessment on its own achieves nothing. It needs to part of a systematic and business focused approach to act on the outcomes of the assessment. The end result of a skills assessment should be improved performance not just a training plan.
IT Organization development consultancy and SFIA consultancy
Developing IT workforce capabilities is a key accountability for any IT leader. It is also a specialised subject. Organizations usually rely on specialist help sourced internally or externally. Finding the right support is key and you should look for certain characteristics, attributes and experiences.
6 box model for high performing IT organizations
A number of factors affect high performance in IT organisation and people. The IT world likes to talk about skills gaps. But skills are only one of the requirements for high performance. And skills need to be aligned to business priorities. The 6 boxes model© helps to diagnose performance issues and make decisions on where to make improvements.
Business case for SFIA
SFIA is the most commonly used skills framework for IT organizations. IT leaders need to be clear on the business case for adopting / implementing SFIA. They need to consider the costs and benefits and evaluate different options.
Modern approaches to Career Paths for you IT professionals
Careers in IT have changed. IT employers cannot offer a job for life. The younger workforce is not looking for a job for life. But most career models are still based on that concept. IT organizations need to introduce new principles for IT careers and career paths.