A skill is ability, typically learned, to perform actions. In organizations the skills of the workforce are a key component of resource management. Resources are allocated to assignment by skill and possibly experience.
Locating and allocating scarce skill sets and reducing the billing cycle are important success factors in many service providers, particularly ones focused on projects. Service providers themselves are major consumers of services, both internal and external.
Skill and Workflow Management
Most organizations use some degree of automation to manage workflows. Some companies may use spreadsheets, and others may use professional services software to manage workflows and resources. Resources are allocated to assignments by skill and the system is able to search for staff having the requisite skill and experience profile. The result of a search provides a list of available staff, displaying their location, group and other data, at which point a manager can either directly assign resources, or reserve them pending further developments.
Locating and allocating skill is not only important in the day-to-day running of a business but is critical in risk management and resource management planning. Hospitals utilize sophisticated databases to run their operations during a time of crisis. For example, if a natural disaster hits an area, hospitals outside of the disaster area must quickly prepare to care for those injured. Hospitals have a crisis management plan, which includes personnel assigned to locating and deploying resources by skill. If the hospital needed a trauma nurse trained in airlift rescue, they could locate that by skill by using the database.
Organizations have an ongoing need to understand the skills of their current workforce. This enables them to assign resources based on skill but also is a key component of workforce planning. Organizations assess the current skill of their workforce to determine training and development needs, recruiting, and to identify gaps between what exists today and what will be needed for the future.