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Iryna Viter

The Beginner's Guide to Skills Tracking for 2024

Skills tracking in resource management brings numerous benefits that prioritize the well-being and growth of individuals within the organization. Learn what it's all about.

Unlocking the power of skill tracking is one of the keys to effective resource management. According to the Resource Management Institute, a key success factor in successful resource management is a well-designed and maintained skills database.

Surprisingly enough, this practice often gets overlooked and underutilized in many organizations. In the same survey, the RMI talked to consulting agencies and found that most of them still feel their skills tracking and management capabilities need improvement. For 60% of them, for example, the capabilities of the skills database used in their organization is a pain point.

If you want to improve skills tracking, this article is for you. We're going over the very definition of skills tracking, identifying the benefits that come with it, the best practices you need to follow, and looking into the things reliable skills tracking software can provide.

What is skills tracking?

Skills tracking is a way of recording the skills and competencies of your staff to better understand what talent you have available and what projects could be matched to them. It involves systematically documenting and evaluating the development, acquisition, and proficiency levels of various skills possessed by individuals in a specific domain or field.

The purpose of skills tracking is to provide individuals, organizations, or educational institutions with a comprehensive understanding of the skills and abilities of individuals or a group of people. It helps to identify strengths and areas for improvement, track progress, and make informed decisions regarding training, career development, performance evaluations, and resource allocation.

With the help of skills tracking you can ensure continuous skills management, spot skill gaps by doing skills gap analysis, see where your people need additional training, and hire staff that are missing from the puzzle altogether.

Here are even more benefits of skills tracking you can expect if done right.

Why skills tracking is essential

Above anything else, tracking skills means providing equal and effective work allocation. While hiring the best people for your projects is essential, how you utilize their time and skills during those projects holds just as much value. Being strategic in the way you allocate work and always matching the right people to the right projects is, therefore, a way to keep your projects running smooth, on time and within budget. It also helps you make sure clients are happy and employees get to enjoy their well-deserved work-life balance. 

Next, there comes the question of engaging and retaining your top experts. Harvard Business Review says companies should consider weaving continuous learning into their company culture. When someone joins your company, they want to see a clear career path ahead of them, the new skills and expertise they can gain in the process. Giving them that opportunity to expand and improve their skills is the way to retain talent and build loyalty.  

By tracking skills, managers can see how their team members are developing, what levels of seniority they reach, and what new skills they gain — all of which are helpful if you want to make informed decisions in your resource planning and allocation. Allocating staff to projects that they are skilled for makes it easy to keep everyone engaged and motivated, letting them work on something they are good at and passionate about.

Skills tracking is also a preventative measure. It can help you preemptively develop training programs to stop any skills gaps from appearing. By having that bird's eye view of your team's talents and your projects you can easily identify upskilling, reskilling, and coaching opportunities.

Now that we've defined why skills tracking is important, let's look at some best practices to succeed with the implementation. 

Skills tracking best practices

The Resource Management Institute suggests following an easy 3-step approach if you want to build and maintain an effective skills database at all times:

  1. Defining skills by role. First things first, you need to get a clear picture of the type of resources you have, their roles and skillsets, seniority, current and future workload, etc. Knowing what skills each role provides will make it easy to make accurate predictions about how feasible it is to complete your project initiatives with the resources you have at hand.
  2. Regularly update employee skills. Your skills database will never be static. You will continuously be adding new people, roles, and skills available. But what's more important, your people will be constantly gaining and recording new skills themselves, while also updating and improving the skills they already have. Having that real-time visibility into all the changes that take place is another important step in skills tracking.
  3. Establish a process to properly validate employee skills by management or SMEs. It's not uncommon for people to have subjective opinions about the level of their skillset. Therefore, verifying all skills after people have listed them out is the way to ensure that you can count on the people to provide high-quality work within the timeframe that you give them.

As with any database, keeping everything up-to-date requires a lot of manual work and leaves room for human error. However, with the best skills tracking software at your disposal, you can revolutionize your skills tracking approach.

Skills tracking software

With Runn's resource management software, skills management is an integral part of your resource management capabilities. You get to choose the angle and the granularity level you want to take on your team’s skills. 

In the Skills tab, you gain insights into a comprehensive list of skills within your company. By expanding each skill, you can easily identify the individuals possessing that particular skill, along with their corresponding skill levels (optional feature).

Within the People tab, you have the ability to explore the skillsets of all individuals in your company. This includes the option to search based on team, names, skills, and other relevant categories.

skills tracking with Runn

You can also manage skills on a person-by-person basis by looking into the individual profiles of your resources. We recommend managing your skillsets by using our People Tags, where you can check all the skills each person has as well their seniority level in those skills. You can also import skills if you're using some other database and want to seamlessly integrate this information into your Runn account.

skills management software

To manage existing skills or create new ones, you can go to the Manage skills page and create new skills by clicking the "New Skills" button.

Finally, you can access all available resources and their skillsets from the People Planner by using the "skills" filter to see who has the skills you have selected and what their workload looks like — are they fully booked or still have some time to provide that skill on the new project you're managing?

Wrapping up

Tracking your employees' skills is not just an effective resource management approach, it is a business strategy that will help you increase employee engagement and increase overall outputs.

Discover Runn today to see how easily you can manage skills tracking no matter how big your team gets!

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