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SkillForge™ work analysis
Descriptions of all the tasks performed by a work group are a critical tool for work allocation, work process improvement and accountability.

Tasks, categories, job assignments
SkillForge is designed to rapidly capture task descriptions and group and tag them in a number of useful ways. This information has proven very useful in a wide range of enterprise performance initiatives:

  • Team-based work management
  • Multi-skilling
  • Job task safety analyses
  • Manager responsibility definition
  • Work redundancy elimination
  • Strategic Repertoire Development™
  • Core competency definition and assessment

Program inputs
The Work Analysis module defines work and competencies SkillForge begins with job information — the structure of job titles and their hierarchy. To this structure, the system adds comprehensive work descriptions from job task analyses. Figure 1 is a schematic of principal inputs and outputs of this module.

Tasks can be categorized at two levels. They can also be assigned to a specific skill area or job title, job level and area of the enterprise. (This categorization structure is customizable to match a company’s needs.)

Other information that can be paired with a task includes the frequency with which it is performed; its criticality, either to operations or safety; whether it requires a procedure; and whether it is a preventive maintenance or PSM task.

The task/skill analysis module also permits linking procedures or resources to the task, to simplify procedures assessment and development of performance aids or training. SkillForge provides a section for general comments. Many users summarize task steps in this section.

Skill definitions
Skill objectives are also managed by the system. Skill objectives represent the competencies required to perform a group of tasks.

Input screens permit linking any number of performance criteria to skills, to make performance expectations very clear. In addition, the program links information that trainers and certifiers can use in their work—the type of skill, verification method and whether a skill can be evaluated with a written test or by observation.

A typical SKILL CERTIFICATION GUIDE page. Click on the image to see a full-size page.

Validity of work expectations
Validity of work expectations is an important human resources concern. Competency tests and skill definitions created by other means often require rigorous validation because they are externally imposed. Repertoire processes build tasks and skills from grass-roots work definitions provided by competent performers. The program identifies the tasks in which each skill is discovered to verify validity.

Task- and skill-based output
From task and skill information, the system creates a number of tools. These tools represent a comprehensive definition of a company’s work.

Functional Job Descriptions
Specific tasks —linked to procedures, notes and resources — provide more information about work expectations than activity descriptions. Task-based job descriptions can be fed directly into preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance programs. When coupled with information about how frequently a task should be performed, the system can provide a work punch list.

A typical OPERATOR job description. Click on the image to see a full-size page.

Job Work Analysis
In the old workplace, job responsibilities were often defined piecemeal. For example, a might develop a series of manuals—safety, loss prevention, emergency response, etc.—that specified or implied the work that individuals were expected to perform. SkillForge provides reports that enable companies to identify unassigned or misassigned work, redundant assignments and unreasonable work loads. The result is a simplified work process. Because task and skill information is captured in a relational database, realigning tasks and jobs is a simple process. All associated information comes forward with tasks and skills when they are re-categorized.

A typical MANAGER job description. Click on the image to see a full-size page.

Skill qualification guides
One of the most-used tools is the Skill Qualification Guide. The skill qualification guide lists all skills and criteria in a given skill area and level. The skills are grouped by modules. (For full information about module development, see training section, below.) Additional information in a Guide enables an employee to perform a self-assessment of competence and locate any necessary training. A guide also indicates what kind of verification to expect. As self-assessment and verifications are completed, the employee and subject expert can record those completions. Making employees responsible for their personal development plan and tracking reduces administrative overhead and increases responsibility.

Detailed presentations available
Detailed PowerPoint presentations that describe both the process and data flow for the different modules are available free, on CD from Daniel Follette, Inc. (Their size makes presentation on this Web site impractical).

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