Why are the right skills never available when you need them? Beyond Cross-functional teams.

In our current business climate, organizations increasingly need to deal with a volatile and changing market. Changing needs, require rapidly shifting skills needs - in short high skill liquidity. Various techniques have been used to address skill liquidity challenges including specialization, multi-skilled individuals and cross-functional teams. This session will classify and introduce new approaches to deal with skill liquidity. It will also suggest which approaches are most appropriate to your organization, based on your organization's culture and process maturity. This model is called the Skill Liquidity Maturity Model or SLiMM.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

Please read full writeup here: https://medium.com/@martinaziz/why-are-the-right-skills-never-available-when-you-need-them-e0806a6e4c1

Introducing the Skill Liquidity Maturity Model.

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Much has been attempted to address market volatility, particularly adapting concepts from organizational approaches such as Lean, Agile methods, Kanban and TPS to name a few. Interestingly some of these approaches have suggested their own particular solution; such as “Cross Functional Teams” popularized by Scrum practitioners. In examining and leveraging various approaches, I began to observe that many of these methods have a lot to offer, and are not contradictory — particularly if you reframe them as one of many compounding approaches across a maturity continuum.

In introducing the Skill Liquidity Maturity Model, I chose to use a seven-level scale to allow for easy alignment to existing models, including the recently launched Kanban Maturity Model (KMM).

Maturity Level 0 — Skills Specialization alt textAt the lowest level of maturity, we start with skill specialization, the practice of staffing your organization with people with the required skills necessary to offer your current services/products. It’s a natural place to begin, and just about every company starts here, and most remain. You can see evidence of it in many company’s hiring process where the primary focus is on the required skills of a candidate for a particular role.

Maturity Level 1 — Multi-Skilled Individuals alt textAn attempt to address the liquidity limits of skill specialization gave rise to the concept of “T-Shaped” individuals. The concept of the T referring to the acceptance of individual specialties along with the development of secondary adjacent skills.

Maturity Level 2 — Cross Functional Teams alt textPopularized by methods such as Scrum, the cross functional team is the mix of (preferably T-shaped) people with different skills into a single team. A common example is a software development team that used to hand completed work to a testing team — in the cross-functional configuration a single team would have the capability to both develop and test software.

Maturity Level 3 & 4 — Service Liquidity alt textWhile leveraging and supporting the capabilities introduced in the lower maturity levels, at this level there is a shift in mindset from thinking mostly about teams and individuals to thinking through the lens of end-to-end services to your customers. The scarcity of skills, regardless of your budget, is an accepted phenomenon that needs to be managed; the particular focus is less about ensuring work flows within teams, but flows through the organization.

Maturity Level 5 & 6 — Organizational Liquidity alt textBuilding on the previous maturity levels, at levels 5 & 6 the perspective of managing your skills focuses on the whole organization’s health. This is a view across all end-to-end services in the company focused managing risks towards company fitness and long-term survival.

Conclusion The Skill Liquidity Maturity Model is intended to offer pragmatic thoughts on which approaches may suit your organization. Each level offers a set of advantages as well as challenges. We will discus suitability for your organization as we conclude the presentation.

Learning Outcome

The Skill Liquidity Maturity Model is intended to offer pragmatic thoughts on which skill liquidity approaches may suit your organization. Each level offers a set of advantages as well as challenges. You will leave with an understanding of which is suitability for your organization.

Target Audience

Anyone in a leadership position.

schedule Submitted 3 months ago

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