I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has experience of assessing the IT skill of a workforce. As part of a large NHS organisation - we have a complete range of skills (from people who can competantly write software, to those who don't know how a computer works).
As part of our on-going organisational change, we're introdrucing more and more IT Systems which staff shall be expected to use in order to complete their daily routines. However, we are completely aware that some staff will not have the skills required to do this. We have a very good programme to enable us to 'skill up' these employees - however we firstly need to identify them.
Whilst we can find a percentage from 'manager referal' - we need a larger scale solution to allow us to do this - has anyone ever done anything like this? Any experiences/thoughts you can share?
Here's the process I've used in the past - and though it sounds big-headed, it was successful!!
1. Identify the overall competences that you're looking for - based on your comments above you have a wide "parish", so I'd focus on users first and professionals second - you'll find the certification programmes are a great source of defining what people should do )just look for "certification objectives"
2. Treat each of the competences as "objects" - people should be able to identify what competences they need to do their job; competences needed are a function of job roles - not job titles!
3. If possible, allow a manager review of what the individual says they need - but that's really to give managers confidence through involvement.
4. Allow people to assess themselves in each area - i.e. how well can you do this? Yes I know it's not as rigorous as testing them - but in general they won't "cheat"' in fact. on a self-assessment I tend to find people under-value themselves rather than over-assess!
5. Use management review to assess whether the individuals have been realistic.
This process has three great values:-
* It's easily scalable;
* You get a lot of useful info very quickly; and
* It addresses head on the issue that "people don't know what they don't know"
Hope that helps
Have a look at the TECKCHEK product (http://www.ikmnet.com/). We deployed it at Reuters for our 2-3,000 or so technical staff - software developers, engineers etc. - especially in Asia, for pre-screening prior to employment, and then on a regular basis (3 or 6-month cycle) to determine skills and capability development.
I'd be happy to introduce you to some people to speak to if you are interested in following it up.
I have used an online survey tool and asked staff to identify their confidence levels against a range of skills - these skills were grouped into work areas so that for example, PA's and admin staff were asked about their needs to perform certain tasks in Excel and Word - such as, "produce standard letters to send out to a list of customers from a database" - then they were asked what skill they would use to do the task and their confidence levels. Although it was a major planning exercise to put the appropriate questions together for each of the different staff groups, it did give us a valuable insight into what was actually needed and we were able to plan and deliver an effective learning programme. We continue to use this for new staff once they have been in their role for a few weeks, so that tailored training can be recommended for them.