Project-Level Skills Gap Assessment

  WHAT

A skills gap is the difference between skills that an organization needs to meet its goals and the skills its workforce currently offers (Bika, 2017). Conducting a skills gap assessment at a project level helps project leaders identify and assess gaps in the skills required for a successful completion of the project, and thus informs their training and hiring programs. This assessment can be conducted at a project/team level, or at an organizational level.

Our Project-Level Skills Gap Assessment model follows these steps:

  1. Identify and categorize the skills required to complete your project within its constraints.
  2. Rate each skill based on its importance to the project and level of difficulty to acquire.
  3. Based on the rating results, develop an action plan to bridge the gap.

  WHO

The Project-Level Skills Gap Assessment can be used by program managers, project managers, and team leaders.

  WHY

Skills gaps can prevent organizations from growing or remaining competitive. According to AAR Corp’s The Mid-Skills Gap in Middle America, “skills gaps can translate into slower growth, high on-the-job training costs, and lost productivity”. Lower productivity, lower efficiency, and missed opportunities for the organization are the top three business impacts of a lack of required capabilities (ASTD, 2012).

Organizations can develop targeted training programs by identifying critical gaps, and save money and improve chances of meeting their goals (Gurdjian & Triebel, 2009). As organizations compete fiercely for talent, they must know how to build strategies for training, hiring, and retaining employees (McKinsey, 2012). 

A project level skills gap analysis gives project managers a comprehensive overview of the time and effort required to close the gap and allows them to make informed decisions about budget and training/hiring resources. 

  HOW

1) NOODLE AND TAG the skills required to complete the project. Include soft skills if your project requires them.

2) COMBINE to eliminate duplicates and similar ideas.

3) MULTI-CRITERIA RATE each skill based on its importance to the project and difficulty to acquire within project constraints.

1. How important is this skill to the project?

  • 0 = Not at all important
  • 1 = Slightly important
  • 2 = Moderately important
  • 3 = Very important
  • 4 = Extremely important

2. How difficult is it to acquire this skill within project constraints internally or externally?

  • 0 = Not at all difficult
  • 1 = Slightly difficult
  • 2 = Moderately difficult
  • 3 = Very difficult
  • 4 = Extremely difficult

4) ACTION PLAN: Develop an action plan to close the gap.

  RESULTS

  • Identification of gaps in skills required to successfully complete a project
  • Action plan to resolve the gaps between the current state and the desired state
  • Collective and informed decisions on hiring and employee development programs
  • Understanding of stakeholder alignment of gaps in project skills

  BENEFITS & IMPACT

This exercise will enable:

Quality – Build a pipeline of workforce to match your current and future requirements.

Efficiency – Save time, effort, and money by identifying skills gaps before a project begins and avoid staffing issues in the future.

Engagement – Engage relevant stakeholders synchronously or asynchronously for a realistic assessment of budget and resource requirements for your project.

Agility – Quickly identify and prioritize which skills should be acquired for a successful completion of the project.

  REFERENCES

ASTD (2012). Bridging the skills gap. American Society for Training & Development. https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/mep/Bridging-the-Skills-Gap_2012.pdf

Bika, N. (2017). How to conduct a skills gap analysis. Workable. https://resources.workable.com/tutorial/skills-gap-analysis

Gurdjian, P., & Triebel, O. (2009). Identifying employee skill gaps. McKinsey. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/identifying-employee-skill-gaps

McKinsey (2012). The world at work: Jobs, pay and skills for 3.5 billion people. McKinsey Global Institute. www.mckinsey.com/insights/mgi/research/labor_markets/the_world_at_work