Modeling of skills


Bill Harris
Junior Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 3:39 am

Modeling of skills

Post by Bill Harris » Mon Nov 27, 2000 10:03 am


Youve made a good start in focusing on the problem, but Id be tempted
to focus even more closely. What are you really worried about? Can you
pick out one of the factors below and focus on that as the problem to
gain more insight? If you had to focus that closely, is there another
factor youd pick that isnt in your list? Can you tie the skill shift
you describe to something in the organizations business results that
really counts in your organizational culture?

Maybe instead of focusing on one of the factors, youd be better off
focusing on one of hiring, attrition, or training. (Unless you mean
"active attrition," attrititon might not be the place to start, as that
is usually something that happens to you, not something you control.)
That is, you might focus on how to allocate resources between hiring and
training to achieve your desired goals. While that might lead you to a
main chain of a hiring/aging structure, I wouldnt focus on that yet but
on the problem.

I think you might gain good insights in addressing one problem in this
manner and then broadening out, if necessary, in a subsequent phase. I
once was told by a statistician not to spend more than 25% of my
"research budget" on the first attempt at a statistical exploration, as
you learn so much in that first phase that you need to have
time/money/other resources available for building on what that first
attempt tells you. I think the same could apply here.

If you can focus on a problem in this way, I think system dynamics can
offer a viable tool for addressing your problem. I suspect that youll
end up using some of the coflow structures youve seen to model the
inventory of skills in the organization that goes along with the flow of
people into and out of the organization and the training (formal or OJT)
you provide to them. I suspect youll get insights that help calibrate
you and other managers in the organization on how to deal with the skill
shift you want to foster.

If you wanted to explore an alternative approach, you might explore some
of the agent-based approaches.

Feel free to ask if this raises more questions than answers.

From: Bill Harris <>