Crowdsourced Organisational Structures

The world of business is rapidly changing as is the labour market. Both for an employer and employee, knowing the skill distribution throughout your organization can offer great advantages.

The relationship between employer and employee is radically changing as technology offers new ways to build working relationships.

An increasing number of organisations are relying on forms of Crowdsourcing to match short-term work requirements directly with workers who have the relevant knowledge, experience, skills, competencies and availability. In parallel NextGen workers have embraced this new way of working, supplementing incomes over the short-term, provides freedom to explore different roles and develop in-demand skills to be more employable over the long-term.

The benefits are evident: companies can pay for the work done instead of paying their own staff whether the need is great or small. Freelancers can pick and choose the projects they wish to work on or indeed the companies they wish to work for. Ultimately this trade-off leads to faster, more efficient, and improved performance in companies and greater levels of freedom and independence for freelancers.

In recent years software crowdsourcing and crowdsourcing of complex projects are moving into mainstream. With software crowdsourcing, there is an open call for participation in any task of software development, including documentation, design, coding and testing. These tasks are normally conducted by either members of a software enterprise or people contracted by the enterprise.

Crowdsourcing of complex projects generally take the most time, have higher stakes, and call for people with very specific skills. These are generally “one-off” projects that are difficult to accomplish and can include projects like designing a new product that a company hopes to patent. Tasks like that would be “complex” because design is a meticulous process that requires a large amount of time to perfect, and also people doing these projects must have specialized training in design to effectively complete the project.

One of the problems of crowdsourcing products is the lack of interaction between the crowd and the client. Usually little information is known about the final desired product, and often very limited interaction with the final client occurs. This can decrease the quality of product because client interaction is a vital part of the design process. Managing a virtual team of crowdsourced freelancers who are not only working for you can become a headache. Efficiencies and collaboration opportunities are often missed simply because the supply network becomes too complicated. At Exospect we call this Network Blindness.

An additional cause of the decrease in product quality that can result from crowdsourcing is the lack of collaboration tools. In a typical workplace, co-workers are organized in such a way that they can work together and build upon each other’s knowledge and ideas. Furthermore, the company often provides employees with the necessary information, procedures, and tools to fulfil their responsibilities. However, in crowdsourcing, crowd-workers are left to depend on their own knowledge and means to complete tasks.

From both a strategic and an operational perspective, being able to identify the breadth and depth of the available skill portfolio offers a better understanding of risks of failure and potential areas of compromising performance or performance improvements. Additional information about individual contributors such as geographic location, additional skills and performance scorecards can also give valuable insights.

Visualising the breadth and depth of the skill portfolio of a crowdsourced network can:

  • Create visibility of all the skills that are currently available in the network
  • Determine if there are geographically distributed clusters of key skills (leading to recognition of centres of excellence and collaboration opportunities)
  • Determine if there are skills missing or under/over-represented in the current resource pool
  • Define skills that will become less used/redundant or more needed/essential
  • Create an agile project team configuration process

Analysis of the breadth and depth of skills as compared to skill demands placed by the business enables the identification of different types of vulnerabilities.
We define three different vulnerabilities:

  1. when there is not enough depth of a particular skill in the team (or enterprise)
  2. when there is not enough breadth (man-hours) of a certain skill
  3. An extreme case of (b) is the existence only one person who has a key skill which we call “Sole Provider.”

Exospect specialises in simplifying multi-level, multi-skill, multi-segment dynamics by collecting and collating (new) data and creating visualizations that allow a complicated network with intricate dynamics to become easy to navigate and manage.

Exospect’s methodology ‘Strategic Resource Mapping’ (SRM) provides the engine for ‘Skill Portfolio Agility’, a software designed to enable a client to strategically plan its workforce based both on individual and team skill sets. The planning and scheduling of skill resources can be optimised through cross referencing, in-depth analytics and mapping.

Exospect analytics identifies skill vulnerabilities. The outcome: full awareness of skill gaps in your workforce or skill scarcities that are causing operational bottlenecks. Alternatively, an up to date micro-skill inventory may bring to light a ‘blindingly obvious’ opportunity. Our ‘What-If’ mapping offers you the ability to test strategic options on your network in real-time. Historic data tracking allows monitoring skill changes over time.

At Exospect we call this

> Doing more with Less <

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