Glossary

Strategic Resource Mapping (SRM)

SRM is Exospect’s proprietary methodology for creating data from multi-level and multi-tier resources. The SRM methodology in combination with the Exospect platform is the basis of Exospect solutions. Our solutions focus around groups of knowledge intensive people and we also provide solutions for networks of organisations that are categorised as ‘Special’ solutions.

In areas where people rely on experts in diverse fields there comes a point when the inherent complexity of the combination of the number of experts and associated expertise areas is so large that it’s impossible to truly optimise the use of this valuable corporate asset.

Assessing and managing skills at the right (detailed) granularity level creates its own set of complexities. In fact, we use the term Micro-Skills to define skills at a very granular level (optimization for a particular type of database). A short run-down of the associated challenges and opportunities are:

  1. Size. It is quite possible that tens of thousands of micro-skills are not only relevant today but will be even more relevant in the near future. Size is a complicating factor: first, the development of a comprehensive taxonomy (a partial taxonomy will no doubt already exist), and second, the assessment of individuals against the taxonomy.
  2. Flux and updates. A micro-skill taxonomy will need to be flexible as new areas of knowledge become promising and/or prevalent (for instance, cybersecurity’s fast evolution as witnessed by everyday news). The two main challenges are keeping the taxonomy relevant and current, as well as the updating of individual’s assessments on the new items.
  3. Clustering skills in new ways to match potential profiles against new demands in the world economy. Today, degrees in business analytics are the rage in the IT/operations area. However, will it remain so? Could it be that analytics + cybersecurity + risk management could become even more relevant? In other words, what is the combination of micro-skills that could originate from different degrees creating the ideal knowledge cluster that is most in demand?

Answers to such questions (and others omitted here for the sake of brevity) are likely to point out a completely new model for defining skill requirements and resource planning. In other words, we believe that a matchmaking solution can be delivered in a scalable fashion – both for current micro-skills and associated demand as well for a much more detailed vision of the future needs and associated micro-skills.

By collecting data through SRM, our visualisation and reporting shows a range of critical business data and inter-connections that can’t be analysed to this level through any other means. The concerns/risk can be also perceived as areas of opportunity, such as:

  • Single providers: People who are the unique provider of a key skill or skills
  • Bottlenecks: Skills that are not sufficiently available to cover project(s) load
  • Redundancy: Skills or skill combinations that are in abundance
  • Missing: Skills that are deemed necessary but have not been identified
  • Depth Measurement: Level and depth of skills in the group
  • Valuable skill indicator: Skills already available in the group that have not been identified/utilised
  • Resource configuration: Identify operation critical staff and assess risks (i.e. ratios of contractors)
  • Upskilling: What are the skill levels available and can current staff be upskilled to meet current or future requirements.
  • Adjacency Search: Identifying staff that have an adjacent skill that will make it easier for them to upskill / retrain.

Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a sourcing model close to ‘outsourcing’ in which individuals or organizations obtain goods and services. There are major differences between crowdsourcing and outsourcing in that crowdsourcing comes from a less-specific, more public group. Advantages of using crowdsourcing may include improved costs, speed, quality, flexibility, scalability, or diversity.

Crowdsourcing has become recognised in engaging the community for ideas. For instance, LEGO Ideas reaches out to its client-base for new product ideas. Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing marketplace that makes it easier for individuals and businesses to outsource their processes and jobs to a distributed workforce who can perform these tasks virtually.

Crowdsourcing software development or software crowdsourcing is an emerging area of software engineering. It 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 approach to software development is used by a number of companies. Notable examples are Topcoder and its parent company Wipro.

A growing sector is crowdsourcing of complex projects. These 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.

Network Blindness

No matter the scale, no matter your industry or activity there will come a time when you wish you could simply see ‘the bigger picture’. This “bigger picture” has the potential to bring insight but only if we are able to cut across the inherent complexity in that larger view. We call that complexity ‘network blindness’ and believe that it hinders decision making.

THE BREADTH AND DEPTH OF SKILLS IN A 15-MAN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT TEAM

Tying to untangle the breadth and depth of skills, each member has in a team can quickly become complicated.

At Exospect we call this ‘Network Blindness’

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 delivers and 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.

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