In this episode of the Smarter Building podcast, we caught up with Robert Kumapley, the Chief of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Program at The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ), on the challenges and advantages of implementing an asset management strategy.
Why is skills assessment important?
The value of KnowledgeSmart
The construction industry is losing millions of pounds each year due to the inefficient use of design and engineering software. With strong competition for work leading to tighter profit margins, such efficiencies are more important than ever, either contributing to the success or potentially failure of a business.
Training is key and instrumental in realising some of those efficiencies, but how do you optimise its effectiveness and measure its success? Don’t learn for the sake of learning, instead optimise your training investment to focus on areas specific to the business as well as the individual’s need.
Why provide focus?
When considering new hires, how do you measure the applicant against their glowing CV and make a better, more well-informed decision in turn safe guarding the business against unnecessary recruitment costs?
When considering existing team members, all be it we might think we’re experts, how do you know what you don’t know if you don’t know it?
How does the technical knowledge you have within your business compare to that against the industry as a whole? You can only be as good as the most experienced member of your team, but in reality, how good really are they?
In reference to a book by Rebecca Rupp, called ‘Committed to Memory’, she states that ‘One hour after learning, 56% of material has gone to the wind; one day later, 66% has evaporated; and after one month, 80% is gone'. As individuals, we can only take in and retain so much information, some more and some less, but we all have a limit, filtering out that we need to know is crucial.
You’re only able to manage what you can measure and Excitech utilises a technology called KnowledgeSmart to do just this.
KnowledgeSmart is a skills assessment and survey tool, specifically designed for the construction industry, which captures the knowledge and skills of employees on a wide range of software tools, workflows and standards. It provides strategic data capture to determine: better recruitment, effective project resource planning, productive training and development plans as well as strategically focused human resource management.
The KnowledgeSmart tool is easy to administer and use. It provides helpful user feedback and coaching notes to deliver actionable training needs analysis with configurable links to e-learning resources and training courses. The platform provides full editorial control for all existing library material with the ability to customise questions based on the organisations requirements, which is ideal for a lot of our customers.
It helps organisations standardise their data to help them answer three important strategic questions:
Where are we now?
By performing a skills assessment, you will be able to understand how knowledgeable each individual employee is using particular software and the amount of experience they have. You’re also able to compare the team’s skills across the industry, establish how effective current training programs are within your organisation, and acknowledge the rate of employee turnover across the organisation.
Where do we want to be?
Once you have gathered your data through KnowledgeSmart, then you can start to think where the organisation wants to be and what it would like to achieve. This could include: improved profitability, growth, effective capacity strategy, improve employee retention, improve return on investment of training and development, and to deliver projects on time and on budget.
How can we get back on track?
Where there are gaps between the first two points is your starting point to get the organisation back on track. You can look to improve resource planning, hire the right people with the right skills, retain and develop star employees, manageable training methods, prove BIM capability, and structure projects according to employee skills.
In my next blogs, I will focus on each of these areas in more depth.