You may be Lean, but are your crew 'Skill Fit' ?
Prior to the impact of COVID-19, progressive businesses were already streamlining
their processes, especially in the training arena, aiming to achieve more for less via contemporary thinking and solutions. This included the application of lean methodologies and practices, resulting in the identification of business training requirements that actually added value and eradicated the 'nice to have' elements that generated unnecessary cost and added little or no value to the business operation.
This method of cost reduction in training is usually based on a core focus of what is required through statutory or legislative requirements, set against company requirements, with the latter usually being the victim of any streamlining process. This in turn meant that people would be trained in a binary fashion, based on a flat and unintelligent training matrix that risks the generation of a demotivated workforce whose personal and professional ambitions were overtly considered secondary to business compliance.
So, how do we ensure our lean teams are now 'skill fit' to return to perform in line with both business and career ambition?
The starting point must be an agile competency framework (AGF) that defines the necessary levels of Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior required for the key tasks, aligned to individual roles and responsibilities whilst recognizing existing strengths and abilities, and transparent to all for career planning purposes.
Often regarded as an unwieldy bureaucratic nightmare, it does not have to be. The most basic version of an AGF is an Individual Learning Plan (ILP), but this is high level, usually managed by a line manager with access to a local spreadsheet. However, if fed from a centralized AGF, what if that ILP was web-based, with a facility to include personal ambition, it measured knowledge and skills constantly over defined periods, and tailored training outcomes to the individual automatically and seamlessly in order to plug data-driven gaps in knowledge with appropriately designed digital content or supportive recommendations, would that work? In our view, this will ensure your people are trained commensurate with the expectations for their roles, alongside accommodating career development ambitions, and importantly, providing the leadership with 'Skill Fit' objective data.
The AGF is not a standalone element. It requires integration into a learning management system, where development pathways are defined, and performance achievements recorded against defined operating standards. Well-considered Digital solutions then have a role in both delivery and measurement, underpinned by an output of analytics that will provide accurate data on capability achievement and shortfalls. With this information, training directors can then prioritize spend and focus on the individual and collective need.
Overall though, the AGF should be light and dynamic, whilst still reassuring management (CEOs, Captains, Chief Engineers, etc.) that the people they have working for them are skilled and trained to fulfill their role onboard, alongside reducing the impact of training overload, costs and learner apathy.
KILO offers the unique ability to work with a wide range of partners to offer bespoke solutions to AGF and training requirements. This can range from the identification of the framework to the production of contemporary training material and support systems that are always appropriate to the need.