If you’re the new IT manager or consultant on the block, one of the first things you should do in your IT organization is conduct an IT skills assessment. A key component of this discovery process, determining the capability and capacity of your IT staff, will tell you what your organization can do and how much it can do in terms of providing IT support.
Failing to understand the “supply side” of IT support makes it impossible to manage your client’s expectations and achieve IT success.
An IT employee skills inventory can be accomplished quickly and easily using a simple tool–an IT Employee Skills Matrix.
This simple tool helps you quantify the skills you have and quickly identify the skill gaps that exist so you can prioritize training and education for your team.
The tool is completely customizable to add any skill type you want to list as a need in your organization, from soft skills like communication or presentation skills to very specific technical skills like Cisco router configuration or Crystal Reports writing.
- List your employees by name and responsibility in the first two columns. I like to group them by function (Programmers, Help Desk, PC Techs, etc.) so I can focus on each group.
- List the skills you need on your team in the columns at the top. You can be as specific or as general as you want. You should also list both technical and non-technical skills.
- If you have conducted an IT assessment, you should have gained a perspective as to how many resources you need for specific skills. If you haven’t done an assessment, now is a good time to look at it. Insert a row at the top of the template and call it “IT skills needed”. For each skill, put the number of people you think need to have this skill.
- Now, do your inventory. Work through each employee and put the number “1” in each cell reflecting he or she has the skill.
- The Total Row at the bottom will keep a running total of the total number of people you have in place with each skill.
- The GAP Row highlights where you lack sufficient number of people with each skill.
You can conduct an IT employee skills inventory quickly with this tool. You can use the results to assist in managing your support business. Even better, this assessment provides insight on where you have skills gaps so you can focus training or new hiring to address mission critical skill gaps.
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