Spotlight Skill Management

Why skill management | Skills and talents in the foreground | More precise utilization of resources | Success factors | Potential | Valkeen Skill Framework

Why skill management?

More and more executives are taking on the topic of skills management themselves, firstly to make more efficient of internal capacities, both cross-functionally but also across locations, and secondly to align company skills with technology and business strategies.

Can you say with certainty that your teams have the right skills today to achieve your organization’s strategic and technological goals of tomorrow?

Not many can say yes to that question. One thing should be sure before we start – that skills should be built on an already functioning resource management foundation, since the management of skills requires a minimum level of maturity in resource management in order to be able to develop their full potential.

“Having skills on the agenda today is not only vital, but creates enormous long-term synergies for both the company and the employees: Efficiency and perspective.

(Marc Neckermann, CEO, Valkeen)

Skills and talents are increasingly coming to the fore

We find ourselves in the post-Covid era, in which we are transitioning from crisis response to active management under new working conditions. According to Gartner, we are dealing with the following challenges:

  • Transition from on-premise to remote working models
  • Talent is no longer limited geographically and the competition for talent is changing radically
  • Remote work increases flexibility, productivity and reduces costs
  • Roles are now further broken down into skill clusters

Gartner also notes that 40% of employees state that they work on tasks that lie outside their actual job description. This should give us food for thought, as it appears that we are not able to maximize our optimal use of the skills and abilities available to us.

More precise resource utilization through skills

In order to better match employees to tasks in the future, companies must have comprehensive knowledge about:

  • Primary role of the employees
  • Secondary role of the employees
  • Capacity of the employees
  • Basic loads/line activities (when, how much and for how long)
  • Personal development wishes of the employees
  • Absences
  • On which project does the employee work, when, how much and for how long
  • What knowledge, skills and experience does the employee have

Functioning resource management is already capable of providing us with all this information – we call it Resource Portfolio Management (RPM). Skills and skill management are only additional dimensions to RPM but enable even more effective resource deployment.

The potential of skill management

At an opening level, we can conclude that skills management generally helps companies, making them more flexible and significantly increasing productivity (time-to-market/throughput). The credo is true: The right employees, working on the right tasks at the right time.

This includes specifically

  • Cross-dimensional resource planning
  • More complex and precise resource profiles
  • Strategic recruiting and training
  • Long-term prevention of skill deficits in the company
  • Conscious in- and outsourcing
  • M&A support
  • Deploy resources according to their skills and development needs – because productivity and innovation come from satisfied employees

Cross-dimensionality | Valkeen Consulting Infographs

3 success factors for conception

Skills management usually takes place in two places in a company: the operative level (PPM and PMO) and/or HR.

In terms of process efficiency and to avoid redundancies, a linked concept should be developed that brings both of these areas together and promotes the quality and relevance of skills criteria.

There are 3 success factors in the conception:

  • Involve the people who do the work

    Avoid labeling and go to the source of realistic and constructive information– your employees.

  • Communication

    Employees tend to get nervous when organizations start looking at skills management. Let them know why you are developing these skills, tell them how the framework is being built and how it will be used. The more you communicate in advance, the higher the acceptance will be, and the more successful the implementation.

  • Relevance

    Make sure your skills evaluation applies to many resources and is covered in the framework. If you include irrelevant skills, stakeholders will probably not be able to adopt, maintain, or use the framework.

How stakeholders benefit

Let’s go one step further and see how individual stakeholders use skills management. Here is an excerpt:


  • Assessment of own abilities and experiences
  • Identification of future interests, career goals and advancements
  • Implement work tasks/projects that match own skills and future skills
  • (…)

Management (line managers, PMO, PPM and RM)

  • Plan and allocate resources more precisely
  • Identify operational risks in teams and develop measures
  • Measurement of current opportunities and planning of future resource requirements (further developments & position plan)
  • (…)

The list of potential benefits for other stakeholders such as HR department, CXO & management, internal training department, Recruiting and vendor management is long. That´s because skill management affects almost everyone in the company and can create enormous benefits.

So does skill management automatically make sense across the entire organization? No. Our recommendation is to begin concentrating on skills where conflicts and overutilizations are at their greatest. If you would like further insights, we would be happy to provide you with a detailed stakeholder-based benefit analysis on request.

Skill framework: Our approach

As a vital part of resource management, skills management is a change project, and based on our experience it must be handled as such. Once your organization has reached a certain level of maturity in terms of resource management, you can start introducing skills.

Our procedural model for a skill framework comprises 4 steps and is outlined here in a condensed form:

  • 1. Preparation & Scoping

    • Definition: Purpose and stakeholders
    • Use of the skill framework (technical, procedural and personal)
    • Representative framework team
    • Communication
    • Technical base
  • 2. Design framework

    • Skill cluster
    • Subgroups with individual skills
    • Relevance analysis & strategic depth of skills
    • Connection operational and HR
  • 3. Collect information & data

    • Create questionnaires (use industry standards and frameworks, e.g. SFIA)
    • Interview employees and their managers
    • Ensure data quality
  • 4. Roll out

    • Communication & Training: Application, use and data maintenance
    • Linking skills to business goals


Don’t try for a cold start with skills management, build instead on a minimum standard in resource management.

Companies and their skills management requirements are just as individual as the skills themselves. Sometimes this might even mean that skills are introduced and used department-specifically within the organization.

We support companies in identifying, designing and implementing their requirements and defining the depth of individual skills management. It is important to pay attention to the meaning and relevance of skills, as well as the strategic usability of skills management.