Skillsoft Blog

Taking Inventory on your “Bench Strength”: Research from Gartner, Inc.

Do you know your “bench strength?” Workforce development, recruiting, talent management and succession planning – when, and where, does the assessment take place for these functions?

As Gartner, Inc., reported in a research brief, Inventory Your IT Skills and Competencies to Meet Business Needs, each of these disciplines should beginwith a well-informed survey of your organization’s skills and competencies, or your company’s “bench strength.”

According to Gartner, less than one-third of IT organizations have a formal workforce planning solution. Inventorying skills and competencies within the organization, when viewed not as a one-off project, but an ongoing process tied into broader and more long-term goals, can be a key step in implementing a planning solution.

The inventory process should not start on an organization-wide level. Scope should be determined from the onset – identifying skills and competencies critical to short- and long-term goals – and a pilot area of the company, especially a mission-critical and/or more vulnerable area, should be targeted. As with most major endeavors, a clear picture of success should be determined from the
beginning, with key metrics to measure the program throughout its life.

So what, exactly, are the benefits of inventorying skills and competencies? A select few on Gartner’s list:

  • Enables a formal
    resource management process to better leverage internal talent pools.
  • Monitors critical
    skill areas for risk management and mitigation (i.e., succession planning).
  • Improves staff
    retention through integrated talent management programs.

Gartner’s goal in inventorying: “having the right people in the right roles with the right skills and competencies at the right time.” Sounds desirable, yes?

For more benefits of inventorying skills and competencies, as well as key steps in implementing the process, download the research report here.

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