The Talent Map Layout
The next challenge was determining the best way to present each program talent pool to management. So rather than using an organization chart hierarchy they opted for a “soft hierarchy” where individuals would be grouped by job function and management level. The matrix assembled would support the executive’s process for evaluating the strength and cost-efectiveness of the team in place.
With each of the resources profiled and organized into a matrix of level and function our client now had a standardized view of the organization’s talent.
Figure 3. Putting it all together – Talent according to functional area and management level.
Historically the client had much of the necessary information to give early warning of program risks, but it was piecemeal and inconsistent. We automated the aggregation of information into presentations that gave a holistic perspective. A new standardized view and repeatable process has positioned the client for repeatable success.
Since Talent Map is interactive, management is able to identify gaps and then move individuals to test out changes to the teams. But even beyond identifying gaps, the common scenarios that management encounters – programs ramping up, programs behind schedule or exceeding budget, loss of key resources – they all benefit from this solution. And where a team is ramping down they can allocate talent to new programs without negative impacts. “The amount of talent information we have at our fingertips makes it much easier to effectively respond to change. Whether moving employees within a program or to a new program, we are able to make transitions more gracefully,” reports a portfolio manager.
As programs and organizations encounter new talent requirements, the maps facilitate the efficient identification of best fit employees. Scarce, in demand, and highly-skilled resources become easier to identify and share across the company. This reduces the need for expensive contractors to fill expert positions on an emergency basis.
A pilot project was designated for a “test run” of the Talent Map, and program leadership met with the executives and HR.
As a result the Program VP commented, “It became immediately clear we were at risk of losing 20 percent of our resources before project completion – which would be a disaster. That information is now being fed into our plans for employee retention.”
Another executive noted that some of the most senior client interfacing positions were actually third-party resources. “We are trusting non-employees to represent us to our clients. This poses a serious risk to client intimacy when we use contractors at this level.” This was a valid concern because shortly thereafter the client was lost to the competition.
In both of these cases – loss of clients and unmanaged flight risk – the Talent Map quickly exposed significant threats to the business.
The Talent Map effort gave impressive results within a year. Unmanaged fight was reduced by over 40 percent. No clients were ever lost on programs using the Talent Map process. Management now had an advanced warning of these threats.