Saturday, February 22, 2014

Do This. Know This. Be Observed Doing This

When a supervisor in a manufacturing plant, a utility, a brewery or an oil drilling rig, schedules workers for a shift, he or she normally uses a workforce scheduling software. This workforce scheduling software is connected to a system that keeps a record of the competencies of workers. For example the system knows that a worker has done something, knows something or has been observed performing a task. Based on this knowledge, the system verifies that the person assigned to a machine or task has the required competencies at the required level before operating a machine or performing a task. For the oil and gas, manufacturing and utilities industries, doing this right could mean millions of dollars in savings and significant reduction of risks and safety incidents.

At the heart of this is the employee competencies record system. This employee competencies record systems is usually updated by various systems that impart, monitor or alter the competency of a person. For example, the learning system can tell the competency system that the worker has acquired a new competency. The learning system can also tell the competency system that a current competency has expired. ( Like a drivers license expiring for example).

The typical landscape of the above scenario could look like this.

Even though this sounds simple, very few organizations in the world get this right and keep it simple. The norm is that every plant or department maintains its own competency system and catalog. Nobody agrees with anybody and they end up building a complex landscape that is hard, not to mention expensive, to maintain. This is a good problem to address. We are taking some steps towards it.

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