Technical skills require a lot of time and resources (human and material) to be acquired and accumulated. It is a precious asset that the company is called upon to conserve, protect and enhance.
In a word: capitalize. What exactly is the capitalization of knowledge, knowledge and talent? Why is this approach so important and what are the related issues?
What does the capitalization of technical skills consist of?
It is about extracting, structuring and saving the knowledge created and acquired in the practice of the company’s activity. The skills created and acquired, the know-how and feedback form a set of information of crucial value for any organization. It is necessary to preserve, enrich and optimize them. Capturing the company’s technical skills means ensuring that the loss of this hard-won knowledge is avoided.
There are generally two types of knowledge: implicit and explicit knowledge. The former, also known as tacit, corresponds to the know-how of the employees. They are born from the daily practice of the latter within their respective positions, in contact with their tools, equipment and work environments. These are skills, tricks, sometimes not very obvious to formalize, but their importance is far from negligible, because they can save time, be more efficient and more productive. They are transmitted orally, in a more or less informal way, from the oldest to the newcomers.
Explicit knowledge, or knowledge, is directly integrated into written documents or the computer system. They are transmitted in a concrete, tangible way, through physical or electronic media (technical document, work instructions…).
One of the major interests of skills capitalization is therefore that it makes it possible to organize and facilitate their transmission. Moreover, the fact of structuring them then makes it possible to update and enrich them.
How does it work and how does it work?
It is a procedure specific to each company, adapted to its specificities and needs. Nevertheless, a general organizational model of skills and knowledge capitalization can be identified. This model varies from one company to another, but the main features can be found in most of them.
It is divided into 5 phases:
- The identification of knowledge, which is certainly the most delicate part and is often entrusted to a coordinator
- The collection, analysis and formalization that are carried out with the participation of employees
- Validation and registration which are the responsibility of the manager or expert
- Operation and availability
- The updating and enrichment which, with the previous phase, are entrusted to the person in charge
With regard to the methods used for analysis and modelling in the service of knowledge management, we can mention in particular the MKSM (Method for Knowledge System Management) which provides both a decision-making aid, process management and a quality system, the REX which takes into account negative and positive feedback based on 8 criteria (relevance, coherence, synergy, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, impact, flexibility), the MASK (Method for Analyzing and Structuring Knowledge) which is part of a global formalization process, as well as the KADS (Knowledge Acquisition and Documentation Structuring) which is characterized by its problem-solving methods.
What are the issues at stake?
Capturing technical skills, and thus capitalizing on them, raises a certain number of issues and challenges that the company must strive to master in order for its approach to be efficient.
The first of these is related to the need to determine the most important knowledge and skills for the company, those that fall within the scope of its core business. It is a work of identification and prioritization that will be decisive in the rest of the operations, because it will condition the organization to a great extent.
The second issue is the preservation of this knowledge, or how to acquire, formalize and preserve it.
Then comes the valorization, in other words, the fact of putting this knowledge at the service of the company’s development by ensuring its accessibility, diffusion and security.
Finally, the update closes the list of the main issues associated with skills management and capitalization. It includes their evaluation, updating and enrichment by integrating information from feedback, but also from outside the organization.
Our digital work instructions software is used to provide operator clear work instructions but also to help companies keep its know-how by capturing it. Request a demo for more information.