Know your competencies, grow as a team and reach goals
We currently have the challenge of accompanying various professionals teams with different personalities, goals, and competencies. Each of these characteristics is found together with the soft skills within in search of a balance that contributes to the team.
This multidisciplinary profile is highly wanted in a competitive market in sectors such as IT. For example, in itself, the Argentine IT market has an unsatisfied demand of around 5,000 workers until 2019 according to Infobae.com. This demand is forecast to grow with the appearance of new projects such as the increase in virtual wallets. Unfortunately, these profiles are still scarce but innovation and the speed that moves the world forces us to leave our comfort zones to learn new skills and shore up those that already have both hard and soft.
This is why it is important to work with our teams in knowing those global competencies that they have to accompany them in their growth. To do this, I recommend using the Team Competency practice of Management 3.0.
Some fundamental characteristics of this practice are that it allows the team to know the competences they have and know who is an expert (can teach), is a practitioner (can do it), or is a novice (does not know about the subject). It also allows us to focus on what we need to achieve our objectives.
In the experiment, we work with a team of twelve people. The group was made up of several very interesting profiles, with a lot of experience and skills in different areas (developers, Qas, Business). But as we say in the soccer environment, it was necessary to know what characteristics we have to know how we were going to stand on the field. Our problem lies in that issue, organizing a fairly large and senior team to win the games in order to meet the objective.
We perform the dynamics remotely using Miro. We place the Matrix with the different competencies per row and the names of the participants in each column. We define how we would measure competencies with three colors as levels:
- Red: Novice
- Yellow: Practitioner
- Green: Expert
The objective of the meeting was to get to know each other better as a team, to know what each of the members wants to learn as well as what knowledge they have in the different competencies and to see how that can be applied within our organization. In parallel, people who were experts in any subject could share that knowledge with their colleagues who knew less about the subject. Promote multidisciplinarity within the group. As an opening to the activity, we invited each participant to think about which were the three competencies that they felt were crucial (whether they had knowledge or not) and mark them with a post above their names. This will allow us all to know in a cross way which was the skills that the team valued the most. On this occasion, the large number of QA appearances was surprising since it was an area with which we had been working since many times the developments were delivered within a day of the closing of the sprint. It was an excellent opportunity to debate and understand why such a highly valued skill was often overlooked. Based on this point, we added a new team agreement so that the developments were at least three days before the end of the sprint. Then we go on to self-assessment using the previously mentioned scale. It is strongly recommended that you be honest in your answers, there is no point in doing this exercise if we are not going to be transparent with each other.
With the results produced by the complete matrix, we continue working in two parts. The first step was consolidating the results, understanding what skills and what level of skills we had within the group. Second, we began to prioritize which skills were needed but we had little knowledge. Finally, we will discuss the experience of each one during the dynamic and take as note of how each one felt and what were the expectations.
The result was very interesting since the group was able to measure its level based on the competencies expected by the organization. We put together a calendar of workshops where a topic would be discussed per Sprint by the different experts. Then we approached a proposal for training in technologies that still needed to be supported by Human Resources. This led to a training plan on a famous course platform so that those interested could learn at their own pace. As a result of the practice, we had an average of at least 2 experts, 4 practitioners, and 6 trainees for each competition.
Our team finally stood on the court knowing what each one was playing and what goals they have.
As a facilitator, this dynamic helped me to know another side of the team, to know a little more about its goals and knowledge, and to contribute to the understanding of how important it is to share knowledge among all. I also made my own matrix at the same time to know what skills I had from all the lists and how I could improve to help the group. Today for example I am learning React.JS to know a little more about the subject. For my next experiment, I will do a new skills survey using a tool such as Menti to understand if there is any new interest.
I recommend carrying out this practice with teams with a diversity of skills. They can enter the management 3.0 site and download the Matrix to use it online in these times of remote work. I also invite you to tell us how it was for you, we can learn a lot from these experiences.