Skills Management

The Essentials of Skills Management for Beginners

Matti Parviainen


Skills management is one of the most important things to get right in a scaling professional service organization. It's the process of understanding your team's skills and developing them in ways that align with market demand.It's essential to run a profitable business and also to keep employees motivated and engaged. Let's explore the topic.

Why Skills Management Matters

  1. Maximizes Team Potential: Understanding and utilizing the unique skills of your team means you're getting the best out of everyone. First of all, in order to have the right people working on the right things, you need to know what people know and want to do.
  2. Drives Business Growth: When you align skills with business needs, magic happens. Projects are completed more efficiently, and your business is primed for growth.
  3. Improves Employee Satisfaction: Employees feel valued and motivated when their skills are recognized and used effectively. Happy employees mean a more productive work environment.
  4. Enhances Adaptability: It's important to be able to quickly adapt to changes. A well-managed skills base means you can pivot and respond to market demands with agility. If you start seeing a demand for a skill go down in advance, it's easier to correct course. It's a big part of forecasting the business ahead, of which we talk about in another blog article: Effective Capacity Planning

How to Implement Effective Skills Management

  1. Skills Assessment: Start by figuring out what skills your team already has. Surveys, performance reviews, and one-on-ones are great tools for this. Have your competence team leads sit down and come up with a skill hierarchy. You should categorize skills, and provide a way to indicate one's skill level (e.g. a simple likert scale from 1 to 5). As a bonus, you can ask people how they feel about working with a certain skill.
  2. Training and Development: Identify skill gaps and invest in training. It's all about giving your team the tools they need to succeed. If there's a specific demand for a skill that you don't currently have in the roster, that's a missed business opportunity!
  3. Use the Right Tools: There's a bunch of software out there that can help you track and manage skills. Find one that fits your company’s needs. Some tools include Pluralsight, Muchskills, Skills Base, and many more. Our tool, Operating, is a resource management tool optimized for agencies, consultancies, and professional service companies, who want to do skills-based resource management.
  4. Regular Check-ins: Skills management isn't a one-time deal. Regularly review and update your skills data to keep it relevant. Make it easy for people to suggest new skills and categories.

Creating a Culture That Values Skills Development

Building a company culture that prioritizes continuous learning and skills development is key. Encourage your team to seek out learning opportunities and make skill development a part of your business strategy. This is crucial for larger companies, where understanding employees' skills and aspirations can be challenging. There might be a huge misalignment between your offering, market demand, and skills. In the worst case scenario, this will lead to people leaving your company, and you losing out on projects as you can't offer the right kind of competence to projects.


Skills management is not just a part of human resources; it's a strategic tool that can drive your business forward. By understanding and leveraging the unique talents of your team, you can achieve higher efficiency, better employee engagement, and a strong position in the competitive market.

With the right approach to skills management, your business can unlock its true potential, adapting and thriving in the ever

-changing business landscape. Remember, the strength of your business lies in the skills and talents of your team. Nurturing and managing these skills effectively is not just beneficial, it's essential for long-term success.

Matti Parviainen photo

Matti Parviainen is the chief product officer at Operating. He's trained hundreds of consultants on what it means to build trust, earn the right to advise, and how to build relationships.


Download our Operating Routine for Staffing

Agencies and consultancies of all sizes – from a boutique to an international powerhouse – should operate efficiently. We wrote a Staffing Routine and a solid agenda for your weekly meeting. Get the guide.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.