Assembling an "All-Star" Team

According to the Harvard Business Review, "…evidence from a variety of industries suggests that star employees outperform other employees by a country mile". Indeed in their 2013 article 'Making Star Teams Out of Star Players' the HBR wrote: "When it comes to an organization's scarcest resource—talent—the difference between the best and the rest is enormous. In fields that involve repetitive, transactional tasks, top performers are typically two or three times as productive as others." KnowledgeSmart subscribers agree.

We know we've hired super stars when they score highly on KnowledgeSmart. We also know that we can plug super stars into any team and they'll increase team productivity.

Peter Taylor Engineering Systems Manager, Tata Steel Projects (TSP), Manchester, UK

Taylor is responsible for reviewing emerging software offerings as he develops and maintains the strategy for best use of software on TSP projects.

Being 'KnowledgeSmart' when resourcing Projects

At Stantec – a multi-discipline AE firm with 15,000 employees – KnowledgeSmart skills analysis improves insight for management when comparing skills, knowledge, and performance across project teams. Stantec also uses KnowledgeSmart to improve the productivity of teams and by balancing team skills.

Where a team is already resourced, we use KnowledgeSmart scores to 'Re-shuffle the deck' so that we may better position people to maximise the effectiveness of their contributions. For Stantec this ability to 'course correct' teams and individuals delivers increased efficiencies.

Jim Marchese Corporate BIM Education Leader, Stantec, Philadelphia, USA

It's not just AEC firms who benefit by resourcing projects with the best talent. HBR states that the best developer at Apple is at least nine times more productive that the average software engineer at other technology companies.

Daily Decisions Should be Data Driven

At A2K – one of the largest Autodesk channel partners globally with offices throughout Australia, New Zealand and China – they recognise that the world has changed. They claim that with 20-20 insight into software skills, project team leaders can now resource projects with greater levels of certainty for higher quality outcomes.

With customer loyalty programs gathering data about our every purchase and with Amazon predicting what we are 'likely' to 'want' to buy in future, BIG DATA has changed how we interact and behave. In much the same way we can now use KnowledgeSmart BIM skills assessment results to remove emotion from the project team resourcing process, to guarantee the best outcomes.

Sean Twomey ANZ Consulting Manager, A2K Technologies, Sydney, Australia

Twomey is not alone; "Old school subjective assessments are unreliable." explained Lonnie Cumpton, Senior Director of Professional Services at US CAD. "Such assessments are mere opinions unsupported by facts. And when the opinion is wrong it very often proves to be an extraordinarily expensive way to do business." He concluded.

Informed Inter-Team Mobility Delivers Productivity Gains

AT RTKL – a multi-discipline design practice with global presence – KnowledgeSmart is being used to make smarter, more well-informed data-driven decisions about people's software skills when resourcing project teams.

HR is involved in the process of project resourcing when new project teams are assembled. HR knows 'why' people were hired and retains a high-level view of the firm's talent base. At RTKL, the nature of project-centric resourcing determines that individuals are moved from one project team to another as the workflow rises and falls across the project lifecycle.

Andrew Victory Associate, RTKL, London, UK

HOK agrees. "HOK is committed to making sure every team member's skills and knowledge are as deep and as broad as can be to streamline the project resourcing process."

Even Super Stars Need to Train

Back at Stantec, the HR department recognises that super stars are not 'born' they are 'developed'. From years of experience, Stantec knows that world-class talent of all kinds will multiply the productivity and performance advantages of an all-star team.

By providing JIT training we are making it easier to resource projects. We can select the right people for a given project based on their domain skills and using KnowledgeSmart skills assessments we can identify and eliminate skills gaps by completing targeted 'small sip' training modules.

Susan Clark-Serediuk HR Leader, Stantec, Toronto, Canada

In this way Stantec is gradually assembling a series of all-star teams.

HBR's key takeaway

Companies that are good at managing "A" players keep comprehensive, granular data on where their people are currently deployed, what those people do, how good they are in their current roles, and how transferable their skills may be.

KnowledgeSmart companies use that information to continually improve their staffing resources and to deploy them more effectively.