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To What Granularity Should Skills Be Tracked?

When setting up resource skills for the organization, the question often comes up as to how granular to make the list. This can be more an art than a science, and can vary based on the organization, but the general rule of thumb is: Define the list so that you can reasonable request the right resources for projects.

For example, in an IT organization, “Developer” may be too broad, whereas “supreme Java developer – level B with a hat” would be way to specific. “Java developer” would suffice.  And while “DBA” may be adequate for your IT organization, if you have SQL and Oracle DBA’s, you may want to distinguish between the two by listing the skills separately.

Some other general rules of thumb are:

  • Aim for the minimum number of skills that will allow a project manager to request what is needed, and a resource manager to properly distinguish between disparate members of the resource pool.
  • Aim for a 10:1 ratio of resources to skill (one skill for every ten resources, max); ideally no more than 75 skills or the list becomes unmanageable when searching.

Keep in mind that skills can be used as primary or secondary skills for resources. Primary skill in ResourceFirst equates to the person’s “role.” Additional skills can be added to the resource via the Skills Matrix button on the Resource Data tab. When searching for candidates in Effort Forecasting, all resources with the skill as primary or secondary will appear as candidates.

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