IT Staffing Strategy Terminology

I am thinking about IT staffing strategy. In order to share my thoughts, I need to define some aspects of that strategy, and perhaps explain why I think they are important. I am not an OD guy, nor do I play one on TV. I have, however, observed and participated in management and leadership in information technology for over twenty years.

Earlier posts on IT Strategy including Goal Strategy Policy and Vision, Strategy, Policy are the beginnings of where these thoughts come from.

Aspects of Work

It is important to understand How Much and What we are being asked to accomplish by When as well as what our current ability is to accomplish.

Demand – need or plan for accomplishment per period of time; a property of the customer, as such demand exists despite our ability to satisfy.

Capacity – accomplishment per time period; the current ability of our organization to satisfy demand.

Value Steam – Sequence of activities required to design, produce, and provide a specific good or service, and along which information, materials, and worth flows.  This implies that some activities are not required to produce that product or service.  In fact, value stream is the work required to meet the demand.  All activities that are not somehow aligned with meeting the demand are non-value stream activities.

Aspects of Individuals

It is important to understand what you need from your staff.

Skill – The ability to execute a practice, process, or procedure successfully; the ability to accomplish.

Competence – The ability to increase or acquire skill over time; the ability to grow in capacity.

Talent – The ability to decide which skill is best to apply, and/or invent and execute practice, process, or procedure, where no skill exist with reasonable success, and/or the propensity to gain competence in acquired skills.

Leadership – The ability to understand and define goals, coordinating the accomplishment of others towards the achievement of those goals. The ability to help others increase skill and competence. The ability to identify, nurture, and develop talent in others.


Aspects of Enterprise

It is important to understand activities involved in converting time into value.

Management – The process of administering staff, ensuring that appropriate policies, practices, processes, and procedures are established and followed.

Execution – The process of setting goals along with defining plans and marshaling resources and talent to accomplish those goals.

Knowledge Management – The process of orchestrating the collection and deployment of knowledge; specifically with a view toward increasing the capacity of resources in an organization.

Sourcing – The processes that an organization can use to acquire skill, capacity, competence, talent and leadership. Guiding principles around which options are to be used to acquire what.

I don’t know if you like these definitions as I developed them myself. Next post I will try to form an idea of how these concepts work together, and how they correlate to staffing strategy.  I noticed after I developed this list how similar leadership and execution are.  Perhaps that portrays a relationship that I didn’t see before.  Leadership – the human capacity for execution… sounds like an idea to explore in a future post.

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