Monday, 22 September 2014

Knowing the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) Well in People/Team Management - A Key Requirement.

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In order to fulfill the operational challenges and set a goal for self and the team, a key requirement is that the leader possesses a sound understanding of his/her self's and the team members KSAs. KSA in simple terms is the set of proficiencies required to perform a job, and can be further explained as follows:
• Knowledge - It is the sum total of information one possesses to perform a particular job, that is gained by education, training or experience in previous work environment/s.
• Skill - Is a measurable competency to perform a set of specific functions within the job.
• Ability - It is a consistent observable pattern or response which always results in a desired outcome.
These qualities/capabilities are primarily used to distinguish one individual's caliber from the other. These are very important aspects that are normally considered in conjunction, during job interviews. It's a very effective way to measure and choose the best match possible among a group, for the role.
However, our purpose of knowing the KSAs in this context is slightly different, we do not aim to use the learning to eliminate or undermine a particular individual from others. Instead we aim to sync each of their KSAs and align them to attain a common purpose or achieve a goal. The clear understanding of each individual's KSA is hence required to compliment or balance the team's performance in difficult situations/times. It can be also used as a powerful cross training tool to use one particular individual's capabilities to train other/s falling short of the same. This is also one of the most effective ways of bonding as each person is aware of whom to approach for a particular domain knowledge within the team. This way they are better prepared the next time when a similar task comes up and also strive to create a strong back up plan in the process. Altogether this enables smooth functioning of the team. As a leader, one should actively participate in this entire exercise and provide inputs using their KSAs whenever and wherever possible. And for the leader, in the longer run he/she is up skilling and contributing meaningfully to their team members overall personality development. People would certainly reinforce their trust in you and appreciate your foresight in grooming them to be future leaders, whenever an appropriate opportunity comes along. This is a continuous chain of learning as you will remind them do the same when they grow up to be leaders and have a team themselves.

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