Interesting application of the Theory of Constraints

Mark Lefcowitz has written an interesting article that has been posted on ZDNet UK titled "How to fix IT skill shortages and misalignments" and also on TechRepublic as "How to fix IT skill shortages and misalignments". The article describes the application of the Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC) to fixing the IT skill shortage. Mark writes:

Consider what would happen if workers were paid on the basis of their demonstrated skill-sets in specific knowledge areas, functional skills, and technological acumen, rather than their title and longevity within the organization? As new skill-set needs became the standard, compensation could be phased-out. As new skills set needs were identified, compensation could be phased-in. What would be the likely outcomes of such an approach?

I think this is an interesting concept and definitely an interesting application of TOC. I think this application would have some issues though and have thought of these questions…there are probably many more issues with the actual implementation of this methodology.

  1. How would the skill sets be measured to ensure fairness and accuracy?
  2. Using this approach, is it possible to keep those people that are interested in becoming ‘experts’ in certain areas?
  3. Using this approach allows for constant growth for employees, but how would that organization reward those employees that wish to move out of technical roles and into management roles?
  4. Does this ‘skill set compensation’ method apply to the entire organization or just the technical roles?

For those that don’t know about TOC a basic primer can be found at Genuine Curiosity.

Thanks to Frank Patrick for the link to Mark’s article.

[tags] Theory of Constraints, TOC, Goldratt, Management, Human Resources [/tags]