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A learned ability to do something well


A person's skills enables him to complete tasks well. Skills are thus related to practice and they may be a part of tacit knowledge. Skills can be developed via personal learning. Organisations usually manage their skills as part of their competency management and there are several processes, including training, to use for developing the skills of their employees.

Skill is an ability of an individual to do something well, i.e. it is a synonym for individual's know-how. Skills can be learned, developed and taught. Skill is not like talent which we are or are not born with.

Skills are related to practice and to doing things. A person with a long experience, may not be able to fully explain how and why he is doing things. Thus by definition, skills can be a part of a person's tacit knowledge.

Managing skills

As part of their competency management, organisations usually develop competency models which include skills that are needed in the organisation. Skills defined in competency models are linked to role descriptions and thus become part of managing individual competencies.

Organisations often group the needed skills into skill sets. These may include technical skills, communication skills, management skills, people skills etc.

The methods for managing skills are usually a part of the following management methods

There are also several tools available for managing the skills of an organisation, both for the organisation and for individuals, which are commonly referred to by the terms, Yellow Pages, Expert Directory, or Expertise Directory.

Developing skills

Skills are part of individuals knowledge and competency and they can be learned. Thus there are several options for organisations to build new skills or further develop the existing ones. The processes to achieve this involve personal learning. Some most typical tools are listed below

The choice of an appropriate tools depends on the skill in question. As skills are related to doing something, usually a class room training or lecture are not sufficient and some practical exercises are required. To develop a skill into a level where it is a part of person's tacit knowledge, experience of working with various real tasks which are sufficiently challenging is required.



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