From the Ask Tom mailbag –
It’s been at least four years since you spoke to my TEC group. I was chatting with one of my members yesterday and he asked me if I knew whether there was a profiling tool available that indicates a person’s capability related to stratum level?
I had the same question in 2002. The answer was and still is, no. There are some consultants who propose to have a profiling solution, but I would question its validity. Anecdotally, most profiling tools have about a .66 correlation with reality. You might say, well, that’s not too shabby until you understand the flipping a coin has a .50 correlation. So, even if there were a psychometric assessment, its validity would likely not be any better than the others.
I don’t judge people. I’m not very good at it. So, let me propose a much cleaner method. Focus on the work. I don’t judge people, but I do judge the work. Work is decision making and problem solving. Focus there.
Problem Solving Methodology
- S-I – Trial and Error, substituting a single variable at a time until something works.
- S-II – Cumulative diagnostics, experience, best practice. Solving a problem by connecting to a best practice.
- S-III – Cause and effect, if-then, required for a single serial system or a single critical path, root cause analysis.
- S-IV – Multi-system analysis, how one system impacts its neighboring system, based on outputs and inputs, or capacity mis-match.
Look at problem solving required in the work. Then look at the candidate. Is this person any good at solving problems at that level. If they are, that is a clue. Design a project with embedded problem solving, see how they do.
Don’t overthink this level-of-work stuff. It’s not that difficult.