A competency based human resources architecture


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Zachman architecture applied to human resources in logistics

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A competency based human resources architecture

  1. 1. Abstract Number: 002-0268 Title of the Paper: A COMPETENCY-BASED HUMAN RESOURCES ARCHITECTURE FOR LOGISTIC ENTERPRISES Name of the Conference: Second World Conference on POM and 15th Annual POM Conference, Cancun, Mexico, April 30 - May 3, 2004 Author 1: Name: Alejandro Domínguez-Torres Institution: División de Estudios de Posgrado, Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC) Address: Avenida Marina Nacional 500, Colonia Anáhuac, C.P. 11320, México, D.F. MEXICO E-mail: jadoming@mail.unitec.mx, www.unitec.mx Author 2: Name: Carmen de Nieves Nieto Institution: Departamento de Economía de la Empresa, Área de Organización de Empresas, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena Address: Campus Muralla del Mar s/n, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena (Murcia), ESPAÑA (Spain) E-mail:carmen.denieves@upct.es, www.upct.es Tel.: (+34) (9)68 32 64 79 Fax: (+34) (9)68 32 64 09 1
  2. 2. A COMPETENCY-BASED HUMAN RESOURCES ARCHITECTURE FOR LOGISTIC ENTERPRISES1 ALEJANDRO DOMÍNGUEZ-TORRES2 JADOMING@MAIL.UNITEC.MX, WWW.UNITEC.MX CARMEN DE NIEVES-NIETO3 CARMEN.DENIEVES@UPCT.ES, WWW.UPCT.ES ABSTRACT Taking into account that logistics is a competitive advantage in business and that human resources are the main asset for an enterprise, a Competency-Based Human Resources Architecture for Logistic Enterprises is built. In order to do that, the need of having such architecture is firstly exposed. As a second step, the architecture and the relationship among its components are defined. Thirdly, in order to these components become competency components, its associated knowledge and a set of skills to them. The architecture so defined is then validated against real logistics enterprises. This validation shows that the architecture may be a useful and powerful tool for performing either engineering or reengineering of logistics enterprises. KEY WORDS: Architecture, competency, human resources, logistics, supply chain, Zachman framework. INTRODUCTION: THE NEED OF HUMAN RESOURCES ARCHITECTURE IN LOGISTICS From the beginning of civilisation, people has required goods or services either not available in its neighbourhood where they live in, or not available at the desired moment. That is the main reason why logistics (understood as the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from point of origin to point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements [Logistics World]) has become important for the human being. 1 Authors thank to the Centro Español de Logística (CEL, Logistics Spanish Centre) for the support provided in the realization of this research. 2 División de Estudios de Posgrado, Universidad Tecnológica de México, México. www.unitec.mx. 3 Departamento de Organización de Empresas, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, España. www.upct.es. 2
  3. 3. It seems that it has been just in the last few years when logistics appeared and was created. The true is that logistics always has been around, however the fact of considering logistics as a competitive advantage in business comes from few years ago to present, that is why logistics has become as an interesting business field of study. As its definition suggests it [Logistic World], the flow of goods, services and information creates a chain of processes. In order to be efficient, this chain must not have any type interruptions. Such a chain of processes is called the “Supply Chain”. In order to develop a correct management of the Supply Chain, Lambert [Lambert] differentiates two management parts. The first one is the physical and technical part, which includes planning, control, working flows, organisation structure, information, and communication. And the second one is the management and acting part, which includes management, methods, leadership, risk, business culture, and other similar factors. This drives to enterprises to recruit personnel with different and specialised competencies. Here a competency is understood as the combination of skills, and knowledge enabling persons to perform assigned tasks and roles. West [West] points out logistics personnel plays and important role in the Supply Chain, since it will be in charge not only of developing it, but also to develop the logistics knowledge and managing techniques. Hence enterprises are beginning to realise that their main asset is based on personnel and on its competencies, so that if they loose competent workers, they are also loosing part of the associated business knowledge and therefore supplying becomes very difficult. Due to the fact that each enterprise has its particular way of doing logistics and the various personnel’s competencies needed to accomplish the specific procedures in the corresponding Supply Chain, human resources departments of logistics enterprises have found several problems to define a set of self contained and robust competency-based human resource architecture helping to achieve all of the procedures embedded in the Supply Chain. The present paper formulates such architecture. This architecture describes the structure, the relationships among their various components, as well as the competency of each component. Here, the competency of each component is understood as the knowledge and the set of skills that components must achieve in order to accomplish the procedures belonging to Supply Chain. It is important to say that these human resource components may or may not necessarily be related to components in a hierarchical human resources structure. 3
  4. 4. THE ARCHITECTURE From a simple point of view, an architecture is the structure of a system, consisting of major components and their interactions [WHAT]. From a formal point of view, an architecture must have the following characteristics [WIN]:  It is a framework within which system designs may be placed and whose structure they adopt;  It is composed of a set of generic components that may (or must) be used in the systems;  It has a set of generic relations (interfaces) that may (or must) be used between these components and some rules about all of these that guide and constrain their use, and the addition of new parts of the framework or new components. Obviously, there are several types of architectures, say technical, applicative, informational, logical, physical, executable, etc. Each one has its own context of working. It is important to say that an architecture may be of several types at the same time. The concept of architecture is quite important for understanding and application of the architecture developed below. In fact, this concept is useful to help solving the problem of defining different human resource models for various enterprises having different organisational structure and ways of viewing logistics. Since, the competency (knowledge and a set of skills) of a entity (person, department, area) is commonly used to perform a predetermined cluster of actions, let consider Ross [Ross] logistical focus based on processes. These are those associated to steps of the life cycle model followed in logistics. These steps are (see also Figure 1):  Planning: In logistics, this means to gather order requirements, getting information of the present and future storage levels and planning to serve future orders.  Analysis: This means to analyse how to serve all the orders received.  Design: In Supply Chain this means to design the planned orders, delivery points, dates, ways of delivering, priorities, etc.  Implementation: The design created in the last step is now implemented. In logistics, this means to operate previous design in order to reach the perfect delivery.  Maintenance: It means to verify the state of delivering. 4
  5. 5. Planing (gathering requirements, getting informatión, and plan future orders) Analysis (analysis of how to serve planned orders) Design (design the planned orders, delivery points, dates, ways of delivering, priorities) Implementation (Implement designed solution) Maintenance (Mintain implemented solution) Figure 1: Logistics life cycle model. Notice that this life cycle model is also independent of the size and the way of thinking about logistics of a particular enterprise. The life cycle model suggests a set of components for the architecture to be defined, say:  Logistics director for planning step;  Logistics analyst for analysis step;  Logistics designer for designing step;  Logistics supervisor and logistics operator for implementation and maintenance steps. It is important to notice that these components may or may not be associated to job positions in a particular enterprise. In order to build an architecture with these components, their relationship among them must be defined. The natural relationship is that defined for the life cycle model. This relationship may be complemented if it is noticed that in order to perform their activities they need certain information from environment that must be managed with the suitable technology at the proper time. It is important to say that not all of the components need the same kind of information and technology to accomplish their tasks that is why in Figure 2 lines from information and technology boxes start at different places. 5
  6. 6. Figure 2: Human Resources Logistics Architecture. These components become truly competency components if their skills and knowledge are defined. These definitions are given in the following two sections. SKILLS NEEDED IN EACH LOGISTICS COMPONENT For defining the set of skills needed in each logistics component, it is followed the work done by De Miguel [DeMiguel]. This author points out that enterprise top direction usually has skills to do planning, intermediate managers usually has skills to develop analysis and design, and operatives and supervisors usually has skill to perform implementation and maintenance (see Figure 3). Figure 3: Main skills for each logistics component. Another alternative way of viewing the skills that each component should have is shown in Figure 4. In this Figure the solid line shows human relations skills while the doted line shows 6
  7. 7. technical skills. Thus, a logistics director should have high human relations skills and low technical skills, while a logistics operator should have high technical skills and low human relations skills. An interesting component is logistics designer. This component should have both human relations and technical skills distributed in the same proportion. This characteristic is because a designer must understand both technical and non-technical work in order to design tasks according to the enterprise way of doing logistics. Technical skills High Low Human skills Logistics Logistics Logistics Logistics Logistics Operator Supervisor Designer Analyst Director Figure 4. Alternative view for the skills needed for each logistics component. Both Figures 3 and 4 define skills required in each component. KNOWLEDGE NEEDED IN EACH LOGISTICS COMPONENT Knowledge is information that leads to action. Thus, logistics components have knowledge when they discern what, how, where, who, when, and why to do in their corresponding processes in the Supply Chain. If logistics components are placed on the left side of a table and on columns are placed the dimensions of knowledge (what, how, where, who, when, and why) of the logistics development effort, then it is obtained a Zachman-like-framework [ZIFA] for logistics. This framework will be useful to define knowledge required in each logistics component. In order to build such a framework the work done by David C. Hay [Hay] is reformulated from the point of view of logistics. The resulting framework is shown in Table 1. Each row on Table 1 represents the knowledge of one of the logistics components in the Supply Chain. Moreover, this framework recognises that logistics is developed by distinct components with different points of view. 7
  8. 8. Finally, Table 1 addresses more than data and functions. It establishes a matrix that encompasses, for each component, data, function, location, people, time, and motivation. Table 1. The Zachman enterprise framework for logistics. WHAT HOW WHERE WHO WHEN WHY (DATA) (FUNCTION) (NETWORK) (PEOPLE) (TIME) (MOTIVATION) List of List of List of logistics locations List of LOGISTICS things processes List of List of logistics where the logistics DIRECTOR important to the logistics units goals/strategies enterprise events/cycles logistics enterprise operates perform A Logistics contiguous organizational model of the Logistics Logistics LOGISTICS Logistics chart, with things seen process master Logistics plan ANALYST network roles, skill by the model schedule sets, security participants issues in logistics Logistics Logistics Essential human dependency Distributed LOGISTICS Logistics logistics interface diagram, Logistics rules logistics DESIGNER data model data flow architecture logistics model architecture diagrams (roles, data, process access) structure Logistics user interface Logistics Detailed design (how control flow Logistics LOGISTICS logistics Logistics logistics will diagram Logistics rules data SUPERVISOR program architecture behave); (logistics design architecture design logistics control security structure) design Detailed Logistics user Logistics Logistics Logistics logistics interfacing, data network timing Logistics rule LOGISTICS program logistics operation operation operation operation and OPERATOR operation security and and and maintenance and operation and maintenance maintenance maintenance maintenance maintenance Table 1 may be extended in two ways. The first one is in Amplitude, that means to complement description for each row and thus to each grid. The second one is in Depth, that means specifying sub-functions for each row and thus to each grid. This extension will be particular for each enterprise. ARCHITECTURE VALIDATION IN REAL LOGISTICS ENTERPRISES So far, the required Competency-Based Human Resources Architecture for Logistic Enterprises has been completed. Indeed, it satisfies the definition for architecture and each 8
  9. 9. one of its components can be now recognised as competency components. Thus, the next step is to validate the architecture in real logistics enterprises. In conjunction with the Centro Español de Logística (CEL, Logistic Spanish Centre) some representative Spanish-based enterprises were selected. For these enterprises, a predefined questionnaire based on the information contained on each grid of Table 1 was applied. The main aim of questionnaire was to check out the completeness of information contained on each grid of Table 1. Application of questionnaire was not straightforward since some problems arise when questionnaires were applied. The main problem was to face with the different job positions and their names the enterprises have in logistics. As a matter of fact, for each enterprise its structural job levels do not necessarily agree with the number of competency components (five) in the architecture. In fact, 55% of enterprises under study have three structural levels, whereas 45% of them have four levels. This is not a surprise since, as it was said before, competency components do not necessarily represent job positions. So, the problem of facing the different enterprise job positions was solved not facing the enterprise job level o position, but facing functions performed and information required without having into account the job position they belong to. Next table shows the Zachman enterprise framework for logistics having in each grid a number indicating percentage of enterprises fully achieving the respective entry. As it may be seen from this table, the higher logistics component (logistics director) almost achieves each entry. Notice that in general the achieving of each entry is diminished when passing from director to analyst, from analyst to designer, and from designer to supervisor. However there is a fully achieving when passing from supervisor to operator. This last result should not be a surprise since it is well known and quite common many enterprises do strategy and then implementation, skipping analysis and design steps of logistics life cycle model (see Figure 1). 9
  10. 10. Table 2. The Zachman enterprise framework for logistics. WHAT HOW WHERE WHO WHEN WHY (DATA) (FUNCTION) (NETWORK) (PEOPLE) (TIME) (MOTIVATION) List of List of List of logistics locations List of things processes the List of List of logistics LOGISTICS where the logistics important to enterprise logistics units goals/strategies DIRECTOR enterprise events/cycles logistics perform (77%) (88%) operates (100%) (100%) (100%) (83%) A Logistics contiguous organizational model of the Logistics Logistics Logistics chart, with LOGISTICS things seen master Logistics plan process model network roles, skill ANALYST by the schedule (100%) (50%) (100%) sets, security participants (50%) issues in logistics (50%) (100%) Logistics Logistics human dependency Essential Distributed Logistics interface diagram, Logistics rules LOGISTICS logistics data logistics data model architecture logistics model DESIGNER flow diagrams architecture (55%) (roles, data, process (65%) (50%) (65%) access) structure (53%) (50%) Logistics user interface Logistics Detailed design (how control flow Logistics logistics Logistics logistics will diagram Logistics rules LOGISTICS data program architecture behave); (logistics design SUPERVISOR architecture design (50%) logistics control (50%) (50%) security structure) (50%) design (50%) (65%) Logistics user Logistics Detailed Logistics Logistics interfacing, data logistics network timing Logistics rule logistics LOGISTICS operation program operation operation operation and security OPERATOR and operation and and and maintenance operation and maintenance maintenance maintenance maintenance (100%) maintenance (100%) (100%) (100%) (100%) (100%) CONCLUSIONS Once the architecture has been presented and showed how was done its validation, it can be concluded that it is really matches real enterprises. Verification of this architecture shows that it cannot be applied straightforward to enterprises since in them there exists different structure levels. Indeed, in the proposed architecture there are five logistic components while in enterprises there are either three or four of them. This remark should not be viewed as a 10
  11. 11. limitation of the architecture since, as it was said before, components may or may not be associated to job positions in a particular enterprise. Architecture may have several applications. For example, it may be helpful to  Define a logistics job structure;  Define the way of doing logistics,  Reengineer logistics procedures;  Complement logistics functions. Obviously, these applications are enterprise dependent; however since relationships among components and their functions are well defined no major problems should appear in applying the architecture to a particular enterprise. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES [De De Miguel E., Introducción a la gestión (Management). Vol I. 8ª Edición. Miguel] Servicio de publicaciones de la Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Valencia España 1993 [Hay] Hay, D. C., A Different Kind of Life Cycle: The Zachman Framework. http://www.essentialstrategies.com/publications/methodology/zachman.htm. Visited December 2003. [Lambert] Lambert D. M. and P. F. Osborn III, Supply Chain Management. XXIII Jornadas de Logística. Salón Internacional de la Logística, Barcelona Junio 2001 [Logistics Logistics World, What is logistics? World] http://www.logisticsworld.com/logistics.htm. Visited November 2003. [Ross] Ross D. F., Competing trough Supply Chain Management: creating Market- winning strategies through Supply Chain Partnerships. Materials Management. Logistics Series. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 3º Edición USA. 2003. [West] West, C., SCM is about People not Technology. Logistics Quarterly. Volume 7. Issue 3. Summer 2001. www.lq.ca/issues/fall2001/articles/article15.html Consultada 30/05/2002. 11
  12. 12. [WHAT] What is an architecture? http://www.trireme.com/ot97/posters/jackson01/ArchIs2.html. Visited December 2002. [WIN] Winterbotham, J. What is an architecture? Advanced Networked Systems Architecture. ANSA Project. UK, 1986. http://www.ansa.co.uk/ANSATech/86/AO2601.pdf. Visited November 2003. [ZIFA] The Zachman framework for enterprise architecture. The Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement. http://www.zifa.com. Visited December 2002. 12