IYS has created a Skills and Occupations Taxonomy (backend) and a Skills Profiler (frontend) that together enable creating of comprehensive skills profiles of people and jobs.
IYS spent years researching profiles of people across industries and functions. Likewise the jobs across levels, functions and industries. It has tried to understand the nuances of jobs and occupations in terms of skills and tried to see if there are patterns in the construct of skills.
The end objective was to create one catalog or menu that can be used by anyone at any level, industry or function to map and articulate their skills. And this required operating at three levels.
Conceptual layer - how should the skills be organized
Database and backed application layer - where skills are actually captured and organized
Frontend layer - where skills are rendered to the users for them to map and articulate skills
This process of evolving a tool has been extremely tedious. We realized there are far too many variables and these variables had dependencies. Touch one piece of the puzzle and something in other plane would get impacted. It was like solving the Rubik cube puzzle.
It was not a mental process of solving the problem. Whenever we realized that one element in one layer is having a major impact on others, the whole set of things would have to created (conceptual-database & application-frontend). And when a new version is created the whole lots of skills for all the categories would have to be re-organized almost from scratch and tested to see if previously identified problems were solved and if new problems have cropped up. This part is the most tricky thing. We could not prototype a solution for one part of the system and that it will work for the whole system. We would do re-organizing of skills for IT category and then we applied this to all other categories, we would realize that the reorganization does not work well in other categories, for example Sales & Marketing.
And the biggest challenge was the frontend. There was nothing we saw out there which could be used as a design to cater to the frontend. We realized the complexities only when we designed-developed-tested. And if something did not work at the frontend layer then to solve this the two other layers would have to also be reworked.
The whole process curation, conceptual organization, development of database and application and designing of the frontend has taken us years. But finally I think we have what we have been having in our mind.
And now the Skills Profiler is for the world to use to take a leap into a simpler and commonsensical way of doing things in the talent space.