Operational Modeling
Operational modeling is a key aspect of ILS. Operational modeling, or operational process modeling, focuses on breaking down the critical components that drive value for a certain role in terms of internal systems in which it operates. Operational modeling breaks down the nature of the role in the context of the overall value chain and is related to process mapping or value stream mapping as part of value chain analysis. It focuses on defining role as it stands within the context of a convergence of internal operational processes within the overall value chain.

We place systematic attention on four key things:

  • The critical points where the most value is created (or that drive added value in the system) in terms of the overall value stream and the key performance indicators (KPI’s) associated with that.
  • The specific linchpin components of expertise (as a derivative of experience, skills, training etc.) that map directly to the points that drive the most added value.
  • How these key components correlate to outcomes (and variability of outcomes) in terms of executing best-in-class performance in a given role.
  • The range and relationships of factors in play that influence the key components.

Operational modeling is driven by a focus on extreme precision in the definition of how a given role fits within the context of an organization’s processes (value stream). This kind of modeling stands in sharp contrast to the generalized ‘position specifications’ that characterize traditional search.

Initially we undertake detailed client-side problem definition and conduct structured interviews with client operations personnel to develop a skeleton framework for the operational model.

We also seek to identify characteristics of individuals that have succeeded in the past or have not succeeded and how that correlates to key components identified through the operational model.
Operational modeling provides a substantially higher standard for evaluation of critical talent that centers on ability to execute above a baseline capability defined by experience, qualifications etc.

Modified Linchpin Analysis
Linchin analysis is a structuring technique that traditionally tends to be focused on serial, temporal events. Nevertheless, a core concentration of linchpin analysis is on analyzing underlying premises behind key variables or drivers within a complex structure.
ILS uses linchpin analysis in order to accurately understand and map the key factors that contribute to underlying variability in personnel based on the operational model constructed.

ILS focuses on identifying the main uncertain factors or key variables judged likely to drive outcomes – in this context – execution capability for a given role. Linchpin analysis hinges on a highly accurate analysis of the range of, and relationships among, determining factors and a comprehensive assessment of how individuals from specific market pools map onto those key components.

Operational Model Verification and Expansion
Precision in difficult sourcing comes from an in-depth knowledge of the field, the specific sub-segment, and its mechanics. Once we have built a skeleton of the operational model based on internal input we focus on populating the model based on our human intelligence capability. Our operations team will interview 30 to 40 specialized, sector-specific, subject matter experts in order to verify the characteristics of the operational model and, more importantly, expand and deepen the model.

In undertaking verification and expansion of the operational model, we look to deepen our understanding of the critical components that are most likely to drive outcomes in a given role within the overall value stream. We put systematic attention on the linchpin factors correlated with best-in-class performance in the role.

Intelligence gathered is evaluated on a continuous basis by our operations teams for relevance, credibility and reliability prior to incorporation into the working model. As the model is populated, we are more easily able to recognize and identify consistencies and inconsistencies in order to put together a coherent and comprehensive picture. Gaps in information also become clear and compel sourcing additional intelligence to fully populate the model and thus accurately describe the optimal target.

Ultimately, this process provides a comprehensive cross-sectional model of the critical component variables that contribute most significantly to driving value for a given role. For complex target roles this process is extremely intensive. By the end of this process we have what represents the deepest available knowledge from top subject matter experts on what defines best-in-class talent for the specific role within this market segment. In fact, we are often in the position of being able to provide knowledge to clients of which even they were not previously aware.

Distributed Global Human Intelligence Infrastructure
Modern intelligence recognizes the deep capability and global awareness inherent in distributed analytic networks. A core characteristic of ILS lies in a distributed human intelligence infrastructure. CriticalKnowledge has built the capability to target subject matter experts worldwide who are specialized in specific sector sub-segments for each search we do. This approach provides ILS with broad global coverage mixed with deep sector as well as deep localized expertise. In the context of talent, it allows us to leverage highly specialized “communities of practice” that develop in specific market sub-segments – and which have begun to proliferate in the context of ever increasing global interconnectedness and the advancing technology that supports it. Even the largest recruitment firms in the world cannot compete with our ability to leverage knowledge and relationships through our networked infrastructure.
ILS leverages this distributed human intelligence capability in three key ways:

  • Verifying and expanding the operational model.
  • Informing the market pool analysis.
  • Identifying specific target talent.

Intelligence Collection
ILS allows us to rapidly pull together highly dispersed information. We leverage sophisticated proprietary systems to comprehensively access and analyze a massive array of documented and networked sources. Our tools include advanced Boolean and non-Boolean information retrieval techniques including VSM (Vector Space Modeling), Probabilistic Modeling and hybrid techniques. Our operations team is tapped into highly specialized networked sources globally (specialized professional user groups, industry groups, sector expertise sources, shared knowledge groups, specialized networked professional groups, sector specialized knowledgebases, specialized technical sub-committees, focused industry task groups and a range of other directed sources), even in extremely specialized and esoteric areas. We continuously evaluate collected intelligence for reliability and internal consistency in the course of developing a multi-sourced ‘fused’ analyses.

Market Pool Analysis
ILS undertakes comprehensive market pool analyses to determine highly defined, relevant, and reliable market pools for specific, defined sub-segments within talent markets. These highly specific pools are vastly different than the lists of target companies that traditional recruiting uses to try to find appropriate talent. They have comprehensively mapped dimensions and are very narrow in scope. Fundamentally, they further the precision with which we can operate.
Market pool analysis is initially developed based on the operational modeling process. The breakdown of critical components that the operational model provides related to best-in-class performance within relevant value streams, and the systematic analysis of the underlying premises behind these components, enables and instructs market pool analytics. We seek out strong correlations between linchpin factors supporting specific critical components and select, narrowly defined market pools. Fundamentally, it is possible to back into certain highly specific market pools that funnel particularly appropriate talent based on the operational model.

Specific linchpin components and the factors that underlie and shape those components map back to specific expertise (experience, skills, training) on the part of relevant talent. Those characteristics in turn map onto specific market pools. We work at identifying characteristics of specific, specialized market pools most highly correlated to the linchpin components identified through the operational modeling process. As with any kind of business-related market segmentation activity – it is possible to slice and dice potential pools based on variety of variables.

Initially, we focus on identifying market pool hypotheses that require further investigation to determine relevance and reliability. We then work at building a more detailed market model on the basis of the initial market pool analysis, in conjunction with our external subject matter experts. Our deep interaction with the cross-section of subject matter experts we engage helps to identify and shape the market pool analysis – and provides intelligence into specific market pools. Through this process we are able to rapidly assimilate and build sophisticated analyses covering every key player and every identified interest – which we continue to modify and verify on an ongoing basis.

Market Pool Testing and Verification
Based on the market pool analysis, we can go out in conjunction with our networked subject matter expertise and test specific market pools in order to determine correlation with the right talent.

Market Survey Modeling: Construction and Population
Ultimately, we are focused on constructing a comprehensive survey of the market for the relevant sub-segment. Since we are actually doing an in-depth survey of the entire relevant market, there are no situations in which either we or our clients are compelled to wonder whether some other superior option may have existed, as is the case with respect to traditional search techniques.

All of this intensive background work provides us the precision necessary to rapidly funnel towards the individuals acknowledged to be among the best at what they do.

Funneling Specific Options
This overall process, with its focus on extreme specificity both in terms of the operational model constructed and the market pool analysis, funnels us relatively efficiently towards individuals who understand and can address the critical success factors most effectively and are best-suited to the position. As importantly as a result of our networked intelligence capability, these individuals are those deemed by expert colleagues to be best-in-class in terms of ability to execute to the demands of a given organizational role.

Traditional search is evaluative by default. Most of the expert evaluation of individuals who fit the title driven position specification is simply left up the client to recognize potential defects. Analogous to industrial manufacturing processes, quality control at a sophisticated level is left primarily until the end of the line, without systematic identification of relevant issues during the process. Traditional title driven search simply does not gather the operational knowledge required to be able to assess talent in sophisticated ways earlier in the process – which also limits its capability to comprehend talent pools effectively.

ILS, by contrast, focuses on continuous evaluation at every stage of the process in a way that constantly narrows the ‘funnel’ towards those individuals who meet the expert driven standards defined by the operational model.

ILS incorporates assessment as primary continuous factors throughout the scope of the process. ILS is based on continuous assessment that constantly narrows the scope of the investigation until a given individual or very limited sub-set of individuals with highly specific characteristics result.

The assessment capability of CriticalKnowledge ILS is arguably the most sophisticated available. The development of the comprehensive operational model for a given role provides a sophisticated array of critical components against which to conduct an appraisal of target individuals. The fact that the operational model is derived from a cross-section of state-of-the-art sector expertise makes it a powerful tool to evaluate the capabilities of target talent.

ILS incorporates other advanced intelligence tools in the context of talent appraisal. ILS uses, for example, a modified ACH (modified Analysis of Competing Hypotheses) structured analytic technique as an advanced evaluation methodology. This modified ACH provides a means of systematically testing validity of hypotheses operations personnel make in the context of specific target individuals.

Collaborative Verification
This kind of intensive verification is enhanced by our ability to leverage our networked intelligence capability to conduct external third party verification of an individual’s capabilities beyond any references provided solely by the individual.