Skills Matrix Optimizer

The Skills Matrix Optimizer assigns skills to workers, shows what skills are delinquent when during the day they are unable to respond and identifies other resources that could fill the gap if trained. The Skills Matrix identifies the problem areas and recommends what skills training provides the most significant benefit.

Skills Matrix Optimizer graph 1

The Skills Matrix Optimizer is a comprehensive model object, having everything that is needed to develop and analyze diverse skills. Unique capabilities include:

Development Automation

  • Quick setup and skill assignment. Provides a method to prioritize who should respond first.
  • Automatically creates the action logic to assign workers with priorities.
  • Adds needed Attributes and Variables to ProcessModel.
  • Writes the logic to collect how long customers wait and which resources are free during the same hour.
  • Easily creates all shifts on a single sheet — Shows “bodies on shift” by skill, group, etc.

Results Automation

  • See when skills requests are overloaded. Analyze graphs identifying which skills are delinquent by the hour of the day (and day of the week).
  • Observe trends with consolidated weekday and weekend graphs.
  • Find recommendations of which resources have availability for training during backlogs.


  • Call Centers
  • Service Center
  • Repair Processes
  • Design Processes

Characteristics of processes for which this model object is most useful:

  • The process has a diverse but defined product stream. Several to many product types, with each product type requiring a defined set of skills.
  • People servicing the product stream have training in one or more of the required skills.
  • There is variation in the arrival pattern and product mix.

The system is confusing to understand because of changing arrival quantity and time, change in the product stream, many of the people having training in many skills (can be busy servicing one skill when another is requested) and employee shift variability.

How to use the Skills Matrix Optimizer

As a comprehensive model object, there are several steps to set up, run, and analyze the output. The Skill Matrix Optimizer combines capabilities in ProcessModel never before accessible so the extra work will provide great benefit.

  1. Open Model or Create a New Model: The general structure of the model should be created to send different skills to different activities. An example structure  follows:Skills Matrix Optimizer graph 2Route skill requests to an “activity” via a percentage or conditional route, depending on the circumstances. Name the skills activities according to the modeling need. A model may have more than one skills breakout (similar to the graphic shown above) in different parts of the model. A model may have 50 or more skills. The limit is undetermined.
  2. Insert the Model Object into Your Model
    1. Locate the model object in the Resource section named Skills Matrix and select the insert button.Skills Matrix Optimizer graph 3
    2. Move the cursor to the point of insertion and left mouse-click. The upper left corner of the model object becomes the insert point. There are a small number of elements added to the model, but these inserted items will perform many functions. The Skills Matrix (Excel icon) will be used often, so move it for easy access. The trigger entity and activity provide critical data collection, but not accessed by the user, so move them out of the way.Skills Matrix Optimizer graph 4
    3. Prepare the Model to Use the Skills Matrix Optimizer: The Skills Matrix Optimizer looks for specific elements and words to identify needed changes. To allow this model object to interface with your model, you need to modify the model to use the keywords. The necessary changes follow:
      1. The Skills Matrix Optimizer looks for specific elements and words to identify needed changes. To allow this model object to interface with your model, you need to modify the model to use the keywords. The necessary changes follow:Skills Matrix Optimizer graph 5The Skills Matrix Optimizer looks for Storages with the text “_InQ” on the end of the Storage name. These Storages is where the proper resource is assigned. Capitalization is not important.Skills Matrix Optimizer graph 6
      2. Change the settings on the skill Activity. Change the Activity Input Queue Capacity to zero. Change the Activity Capacity to handle the max simultaneous requirement (estimate what will be required). Change the Time to zero.Skills Matrix Optimizer graph 7
      3. Add Action Logic to perform the processing time and release any captured people. Free ALL, releases any “resources” attached to the entity that crosses the FREE statement.Skills Matrix Optimizer graph 8If there are several steps in the skill, move the FREE ALL statement to the last activity. If there are multiple exit activities, then add the FREE ALL to each exit point.
      4. Connect the Storage (input queue) to the Activity (skill work area) with a percentage route and set the Move Time to zero.