Note: This blog is inspired by this amazing piece published by The Ohio State University: Conceptual DACUMs: They Really Work.
Job analysis is usually performed for roles and occupations that have been around for quite a while. But it is not necessarily the case. Sometimes organizations need to analyze a job that has never been performed by an actual worker, and so it has no definitive shape. Such an analysis could be required when:
- Proposing and forming a new job position,
- Restructuring and expanding an existing job role,
- Evolving jobs due to technological changes,
- Re-envisioning jobs according to new legal requirements or company reorganization,
- Investigating the possibility of new training programs, etc.
Whatever the reason may be, a conceptual job analysis process tends to be a little different than the usual ones. One of the most common methods for job analysis is DACUM. In the DACUM world, such an analysis is typically termed as a Conceptual DACUM. As the name implies, the process focuses on conceptualizing, investigating, and envisioning a futuristic job role.
You won’t always find actual expert workers to perform this type of DACUM, but nonetheless, an expert panel will be appointed. The members involved are usually the people who have some experience with the job under analysis. They could be managers or supervisors, job innovators, consultants, etc.
Performing a Conceptual DACUM in a digital job analysis platform
Aidematic is a job analysis platform that digitally facilitates your job analysis sessions. It is equipped with all the tools and components required to do an effective analysis of a job, such as:
- Scheduling a DACUM workshop
- Inviting participants
- Brainstorming ideas through surveys, collaborative whiteboards, discussion threads, and more.
- Storyboarding duties and tasks
- Utilizing a central competency library to define job enablers
- Using an integrated survey tool for task verification, session feedback, etc.
While you are conducting a DACUM in Aidematic, we allow you to define the type of the DACUM process. This allows you to group and categorize your DACUM processes according to their use and purpose, such as job analysis, occupational analysis, process analysis, functional analysis, and conceptual analysis.
7 Reasons why you should use a digital platform for a conceptual DACUM
There are many ways in which a digital job analysis platform can add value to your conceptual DACUM process. We have listed the top 7 reasons here to help you understand the benefits. So, let’s get started.
Query a digital DACUM profile library
As a conceptual DACUM does not always have a panel of expert workers, it is very challenging to gather the initial required data about the job. A central digital library of various DACUM profiles could be very helpful here. You can simply search the library using the most relevant keywords and go through existing DACUM profiles that closely relate to the job role that needs to be conceptualized. This will give you the big picture of how the conceptual DACUM needs to be initiated and will provide the necessary context to all participants so that they can kickstart the process and save a lot of time.
Save multiple versions of the same DACUM profile
One of the biggest benefits of a digital job analysis platform is the ability to save and track multiple versions of the same DACUM profile. As a conceptual DACUM is prone to frequent changes and updates, such a feature could come in handy that allows you to go back and see how a DACUM profile has progressed and evolved over a time period.
Link relevant DACUM profiles together
You can attach similar DACUM profiles together. By doing so, you get to organize and segment your DACUM profiles according to your needs. Whenever a conceptual DACUM needs to be performed, you can simply start by looking at the chained DACUM profiles to assess the job family and understand the occupational scope.
Facilitate an asynchronous brainstorming activity
It is not easy to get all participants together in the same room or schedule a virtual meeting. Even if everyone gathers in one place, a lot of time is wasted to orient the group and stimulate the brainstorming process. As the job idea is conceptual and new, a digital platform can help you to facilitate the process asynchronously while giving people more time and space to see what others are contributing and build their own thoughts. You can make your session productive and invest an appropriate amount of time in your brainstorming activity by using tools such as:
- Running an initial brainstorming survey and ask the panel to submit their ideas for the possible duties and tasks of the conceptual job role.
- Using a collaborative whiteboard to perform visual brainstorming.
- Opening discussion threads so that participants can think over their opinions and leave comments as ideas come.
- Gather all submitted ideas under one notepad to track the progress so far.
Utilize a searchable duty and task library
A digital job analysis platform provides you the option to search and filter the entire system to find any existing duty and task that closely relates or matches with the conceptual job role. Moreover, as duties and tasks have competencies/enablers attached to them, you can filter the duty and task library to find the ones that have a specific competency attached to it. Such searches will enable you to find, assess, and plan the duty and task requirements of your conceptual job role.
Resume unfinished DACUMs
Conceptual DACUMs take more time and effort as compared to usual DACUMs because not all aspects of the job role are clear and there is always space for revision and improvements. Handing such information in documents, excel files, and personal notepads can be tricky.
This is why a job analysis platform allows you to set the status of your job analysis session to Scheduled, In Progress, or Completed. If the conceptual DACUM needs to be closed for now but requires revision sometime in the future, you can simply set its status to Scheduled and choose a date and time. You will get personalized notifications when it is time to revisit and open it for discussion again.
Moreover, all the data that you collected the first time around, executed surveys, created duties, and tasks are all still there under the conceptual DACUM, allowing you to revise why certain decisions were made and see if they could be improved based on newly experienced information.
The most important: Record the entire process
The biggest benefit of using a digital job analysis platform for conceptual DACUM – over scattered documents, excel sheets, personal notes, disconnected survey tools, and decentralized competencies – is this:
You get to record the process that led to making certain decisions rather than storing the results of the decisions only.
A dedicated job analysis platform ensures all the steps of the process are recorded and captured. So, instead of doing brainstorming verbally, the team is encouraged to send in their ideas through surveys, discussion boards and use a collaborative whiteboard to explain their perspectives. As a conceptual DACUM is subject to frequent changes, you can always go back and see why certain decisions were made and how can they be updated to improve the overall results.