The traditional curriculum in the educational sector today does not align with the work performed in the industry. This significant gap between what is taught in the classroom to students and what is required in the real, practical world leads to the concept of occupational analysis. Industry experts have found several useful methods for analyzing jobs to understand industry requirements and DACUM is one of the most effective.

Table of Contents

What is DACUM?

DACUM (acronym for Developing a Curriculum) is an occupational analysis method where high-performing workers of a specific occupation come together for a brainstorming session and undergo a storyboarding process to identify various duties and tasks performed on the job. This process is based on the key principle that the work involved in a job role is best described by the expert workers who are performing on that line of duty in the industry.

DACUM Participants

The DACUM method involves a number of participants, including the panel of expert workers, a DACUM facilitator who assists the whole process and a recorder who is recording the duties and tasks being identified.

DACUM Process

Step 1: Initial Brainstorming Session

DACUM workshop takes anywhere between 2-4 days. The process starts with the facilitator providing orientation to the workshop, and the panel of experts begin with discussing the organizational chart and the job area of the occupation.

Step 2: Storyboarding Duties and Tasks

Once the contextual and broader scope of the occupation is brought into perspective, the discussion moves to job responsibilities and the tasks performed to fulfill each responsibility. As duties and tasks are being identified by the expert workers, they are written down by the recorder as statements on pieces of paper which are then stuck to the board ahead. This approach helps all panel experts to visualize the identified content in a storyboarding manner.

Step 3: Identifying Worker Skills and Competencies

The expert workers then move to identifying the skills, knowledge, behaviors, attitude and personality trait that are required to be demonstrated by the worker on the job. This also involves identifying any tools and equipment handling requirements, physical labor demands, etc.

Step 4: Reorganize, Review and Validate

The process then proceeds to the final step where all identified information is organized and reviewed to verify that the different aspects of the job are defined and well-stated.

DACUM Profile and its Uses

The outcome of DACUM is a detailed occupational profile that shows all duties that are performed on the job and the containing tasks. Moreover, the skills, knowledge, competencies, as well as tools and equipment requirements of the job are also analyzed and stated. The DACUM profile can be used for a number of reasons, which include:

  1. Communicating all information about a job role to employees
  2. Conceptualizing new job roles
  3. Recruiting appropriate talent
  4. Assessing training needs
  5. Developing curriculum for educational institutes
  6. Evaluating employee performance
  7. Developing job descriptions

DACUM Challenges

Although DACUM is a highly effective process for creating a complete profile for any occupation, there are still some challenges faced by DACUM participants, such as:

Addressing geographical distances between expert workers

If expert workers involved in the DACUM process are from different geographical backgrounds, the created DACUM profile can exhibit greater value and importance. However, the DACUM workshops conducted are done in-person because virtual meetings can add a level of complexity and inconsistency in the process.

Preserving the data gathered during the brainstorming session

The brainstorming session between the expert workers is considered to be very informational as it is rare to have a group of high-performing, competent individuals discussing such intricate details about their occupation. It seems necessary to have a systematic way of preserving the discussions occurred between the panel of experts.

Discarding overhead of tasks identified

It usually happens that more data and tasks are identified than the ones that actually make their way into the DACUM profile. The reason for this is that the DACUM profile represents a standard definition of the job role, and so the overhead data or the data that is very specific or contextual is discarded, as there is no organized way of storing that data as well.

Application of DACUM Profile in other domains

As mentioned before, the DACUM profile does not only help in curriculum development but it is something that affects each phase of the employee lifecycle. It is important to have the DACUM profile maintained at a central place where it can be accessed whenever required for recruiting new talent for the job role, providing training, evaluating employee performance and more.

Updating and maintaining DACUM Profile over time

With industry requirements evolving and expanding, it becomes difficult to keep the identified data in a DACUM workshop up-to-date. This shows that a central place for DACUM profile storage and management could help facilitators to review, revisit and update data if required and also maintain DACUM profile versions.

Creating and maintaining training for the curriculum prepared

Instructional material development and maintenance is also one of the biggest challenges. The occupational duties and tasks are identified but the next phase is a whole process in it of itself where actual instructional design is chalked out.

How Aidematic Solves DACUM Challenges

Aidematic is a workforce experience platform and one of its product offerings include digitization of DACUM. Our smart DACUM profile studio allows you to comprehensively analyze different occupational dimensions and digitally maintain all identified data.

DACUM Profile in Aidematic

DACUM Profile Studio

With Aidematic’s DACUM studio, you can collaborate with your panel of experts virtually as well as in-person to create job profiles and maintain occupational data such as:

  1. Job summary
  2. Duties and tasks
  3. Competency requirements
  4. Complexity level
  5. Importance to train
  6. Job family and hierarchy
  7. Media attachments
  8. And other custom data that you wish to add to your DACUM profile.

Access more details about our DACUM Profile Studio.

Media Attachments

You can record your DACUM session meetings and then upload and attach the media to DACUM profiles. Moreover, digital media files relevant to the occupation can also be uploaded and maintained against its profile.

Discussion Boards

Facilitator and panel experts can collaborate through interactive discussion boards where they can mention and tag specific people, start new threads, respond to existing comments and more.

Organizational Structure

A DACUM profile can be linked to other profiles in the system to define the parent/child hierarchy and describe the organizational structure.

Duties and Tasks Boards

As duties and tasks are being identified by the expert workers, they can be created and populated with content through Aidematic’s intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Meaningful metadata and tags can be added to any duty or task which can help in differentiating between approved tasks or tasks under review.

Following attributes can be stored for a task

  1. Title
  2. Description
  3. Importance level
  4. Difficulty level
  5. Frequency
  6. Importance to train
  7. And other custom data that you wish to add to your tasks.

Such metrics can help you while developing curriculum or performing training needs assessment.

Survey

Aidematic allows you to survey data about the occupation under analysis and collect data from external expert workers or other stakeholders. Data such as task frequency, importance, competency requirements and more can be surveyed and analyzed with Aidematic’s survey module. 

DACUM Profile Distribution

The created DACUM profile can be published and a shareable URL is created for distributing the digital DACUM profile to whomever you wish. Aidematic also offers DACUM profile version control which allows facilitators to track the version history of any profile and assess when it was last published, the changes made, who updated it, etc.

Linking Learning Plans and Courses

Another feature that Aidematic offers to its users is creating learning plans and courses and relating them to specific DACUM profiles or its containing duties, tasks or competencies. This approach allows instructional designers to create training content specific for the curriculum prepared during the DACUM session. Moreover so, you can assign learning plans and courses to your workers to ensure that they are competent to perform their job duties.

Conclusion

Aidematic ensures that the profile created in a DACUM session is well-utilized and maintained as well as the worker designated at that job role is provided with enough occupational information. With Aidematic, you can add following benefits to your existing DACUM workshops:

  1. Collaborative creation
  2. Preserving brainstorming data
  3. Maintaining unlimited DACUM profiles
  4. Distributing DACUM profiles to internal as well as external stakeholders
  5. Utilizing DACUM profiles for use across different domains (HR, compensation, L&D, education, etc.)

Contact us today to receive an exclusive insight about Aidematic and how we can help you digitalize the DACUM process.

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