Human Capital Readiness Index: Quantifying the Human Resource Challenge--and the Response


“Human resources has really done a job on messing up the performance of my organization.” If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of that phrase – or any variation of it, you’re probably not alone. But in response to such general feedback, what actions should HR take? Intervene in just one area affecting human capital management – but which one? Try to intervene on everything that’s people-related? Or, should you question whether this is even an HR-related problem? NSA’s typical response in the past had been some combination of all of the above. However, more recently NSA adopted a different approach involving data discovery, that enabled HR to more effectively combine a number of relevant human capital metrics, and convert those to a human capital “readiness index”. Quantifying these factors allowed for a relative comparison between comparable business units. By inference, NSA was then able to ascertain whether a truly HR-related problem was in evidence. From there, contributing factors could be isolated, making more targeted exploration of the underlying factors possible. Please join us to hear a true story from the National Security Agency, and how disparate human capital metrics were combined to create a data discovery opportunity, which helped drive more targeted, cost-effective and data-driven interventions, and which could help to improve your organization’s human capital management.
You will learn:

  • The process, circumstance and conditions when integrating human capital metrics into a single value for comparative purposes are most appropriate. 
  • How to incrementally deconstruct complex and unique human capital issues using both critical thinking and available human capital metrics, in order to empirically isolate the factors that are potentially contributing to sub-optimal human capital management outcomes
  • How to arithmetically combine disparate sources of human capital data, in order to generate representative indices values, which allow for legitimate and rationale comparisons between comparable business units.


Chris Dobyns, CCP, CBP

Human Resources Strategic Consultant, Office of HR Strategy & Program Design, National Security Agency

Steve Standrowicz

Operations Researcher, Office of Human Resource Analytics, National Security Agency