The Falconi Test
You may be quite adept at metrics, measurements, and even Role-Based Assessment, but if you haven’t used the Falconi Test, read on.
I got a call today from Ken Krauss, VP of Operations for US Axle, a very cool manufacturing company about an hour outside Philadelphia. They use Role-Based Assessment because it predicts how people will work on a team, but he was calling to ask if I knew of anything useful for measuring engineering skills.
It turns out that people who are coherent tend to be better judges of their own abilities, and are less likely to cover up for their shortcomings. (In fact, many people revel in the things they do badly and are happy to tell you, for instance, how they can never find anything on their desk.) So RBA is a good start.
But Ken wanted an answer. And I had one, pulled from the annals of my past life in manufacturing, as president of a sheet metal shop.
There was another president of another sheet metal manufacturing company, and he was the most brilliant test developer I have ever met. He didn’t have a PhD. I am pretty sure he graduated high school, but I doubt he was ever interested in a career in research. He just understood people and he was a very clever entrepreneur, although he never patented his test. He didn’t name it either. So, although Frank is probably now manufacturing halo holders for angels, I am going to name it after him: The Falconi Test.
The Falconi Test has one simple piece of equipment: a steel rule with the first inch cut off and neatly finished. The result is a rule that starts at the 1″ mark instead of zero. He would give it to a job applicant and say something like, “mark off 3 5/16 inches on that paper.” As you can well guess, there were many who simply looked at the 3, then counted 5 little hashes and made their mark. And, of course, they were wrong.
Engineers need to be precise. If they aren’t they can wreak havoc with expensive machinery or waste a lot of expensive material. (Or worse.) But they also need to be good team players. Now Ken can have it all.
It’s a good feeling to have a satisfied customer and to honor an old friend at the same time.
Entry filed under: Assessment, business, Corporate culture, Entrepreneurship, Human Infrastructure, Human Potential, Innovation, Metrics, Talent Management. Tags: abilities, customer satisfaction, engineering, Frank Falconi, Ken Krauss, manufacturing, measurements, Metrics, RBA, Role-Based Assessment, skills, team, US Axle.