Do you know what an optimized competency framework looks like?

July 10, 2017 Caitlin Leishman

A competency framework is the competency system that is implemented within an organization. It consists of the organization’s goals, the competency architecture, the competencies and profiles themselves, and the overall plan for the competency initiative. With all of these components, it can be difficult to tell when your competency framework is optimized. There are a number of different approaches and tools you can use to determine this. With almost 30 years of experience in implementing successful competency initiatives, we have determined several critical elements that define an optimized competency framework.

1.Defined Goals

The first step in any successful competency initiative is to determine your goals. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve, it will be difficult to create a framework to support your organization. Your goals should guide all of your development activities, acting as a basis for your competencies, strategy, and more.

2.Short and long term vision

Along with designing a framework to support your goals, it’s important to have these goals and HR applications prioritized. This allows you to create a clear development plan and manage implementation in a controlled way, rather than making several large changes all at once.

3.Competency architecture

The competency architecture consists of the rules that guide the development of competency profiles. Having an effective competency architecture means that your job profiles align with your job functions, and that they are consistent organization wide. This is a critical step, as if your job profiles aren’t well designed, they won’t be effective in supporting your business goals.

4.Multi-level competencies

The most valuable and effective competencies are those with multiple proficiency and skill levels, from basic to advanced. They are simpler to use, foster improved communication, and are more accurate. Jobs can be connected at every level, allowing for a more accurate evaluation of talent needs, and a better performing competency framework.

5.Competency dictionary

Your competency dictionary needs to include the variety of competencies needed to address your organization’s needs. To be fully optimized, the included competencies need to be multi-level, and identify clear and observable behaviors that define successful performance.

These are just some of the tools that are key to having an optimized competency framework. Check out our Optimizing Your Competency Framework ebook for the rest of the list, and for more optimization related tips and next steps. If you’re looking to start a successful competency initiative, or trying to improve an existing framework, this ebook is for you. 

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