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How can you use competency models to support a new system rollout?

(Question posted by participant in Accelerating Learning Transfer webinar)

Change. Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. These are the things that surround a new enterprise system rollout (e.g., ERP, HER).  But what if you could help people in each role understand exactly what was expected of them, both during the rollout, and thereafter as processes change? That’s exactly what role-specific competency models can provide to you. 

If you don’t already have one task in your competency model dedicated to the new system, create one.  It could be as simple as “Demonstrate the ability to use the [XYZ] system.”  Then, it is the behavioral examples that differentiate the task from one role to another.  And the levels of proficiency identify exactly what functions people in that job need to be able to perform (with support, or independently).  This will provide you with an easy way to communicate the expectations. 

If you have your competency model in a competency assessment tool, have people assess themselves against it (and the newly added/revised task), to find out where people are at a baseline.  Be sure you have competency-based learning that is mapped to each specific role, so that as the gaps are identified, they will point to role-specific learning opportunities (system-specific job aids, formal content) that provide each person with the ability to take action.

Periodically, maybe every couple of months, and as the resulting assessment data communicates the current level of proficiency, tweak the model to incorporate any process changes or your expectations for proficiency.  For example, in my role, the target proficiency may have been 2 at the start of the rollout, but 3 months later, the target is a 3.  Four months later, I’m expected to be a 4.  Now you have an easy way to communicate expectations, by role, provide the appropriate competency-based learning to support the changes, and motivate each person to close their own skill gaps.


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