How competency models can support a new system rollout
Change. Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. These are the things that surround a new enterprise system rollout (e.g., ERP, CRM, HCM). 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-based competency models can do.
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.
For example, let’s say you’re rolling out a new Customer Relationship Management system.
The task you add to a Sales Rep may be “Document accounts and opportunity pipeline activities sufficiently in the CRM system”. The task you add for a Sales Manager/Director may be “Perform sales forecasting and manage the opportunity pipeline with our CRM system”.
And the Sales Director behaviors at each level of proficiency (low to high) might look like this:
1 – Locate opportunity details in the CRM
2 – Perform sales forecasting via a standard CRM report
3 – Effectively use a CRM dashboard for viewing and communicating the sales funnel
4 – Create a dashboard for easy access to opportunity intelligence
5 – Create a complex CRM dashboard to handle scenario planning/”what if” analyses
If you have your competency model in a competency assessment tool, have people assess themselves against it (and the newly added/revised task), to identify their baseline. Be sure you have competency-based learning mapped to each role, so that as the gaps are identified, they will point to role-specific learning opportunities that provide each person with the ability to take action. Your best strategy is to point to informal learning because (1) you probably have some mandatory formal learning already provided to everyone, and (2) the way to best develop proficiency is to support them WHILE they work… with workflow learning. That means system-specific job aids/performance support tutorials, informal skill practices like step by step how to create a dashboard that they can follow and complete their work, and links to communities of practice and FAQs for rapid answers.
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, as well as provide the appropriate competency-based learning to support the changes. And you will motivate each person to close their own skill gaps.