How do we make competency model development less scary?

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Make competency model creation agile

By applying an agile methodology to competency model development, you make it less scary. If the competency modeling process takes 6 month or 1 year, with the speed of change, the competency model output could be outdated before you even release it. Plus, you’ll have wasted months when you could be using it.

Here’s a synopsis of our streamlined competency model development approach.


Step 1: Perform the Rapid Job Analysis Workshop

We start with a one day workshop (in person or virtual) with 4 - 6 high performers in a particular role. This is a brainstorming process. Together we identify those skills and tasks high performers do that are important and critical to success. This step provides us with input for the remaining steps in the process.


Step 2: Draft competency model behaviors

Next, for each task, we create draft task/behavioral examples, provide them to the high performers for review/editing (about 2 hours of pre-work), and conduct a virtual workshop (3 hours) to consolidate edits.

These examples provide each person in that role with a road map for how to be great and what "great" looks like. Each example identifies the behaviors that would be exhibited by someone performing that skill or task at various proficiency levels.

The task is the “what”, and the examples are the “how”.

 The examples communicate and iterate best practices. And they ensure consistent and objective assessment and self-awareness can occur. It is through self-awareness that a person becomes intrinsically motivated to change.

Step 3: Define the target proficiency

We define the minimum proficiency required, that is the target proficiency level, for each skill or task. This is usually performed independently of the high performers, though you may get their validation through a one hour meeting.


Total stakeholder time required for competency model development: Approximately 9-11 hrs

Total duration of competency model creation process: Approximately 3 weeks

Can you see how that feels less scary, and really achievable to stakeholders?


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