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How do you link a skills matrix to competency models to learning activities?

(Question posted by participants in recent webinars)

I’ve listed this question verbatim the way it was asked, because I want to make some distinctions.  A competency model should be a list of all the skills that someone in a particular role needs to do at a target level in order to be successful in that role.  And success means that they are achieving their part of corporate strategy – what the organization needs them to do, very specifically. 

We typically think of a skills matrix as being the output of a competency assessment.  So 100 field services technicians assess their skills in their role, and a skills inventory results – you know who meets or exceeds the requirements for specific skills.  And you can then leverage that information to put the right people on the right projects, and form the best and most successful teams. 

The competency assessment will also identify who does not meet the requirements for specific skills – that is, it identifies skill gaps.  It is extremely common for each person, no matter how tenured or how experienced, to have one or more skill gaps in their role. You want to be able to provide each person with a personalized learning plan to help them close their gap.  This requires that you identify which learning opportunities can close which skill gaps.

Essentially, you are mapping the behaviors of the target level of proficiency to the learning objectives of the activities.  And in many cases, you create a skill practice, job aid, or checklist that will help someone be able to learn the right skills while they are doing their work.  We call this embedded or workflow learning (the “70” in the 70-20-10 model).  It’s effective because it’s not separate from the work that needs to be done.

For more details, read the post:  3 steps for organizations who want to create competency-based learning:  https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8467576/8467576-6108588915516596225 and

watch the archived ATD Webinar on the process at: http://webcasts.td.org/webinar/1791.


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