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SFIA & High Performance Workforce

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How can SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age) help IT Organisations improve their Performance Management processes

How can SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age) help IT Organisations improve their Performance Management processes

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SFIA & High Performance Workforce SFIA & High Performance Workforce Presentation Transcript

  • Using SFIA to build a High Performance Workforce in IT Organisations Peter Leather The Key Components peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk www.exceptional-performance.co.uk/ 1
  • About SFIA What is SFIA? What are SFIA skills? • The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides the • SFIA describes 86 skills. Each skill has an overall definition and then most widely accepted description of IT and IT-related skills in the a more detailed descriptor for which ever of the 7 levels that skill is world today. Although created and maintained in the UK it has been recognised. There are a total of 295 descriptors. 3 examples of the accessed by approximately 15,000 organisations from more than 100 skills described in the framework are Project Management, Enterprise countries. It is used in a range of industries and covers the private, Architecture & Quality Assurance. public and not-for-profit sectors. It has been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Spanish. What is the scope covered by SFIA skills? • The skills cover mainstream IT, user IT and also the interface of IT How do I get hold of the SFIA Framework? and business. The 86 skills are grouped into 6 categories: Strategy • The framework is owned by the SFIA Foundation. SFIA is an open- & Architecture, Business Change, Solution Development & source skills framework. It is open to use by anyone and is free of Implementation, Service Management, Procurement and charge if it is used as a skills management tool within an Management Support and Client Interface. They provide definitions organisation. It can be downloaded from www.sfia.org.uk. for all skills needed by people and organisations involved in delivering and exploiting IT systems. What does the SFIA framework look like? • The framework is a large matrix with 2 dimensions. The first Why do organisations use SFIA? dimension is levels of responsibility and the second dimension is • Organisations use SFIA to improve their people management skills. processes and to help solve critical business problems impacting their people. SFIA can support people management processes such as What is a SFIA Level of Responsibility? organisation and role design, training and development, career • SFIA describes 7 levels of responsibility. They each describe 4 key development, workforce planning, recruitment and performance dimensions of responsibility: autonomy, influence, complexity and management. Typical business problems helped by using SFIA are IT business skills. The levels are numbered and labelled for ease of out-sourcing, mergers and acquisitions, transformations of IT reference. organisations and talent management in IT organisations. • Level 1 – Follow • Level 5 - Ensure, advise Is SFIA up to date? • Level 2 – Assist • Level 6 - initiate, influence • SFIA's aim is to reflect current IT practice not to dictate it. To this • Level 3 – Apply • Level 7 - Set strategy, envision. end it is produced collaboratively by the industry for the industry. In • Level 4 – Enable this way it stays relevant, practical and useful. The framework is constantly revised and updated. Version 4 was published in December 2008. 2 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk
  • Research findings from the Corporate Leadership Council Source: Corporate Leadership Council 3 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk View slide
  • Research findings from the Corporate Leadership Council Source: Corporate Leadership Council 4 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk View slide
  • Building a High Performance Workforce  Research from the Corporate Leadership Council recommends that implementing a high performance workforce needs a range of organisational, managerial and employee focussed levers  How can we use and integrate SFIA to enable the implementation of a high performance workforce? 5 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk
  • Assessing overall competence of Individuals / the IT Workforce e.g. Prepare release plan Action Action Process Action Action Action SFIA framework focuses on Activity e.g. Project Planning & Professional skills Control e.g. Project Management e.g. Java Professional Skill Knowledge Behavioural Skill e.g. Results orientation Experience Have demonstrated competence by … 6 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk
  • Individual Performance Plans Personal Professional Skill Objectives These identify my Knowledge individual Behavioural Skill contribution to the organisation’s Expectations objectives Experience of my role My Development These identify what I need to develop to perform my role and / or achieve my objectives 7 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk
  • The 20 Drivers of High Performance from CLC research The Performance Management System  Ensure employee understanding of performance standards.  Create performance standards that are perceived as fair and linked to organizational success and strategy.  Provide feedback to employees from multiple sources (e.g., 360-degree reviews) P  Understanding, connection, and fairness are more important than system design and structure. Performance Culture  Encourage, yet manage, risk taking.  Institutionalize the free flow of information, innovation, openness, and flexibility.  Differentially treating strong and weak performers is vital, but its ultimate impact on employee performance is limited. Manager-Employee Interaction  Managers must help employees find tangible, immediate solutions to specific work challenges to improve performance.  Managers must provide needed information, resources, and technology.  Managers must provide employees with clear & consistent expectations. Formal Review  Managers must emphasize the positive during formal reviews.  Discussion of performance weaknesses must be clearly focused on specific suggestions for improvement or development; if not, emphasizing weaknesses can dramatically decrease performance.  Review should also include a discussion of the employee’s long-term career in the organization. Informal Feedback  Fair and accurate informal feedback on performance from a knowledgeable source is the single most effective performance management lever available to the organization.  Feedback should be voluntary, detailed, immediate, and positive. Day-to-Day Work  Carefully match employees to jobs: employees who understand and enjoy their work significantly outperform those who do not.  Take time to explain the big picture: employees will perform better if they understand how their work contributes to organizational strategy and success.  The promise of promotions and financial rewards drives employee performance, but the impact is smaller than employees’ personal connection to their work. Job Opportunities  Provide employees with highly visible opportunities that leverage their strengths.  Training should be functionally relevant and job specific. General skills training is much less effective. Source: Corporate Leadership Council 8 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk
  • SFIA enhances 10 of the drivers The Performance Management System  Ensure employee understanding of performance standards.  Create performance standards that are perceived as fair and linked to organizational success and strategy.  Provide feedback to employees from multiple sources (e.g., 360-degree reviews) P  Understanding, connection, and fairness are more important than system design and structure. Performance Culture  Encourage, yet manage, risk taking.  Institutionalize the free flow of information, innovation, openness, and flexibility.  Differentially treating strong and weak performers is vital, but its ultimate impact on employee performance is limited. Manager-Employee Interaction  Managers must help employees find tangible, immediate solutions to specific work challenges to improve performance.  Managers must provide needed information, resources, and technology.  Managers must provide employees with clear & consistent expectations. Formal Review  Managers must emphasize the positive during formal reviews.  Discussion of performance weaknesses must be clearly focused on specific suggestions for improvement or development; if not, emphasizing weaknesses can dramatically decrease performance.  Review should also include a discussion of the employee’s long-term career in the organization. Informal Feedback  Fair and accurate informal feedback on performance from a knowledgeable source is the single most effective performance management lever available to the organization.  Feedback should be voluntary, detailed, immediate, and positive. Day-to-Day work  Carefully match employees to jobs: employees who understand and enjoy their work significantly outperform those who do not.  Take time to explain the big picture: employees will perform better if they understand how their work contributes to organizational strategy and success.  The promise of promotions and financial rewards drives employee performance, but the impact is smaller than employees’ personal connection to their work.  Provide employees with highly visible opportunities that leverage their strengths.  Training should be functionally relevant and job specific. General skills training is much less effective. 9 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk
  • How SFIA enhances the 10 drivers Ensure employee understanding of performance standards.  By linking SFIA levels to roles descriptions you provide a common and consistent language of what is expected from each individual Create performance standards that are perceived as fair and linked to organizational success and strategy.  SFIA describes industry best practice. This greatly helps with the perception of fairness. I.e. we are asking you to perform to the level expected by your industry Provide feedback to employees from multiple sources (e.g., 360-degree reviews) P  The SFIA descriptors provide an ideal format for those seeking and providing 360 performance feedback Managers must provide employees with clear & consistent expectations.  By using the SFIA skill levels for all roles and for assignment objectives – managers are greatly helped in setting clear and consistent objectives Discussion of performance weaknesses must be clearly focused on specific suggestions for improvement or development; if not, emphasizing weaknesses can dramatically decrease performance.  Suggestions for performance improvement can be made very specific with the help of the SFIA descriptors to aid as examples Review should also include a discussion of the employee’s long-term career in the organization.  Longer term career aspirations can be enabled by looking at SFIA level descriptors and other alternative skills descriptors. It provides a great tool for opening up conversations on what career opportunities are available and what employees are interested in Fair and accurate informal feedback on performance from a knowledgeable source is the single most effective performance management lever available to the organization.  Fair and accurate feedback is far more likely when employees, managers and peers are working to a common reference framework Carefully match employees to jobs: employees who understand and enjoy their work significantly outperform those who do not.  The SFIA provides an excellent framework to both identify and articulate employees strengths and preferences Provide employees with highly visible opportunities that leverage their strengths.  SFIA provides a framework to identify the types of assignments / job opportunities which will exploit and stretch individuals leading to higher performance Training should be functionally relevant and job specific. General skills training is much less effective.  By using SFIA as a common reference it is far easier to identify skills gaps against current or future roles. This in turn allows the individual and organisation to plan and schedule job-specific training which in turn drives higher performance. 10 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk
  • Conclusions  Implementing a high performance workforce needs a range of organisational, managerial and employee focussed levers.  SFIA can be used to support some of these levers.  If SFIA is being used to support other “people management” processes, e.g. resource management, skills assessments, training & development, there is added value in embedding SFIA in the performance management processes as well.  SFIA on its own is not sufficient to improve the performance of your workforce. You must deploy a range of people transformation levers. 11 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk
  • peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk More free resources at www.exceptional-performance.co.uk/sfia www.exceptional-performance.co.uk/case-studies Peter Leather is an independent consultant specialising in developing the workforce capability of Business Change & IT organisations. He is a recognised expert in implementing skills frameworks such as SFIA and developing internal Business Change & IT communities of practice. He was invited to speak at the SFIA UK Capability Management conference in 2007 to share this experience. 12 peter.leather@ex-p.co.uk