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Using SFIA - SFIA User Forum Survey Summary Report

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The SFIA User Forum is a community of SFIA users exchanging experiences and knowledge in order to help each other implement and manage SFIA. …

The SFIA User Forum is a community of SFIA users exchanging experiences and knowledge in order to help each other implement and manage SFIA.

The User Forum also has a broader interest in developing the capability of Business Change and IT professionals whose roles and careers are covered by the SFIA framework.

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  • 1.
      • Survey of Members
      • Peter Leather April 2009
    SFIA User Forum The SFIA User Forum is a community of SFIA users exchanging experiences and knowledge in order to help each other implement and manage SFIA. The User Forum also has a broader interest in developing the capability of Business Change and IT professionals whose roles and careers are covered by the SFIA framework. Membership of the User Forum is free and the forum relies on the voluntary efforts of its members to be a success. The forum is independent of the SFIA Foundation but is represented on the Council of the SFIA Foundation. http://sfiauser.ning.com/
  • 2. Survey Highlights
    • The Domain:
      • There is broad agreement on the areas of shared interest.
      • Forum members have a desire to exploit SFIA more and more to support their people management processes and tackle their business challenges. They would like support from the User Forum to achieve this.
      • There is a significant take up of SFIA v4 already among forum members and many others have plans to move to v4 as well.
    • The Practice:
      • There is a broad agreement on the type of knowledge and materials that members would like to access.
      • Content is king for most forum members; we need to encourage a breadth of contribution to increase the content available.
    • The Community:
      • A predominantly on-line, web-based approach to the forum will satisfy almost all members.
      • Many members feel unable to contribute knowledge / materials.
      • The appetite for knowledge and resources far exceeds the resources currently available to the forum
      • Actions are needed to increase both the number of members and the numbers of active, experienced contributors in order to build a strong community.
      • There is a sizeable number of non-UK users; we need to ensure contributions are not solely focussed on the UK
      • There is c.60% overlap with the membership of other professional organisations (mainly the BCS) but there are very few members from IMIS and IET.
  • 3. About the Report
    • How the survey was completed
    • The survey was conducted on-line via Survey Monkey between 23 rd March 2009 and 15 th April 2009.
    • All SFIA User Forum members were invited to complete the survey.
    • Thanks to the following people for testing the survey and/or providing feedback on the survey design and usability: Gail Jacomb, Gareth Jones, Brenda Aynsley, Russell Cosway and Ron Mclaren.
    • How the report was completed
    • The survey responses were analysed and this report produced to highlight the key factors needed to develop an effective User Forum.
    • More detailed survey results will be made available on the User Forum web site (http://sfiauser.ning.com/).
    • About the Author
    • Peter volunteered for the role of SFIA User Forum host in February 2009 and implemented this survey as part of the role.
    • He 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 has more than 5 years operational and strategic experience of implementing SFIA across 1,000 Business Change & IT professionals. He led the implementation of a 100-person Business Analysis Community of Practice at UK Life Insurer, Norwich Union, and then went on to oversee the development of seven Business Change & IT communities of practice including Project Management, IT Design & Architecture and Testing. He was invited to speak at the SFIA UK Capability Management conference in 2007 to share this experience.
    • He can be contacted at peter.leather@exceptional-performance.co.uk
  • 4. About SFIA
    • What is SFIA?
    • The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides the most widely accepted description of IT and IT-related skills in the world today. Although created and maintained in the UK it has been accessed by approximately 15,000 organisations from more than 100 countries. It is used in a range of industries and covers the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. It has been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Spanish.
    • How do I get hold of the SFIA Framework?
    • The framework is owned by the SFIA Foundation. SFIA is an open-source skills framework. It is open to use by anyone and is free of charge if it is used as a skills management tool within an organisation. It can be downloaded from www.sfia.org.uk.
    • What does the SFIA framework look like?
    • The framework is a large matrix with 2 dimensions. The first dimension is levels of responsibility and the second dimension is skills.
    • What is a SFIA Level of Responsibility?
    • SFIA describes 7 levels of responsibility. They each describe 4 key dimensions of responsibility: autonomy, influence, complexity and business skills. The levels are numbered and labelled for ease of reference.
    • What are SFIA skills?
    • SFIA describes 86 skills. Each skill has an overall definition and then a more detailed descriptor for which ever of the 7 levels that skill is recognised. There are a total of 295 descriptors. 3 examples of the skills described in the framework are Project Management, Enterprise Architecture & Quality Assurance.
    • What is the scope covered by SFIA skills?
    • The skills cover mainstream IT, user IT and also the interface of IT and business. The 86 skills are grouped into 6 categories: Strategy & Architecture, Business Change, Solution Development & Implementation, Service Management, Procurement and Management Support and Client Interface. They provide definitions for all skills needed by people and organisations involved in delivering and exploiting IT systems.
    • Why do organisations use SFIA?
    • Organisations use SFIA to improve their people management processes and to help solve critical business problems impacting their people. SFIA can support people management processes such as organisation and role design, training and development, career development, workforce planning, recruitment and performance management. Typical business problems helped by using SFIA are IT out-sourcing, mergers and acquisitions, transformations of IT organisations and talent management in IT organisations.
    • Is SFIA up to date?
    • SFIA's aim is to reflect current IT practice not to dictate it. To this end it is produced collaboratively by the industry for the industry. In this way it stays relevant, practical and useful. The framework is constantly revised and updated. Version 4 was published in December 2008.
    • Level 1 – Follow
    • Level 2 – Assist
    • Level 3 – Apply
    • Level 4 – Enable
    • Level 5 - Ensure, advise
    • Level 6 - initiate, influence
    • Level 7 - Set strategy, envision.
  • 5. Survey Objectives
    • The Domain:
      • The areas and issues of shared interest.
      • This creates common ground and a sense of purpose for the User Forum.
    • The Practice:
      • The body of knowledge, frameworks, methods, stories, case studies, tools, documents etc.
      • This identifies the material and knowledge to be shared within the User Forum.
    • The Community:
      • The people who care about this domain.
      • A strong community encourages interaction and sharing within the User Forum.
    The survey addressed the 3 areas critical to developing and sustaining a successful User Forum Domain Practice Community
  • 6. Survey Demographics
    • 108 people responded to the survey. There are c. 260 members of the forum giving approx 40% response rate.
    • Members from 25 countries responded to the survey.
    • There are members from 30 different countries in the User Forum as a whole.
    • Where 52% of non-UK members responded; only 38% of UK based members responded.
    • This demonstrates a high degree of interest and desire for support from the non-UK members.
    Which country are you located in?
  • 7. Survey Demographics Membership of one of the 5 SFIA member organisations? Are you using SFIA v 4? What is your primary job function? Which Sector do you work in?
  • 8. Survey Highlights
    • The Domain:
      • There is broad agreement on the areas of shared interest.
      • Forum members have a desire to exploit SFIA more and more to support their people management processes and tackle their business challenges. They would like support from the User Forum to achieve this.
      • There is a significant take up of SFIA v4 already among forum members and many others have plans to move to v4 as well.
    • The Practice:
      • There is a broad agreement on the type of knowledge and materials that members would like to access.
      • Content is king for most forum members; we need to encourage a breadth of contribution to increase the content available.
    • The Community:
      • A predominantly on-line, web-based approach to the forum will satisfy almost all members.
      • Many members feel unable to contribute knowledge / materials.
      • The appetite for knowledge and resources far exceeds the resources currently available to the forum
      • Actions are needed to increase both the number of members and the numbers of active, experienced contributors in order to build a strong community.
      • There is a sizeable number of non-UK users; we need to ensure contributions are not solely focussed on the UK
      • There is c.60% overlap with the membership of other professional organisations (mainly the BCS) but there are very few members from IMIS and IET.
  • 9. Survey Charts & Analysis
    • Which People Management Processes does SFIA support?
    • What business challenges are you using SFIA to help with?
    • What material or knowledge would you like to access via the User Forum?
    • What material or knowledge can you contribute to the User Forum?
    • How would you like to communicate with fellow User Forum members?
    • What support would help you to become more active in the User Forum?
    • Which People management processes would you like to see featured in the SFIA User Forum?
    • What business challenges would you like to see featured in the SFIA User Forum?
    The following charts analyse the survey responses to the questions below:
  • 10. Which People Management Processes does SFIA support? Significant Latent Demand The areas of resourcing, performance management, workforce planning and development show a significant gap between the numbers of organisations currently using SFIA and those who would like to use SFIA. Not using SFIA now but would like to Using SFIA to support this process now Key: % of respondents which answered the question Which operational People management processes does SFIA support in your organisation? n=91. Lagging behind? The area of Reward shows the least interest but still a number of users are interested in using SFIA to support their Reward processes. Most Mature The areas of Organisation & Role Design, Training, Career Development and Recruitment are the more mature areas. There is still significant out-standing demand for SFIA to support these process areas.
  • 11. What business challenges are you using SFIA to help with? Significant Demand to Use SFIA to solve IT workforce challenges A number of areas are of interest and there is a healthy spread of organisations using it and good demand from other organisations to start using SFIA in these areas. Most Mature The challenges of developing IT professionalism and skills assessment are the most common uses of SFIA. Not using SFIA now but would like to Using SFIA to help with this now Key: % of respondents which answered the question “What business challenges are you using SFIA to help with?” n=91. In contrast to SFIA council literature; the areas of outsourcing / off-shoring / mergers / acquisitions are not prime reasons for forum members using SFIA. Extract from “Getting it Right with SFIA”
  • 12. What material or knowledge would you like to access via the User Forum?
    • The SFIA framework is only the starting point
    • On its own the SFIA Framework does not enable effective implementation or achievement of IT Workforce improvements.
    • The User Forum can add considerable value by helping members with the execution of improvement initiatives.
    Overwhelming Agreement and Significant Demand These are all popular areas of knowledge to be shared. Users of the forum are hungry for knowledge and they will value access to tangible assets to support their implementations. Not Interested Interested or Very Interested Key: % of respondents which answered the question “What material or knowledge would you like to access via the User Forum?” n=98.
  • 13. What material or knowledge can you contribute to the User Forum? There is a majority of novice members of the forum A significant proportion (44%) of respondents feel unable to share any knowledge / material with the forum. Considering these respondents took the time to complete the survey; it is reasonable to assume that the proportion of all the User Forum members in this position will be much greater. (my estimate is 70%).
    • A shortage of active contributors – action is not matching intent
    • Despite responses from a majority of responders saying they can contribute – this has not been evidenced in contribution to the forum so far.
    • The user forum needs to attract , nurture and recognise active, experienced contributors.
    Key: % of respondents which answered the question “What material or knowledge can you contribute to the User Forum - either now or in the future?” n=98.
  • 14. How would you like to communicate with fellow User Forum members? Webinars and Collaboration Tools Can be looked at once the initial level of interaction increases. Unimportant Essential or Important Clear Preferences Web site, e-mail and on-line discussion boards are most in demand and these should continue to be the methods of communication. Our focus should be to improve usage of existing features. Key: % of respondents which answered the question “How would you like to communicate with fellow User Forum members?” n=91. Face to face There is a significant number of people are looking for face to face interaction. Is there an opportunity to use the annual SFIA conference to test this out?
  • 15. What support would help you to become more active in the User Forum? Increase the no. of people in the forum size and the level of interaction We need a drive to increase the number of members and to increase the sense of community. Unimportant Essential or Important Content is King! Key: % of respondents which answered the question “What support would you help you to become more active in the User Forum?” n=91. More content is key to increasing activity in the User Forum. This is the priority area to take the forum to the next stage. A summary of recent activity by e-mail will drive up usage. Other sources of content are: guest contributors and those members whom are looking for help in writing, editing publishing material. As increasing content is vital and approximately 20% of responders say they need support; we need to target those members with content who need support to publish. Key content to add is the SFIA v4 FAQ.
  • 16. Which People management processes would you like to see featured in the SFIA User Forum? Content is King! Having established that more content is key to increasing activity in the User Forum. This slide highlight the people management process areas of most interest to forum members. Not Interested Very Interested or Interested Key: % of respondents which answered the question Which People management processes would you like to see featured in the SFIA User Forum?” n=91. Lagging behind? The area of Reward again lags behind but there is still significant interest in the topic. There is still lots of interest in the mature SFIA supported areas (Training, Career Development and Role Design). There is significant interest in growth areas such as Resourcing, Recruitment, Workforce Planning and Performance Management.
  • 17. What business challenges would you like to see featured in the SFIA User Forum? Not Interested Very Interested or Interested Content is King Having established that more content is key to increasing activity in the User Forum; this slide highlights the business areas of most interest to forum members. Key: % of respondents which answered the question Which People management processes would you like to see featured in the SFIA User Forum?” n=91. There is still lots of interest in the business challenges which are directly related to skills and skills development. There is also interested in IT workforce related challenges which are not directly relate to SFIA and skills development. There is also interested in those IT workforce related challenges which are only indirectly relate to SFIA. … but some areas are less of a draw than others There are a number of business challenges which are of interest to a minority of forum members.
  • 18. What Special Interest Groups would User Forum members like to see?
    • Suggestions for Special Interest Groups:
    • e-governance, ICT management
    • Public sector group
    • Information management
    • SFIA Plus implementation
    • Certification / qualification
    • Talent Management
    • Working with related frameworks.
    • Qualification/Certification
    • Use of SIFA in a rapidly changing environment
    • Education
    • Project Management and Business Change
    • Strategic Workforce Planning
    • Job descriptions and qualifications
    • Trends in technology
    • e-portfolios based on SFIA templates
    • Using SFIA 4 in workforce management.
    • Using SFIA 4 in learning / skills development
    • Recruitment
    • Linking SFIA to recruitment
    • Developing business models that include open use of SFIA definitions
    Would you value Special Interest or Focus Groups where particular areas of interest to you can be explored in detail?
  • 19. Appendix
    • [email_address]
    • Case studies can be found at http://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.