Testing… Testing… 123: How to Pilot Your Competency or Skill Project

One common mistake that people make is they try to identify the competency or skill profiles for the entire organization at the same time. We recommend starting with a pilot group so that you can tailor the process to your needs and optimize it as you go.

This will help you to ensure that you can achieve the results that you are looking for. By piloting your initiative before rolling it out across the organization, you can learn what aspects of the program are working and what aspects need to be modified. You can then apply these lessons learned.

Who should you pilot the project and process with?

Three groups that tend to make great pilot groups include:
1. A group of employees (e.g., job family) with the greatest need (e.g., high turnover in the job family, hard to find candidates, no individual learning plans in place, etc.).
2. A group that shows enthusiasm for using the key competencies or skills. This way this group can help you to champion the use of competencies across the rest of the organization.
3. A group that leaders identify a compelling need for and are willing to allocate resources to.

How big a pilot project or group do you need?

Start with one job family of about 6 roles or competency profiles. This way the size of the group is manageable, and you can complete the pilot relatively quickly before moving on to the next group.

One size does not fit all, so make sure you do a pilot project first. This way you will find the competency profiling approach that works well for you!

To learn more about leadership competencies and integrating competencies into your talent management programs (e.g., hiring, learning and development, career pathing), check out our Using Competencies for HR Toolkit!