Why Do Competency Projects Fail?
They Lack a Competency Framework
The number one reason competency projects fail is that people rush to start creating competency profiles for their jobs. They don’t spend the time developing a competency framework or roadmap that they can apply across the entire organization.
You wouldn’t start building a house without a blueprint. Competency profiles aren’t any different. You need a competency framework!
Let’s look at the 5 Benchmarks for creating a competency framework…
Structure of a Competency
What will the competencies you use to define your jobs look like? Do they follow best practices?
- Does each competency have a clear definition?
- Do the competencies describe successful performance using multiple levels or stages of behaviours?
- Are the behaviours listed for each competency observable (i.e., would you know it when you see it)?
Types of Competencies
Which types of competencies will you use in your competency profiles?
4 types of competencies:
- Core – apply to all jobs and are linked to the company’s values, vision, and mission.
- Job Family – apply to a group of jobs that share a common function or career path.
- Job specific – apply to a specific job or jobs.
- Leadership – apply to jobs with leadership responsibilities.
- Think about the goals that you are trying to achieve. You likely don’t need all the types in your competency framework.
- Don’t overcomplicate things.
Job Families and Job Profiles
How many job families will you have and how many competency profiles will you build within each job family? Job families describe a collection or group of jobs that share a similar function. They make competency profiling easier and help you to identify career paths.
- Review data and industry frameworks to see how jobs can be grouped.
- Consider any job bands or levels you may already have in place.
- Talk to the experts.
How will you include leadership roles and competencies in your framework?
- If you want to develop the cadre of your leaders, treat leadership competencies as a job family.
Number of Competencies
How many competencies will you include in one competency profile? 6-8 is ideal. Definitely no more than 10. For example, you might have 2 core competencies, 2 job family competencies, and 4 job specific competencies in each of your competency profiles.
- Focus on the “must haves” or critical competencies rather than the “nice to have.”
5 Benchmarks of a Competency Framework
By taking the time to work through these 5 Benchmarks, you will create a roadmap or competency framework that will allow you to build profiles consistently, every time!
- Structure of a Competency: Do they follow best practices?
- Type of Competencies: Which types will you use?
- Job Families and Profiles: How many job families and profiles will you have?
- Leadership Competencies: How will you include leadership competencies in profiles?
- Number of Competencies: How many competencies will you include in your profiles?