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Competency Modeling Using Industry-Standard Frameworks Gregory L Adams, P. Eng.

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TA B L E O F CONTENTS

Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Industry-Standard Framework (ISF) Examples. . . . 3 NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF). . . 3 Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). . . . 5 Other Industry-Standard Frameworks. . . . . . . . . . . 6 ISF Adoption Process Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 ISF Adoption Process and Timelines. . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Workforce Optimization Solutions. . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 A Partner for Workforce Optimization. . . . . . . . . . 11

Foreword Competency Model — a map of the jobs, roles, and KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) that an organization must possess within its workforce in order to achieve project and mission success. In other words, a competency model is an expression of “What skills do we need?” Over 83% of CIOs agree1 workforce performance is the leading factor for an organization to be capable of reaching its goals — more than the technology used, or the processes followed. Sooner or later, most companies and government agencies must face the challenge of creating or updating a competency model. Jobs and roles change with time — and in modern times this need is critical. Trying to self-define a competency model using internal resources and/or specialized consultants can be a daunting, time consuming, and expensive undertaking for a number of reasons: 1. Recognizing the skills and roles needed, let alone what job must have them and at what level, is inherently difficult. It requires a high degree of subject matter expertise. 2. T  he definition process never seems to end. It never seems to be clear when the competency model is complete. Forcing an arbitrary “finish by” completion date can leave a sense of discomfort that not all skills and roles have yet been identified. 3. F  or those skills and roles that are identified, there is often concern that something has been missed or that they are inaccurate. Nonetheless, many organizations still go down the self-definition path because it is believed that the skills and roles they need are unique to them. This turns out not to be the case in most instances. Experience has shown that the majority of companies and government agencies will share similar needs with only a small percentage truly specialized to them. This is true, regardless of the vertical market the organization is in, or the horizontal disciplines they must deploy.

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1 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/irel.12066/full

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Health Care

Financial

Oil and Gas

Cyber Security Project Management Information Technology Business Analysis

For example, verticals such as health care, financial services, and oil and gas will usually need very similar skills even if the job titles vary. The same is true for horizontal disciplines, such as cyber security, project management, information technology, and business analysis. The commonality of roles and skills is good news! More and more, the industry is producing competency requirements based on effective bodies of knowledge. These are known as Industry-Standard Frameworks (ISFs). Designed to include the specific needs of a company or government agency, ISFs will provide more accurate and complete competency specifications in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost. ISFs come with an additional benefit — training providers and consultants are aligned with these frameworks and can be easily found. This white paper focuses on how ISFs can be leveraged within an organization to yield maximum benefit. ISFs can be fully adopted as a standard, or used simply as a guide to accelerate in-house definition. The steps of a practical methodology are provided. The primary focus is to foster success by better aligning the workforce with overall organization goals and project needs. Use of most ISFs for non-commercial purposes is free.

Industry-Standard Framework Examples There are numerous competency libraries for various verticals — for example, see Lexonis.com. Herein we will look at a few examples for horizontal application, including the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) and the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). Other frameworks for areas such as business analysis and Agile practice are emerging. We will briefly look at an example for project management.

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NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) The quote below is taken from the NICE (National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education) website and nicely captures the intent and design of their workforce framework. Developed under the direction of Executive Order 13636, the currently active version of NCWF was released in 2014. For the purpose of this discussion, the reader should be aware that some details might change when the new version is released, but the core of NCWF will stay the same. For more information, see NIST Special Publication 800-181 or visit csrc.nist.gov/nice/framework

= Similar Skills and Roles

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NCWF provides a common language to describe cybersecurity work regardless of organizational structures or job titles… grouped together into a superset list of required tasks and KSAs. This information provides organizations a reference level of detail around what types of education, training, certifications and skills it takes to perform cybersecurity jobs. NCWF is flexible and organizations should use it as a reference to fit their specific needs.

NCWF Layout and Organization NCWF organizes cyber security work into specialty areas and roles. Similar specialty areas and work roles are grouped together and referred to as categories. Each work role outlines the tasks and KSAs needed to perform the role.

Tasks & KSAs

Defined

Work Role Specialties

Grouped

Seven Categories

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The benefits of the work roles alone are easily identified. Combined appropriately, they will indicate the positions you need to staff, and the necessary training for each employee to ensure they possess the KSAs needed to do their job. A key aspect of NCWF is that it is not intended to be prescriptive or limited, rather it is designed for maximum flexibility. Each adopting organization will typically develop their own cyber security profile(s) using NCWF as its core.

Training and Certifications The enabling agency for NCWF is the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), recognizing that identifying the needed KSAs was only the starting point. Without effective training, the goals of Executive Order 13636 could not be achieved. The diagram above highlights the seven NCWF categories. Under these are 40 specialty areas. For example, a specialty area under Protect and Defend is Computer Network Defense Analysis. This specialty outlines nineteen KSAs which vary across a broad and diverse spectrum of work roles, such as: • Computer Forensics

• Network Defense

• Criminal Law

•E  ncryption & Authentication

• Vulnerability Assessment

A number of colleges and training companies have aligned their cyber security curricula to NCWF. Learning Tree, for example, has taken particular care to establish learning paths and certifications that map to the work roles and needed KSAs of NCWF. The overall benefit is that learning journeys are readily available to fill the skill gaps of an organization’s cyber security workforce. For more information, visit LearningTree.com/Cyber

• Incident Management

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Skills Framework for the Information Age version 6

Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)

1

Follow Strategy and architecture

2

Assist

3

Apply

4

5

Enable

Ensure, advise

Information strategy

6

Initiate, influence

7

Set strategy, inspire, mobilise

IT governance GOVN IT strategy and planning ITSP Information management IRMG Information systems coordination ISCO

Similar to NCWF, but focusing on IT roles, is SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age). Established by the non-profit SFIA Foundation in 2000, this industry initiative has become the gold standard for IT frameworks. Regularly updated, SFIA 6 is the current version.

Information security SCTY Information assurance INAS Analytics INAN Information content publishing ICPM Advice and guidance

Consultancy CNSL Technical specialism TECH

Business strategy and planning

Research RSCH IT management ITMG Financial management FMIT Innovation INOV Business process improvement BPRE Enterprise and business architecture STPL Business risk management BURM Sustainability strategy SUST

Technical strategy and planning

Emerging technology monitoring EMRG Continuity management COPL Sustainability management SUMI Network planning NTPL Solution architecture ARCH Data management DATM Methods and tools METL

For more information, visit SFIA-online.org

Change and transformation

Business change implementation

Portfolio management POMG Programme management PGMG Project management PRMG Portfolio, programme and project support PROF

In the United Kingdom where it was first introduced, approximately 73% of companies and government agencies are using SFIA. In North America, adoption has been continually accelerating. Both IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) and CIPS (Canadian Information Processing Society) recommend SFIA as the definitive IT workforce framework.

Business change management

Business analysis BUAN Requirements definition and management REQM Business process testing BPTS Change implementation planning and management CIPM Organisation design and implementation ORDI Benefits management BENM Business modelling BSMO Sustainability assessment SUAS

Development and implementation

Systems development

Systems development management DLMG Data analysis DTAN Systems design DESN Network design NTDS Database design DBDS Programming/software development PROG Animation development ADEV Safety engineering SFEN Sustainability engineering SUEN Information content authoring INCA Testing TEST User experience analysis UNAN

User experience

User experience design HCEV User experience evaluation USEV Installation and integration

Systems integration SINT Porting/software configuration PORT Hardware design HWDE Systems installation/decommissioning HSIN

Delivery and operation

Availability management AVMT

Service design Service level management SLMO Service transition

Service acceptance SEAC Configuration management CFMG Asset management ASMG

SFIA Layout and Organization

Change management CHMG Release and deployment RELM Service operation

System software SYSP Capacity management CPMG

Like NCWF, SFIA identifies the KSAs for various work roles (which they call skills) — 97 in total. However, unlike NCWF, these are further subdivided into seven levels defined by such aspects as responsibility, authority, and autonomy. Although counter intuitive, this recognizes that higher levels usually require less, not more, technically-oriented skills. The net result is 679 professional skill profiles that can be applied to every IT job.

Security administration SCAD Penetration testing PENT Radio frequency engineering RFEN Application support ASUP IT infrastructure ITOP Database administration DBAD Storage management STMG Network support NTAS Problem management PBMG Incident management USUP Facilities management DCMA

Skills and quality

Learning and development management ETMG

Skill management

Learning assessment and evaluation LEDA Learning design and development TMCR Learning delivery ETDL Teaching and subject formation TEAC People management

Performance management PEMT Resourcing RESC Professional development PDSV

Quality and conformance

Quality management QUMG Quality assurance QUAS Quality standards QUST Conformance review CORE Safety assessment SFAS Digital forensics DGFS

Relationships and engagement

Stakeholder management

Sourcing SORC Contract management ITCM Relationship management RLMT Customer service support CSMG

Sales and marketing

Digital marketing MKTG Selling SALE Sales support SSUP

A key aspect of SFIA the definition of “professional skills”, not specific skills for a specific technology — for example, the skills needed by an object-oriented programmer versus a Java programmer.

© copyright SFIA Foundation 2015

www.sfia-online.org

Training and Certifications

The seven levels of SFIA are: 1. Follow

5. Ensure, advise

2. Assist

6. Initiate, influence

3. Apply

7. Set strategy, inspire, mobilize

4. Enable

Product management PROD

The SFIA Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are: BCS, The IET, IMIS, The Tech Partnership and itSMF UK. SFIA® is a registered trademark of the SFIA Foundation.

Learning Tree has mapped all of its IT courses to the SFIA skills and levels for both North America and Europe. In addition, Learning Tree can provide accredited consultants and trainers for SFIA as part of Workforce Optimization Solutions.

Although this seems complex at first glance, it is nicely categorized and hence easily understood. There is great flexibility in the skills defined. It provides complete definition of the skills needed in any IT department.

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Other Industry-Standard Frameworks

ISF Adoption Process Overview

ISFs are appearing on a regular basis. For example, the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, traditionally known for their PMBOK® (Project Management Body of Knowledge), has been moving to a more complete Project Management Skills Framework in the form of the evolving Talent Triangle.

Most ISFs are free for non-commercial use. Their implementation will assist in the alignment between individual roles and processes that may have already been implemented (e.g. ITIL®, Agile/Scrum, or COBIT®), thereby helping individuals develop the skills required for their existing or new roles. By implementing one or more ISFs and integrating them into career pathways, organizations indicate to their staff which skills are valued most, how these skills can be used to progress their careers, the type of development the organization will support, and where an individual could use their skills within the organization.

There are similar initiatives for Agile/Scrum, business analysis, and many more.

ISFs at their core are designed to enable organizations to answer the key question “What skills do we need?” As this question is answered, it becomes immediately obvious that “What skills do we have?” must also be posed. To maximize the benefit of adopting an ISF, both of these questions must be answered — i.e., once the needed skills have been identified, the organization will want to ensure they are available so projects can be successful.

While technical skills are core to project and program management, PMI research tells us they’re not enough in today’s increasingly complex and competitive global marketplace. Companies are seeking added skills in leadership and business intelligence — competencies that can support longer-range strategic objectives that contribute to the bottom line. — PMI.com

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ISF Adoption Process and Timelines The high-level Gantt chart here provides an overview of the tasks and timelines for a full ISF adoption program. Overall duration will vary with size of the project. The chart addresses: • PURPLE: Development of the organizational competency model • GREEN: Production of optimized individual training plans •B  LUE: Online services applicable to both the competency model and the training plans •O  RANGE: Accredited training on the framework being used Note that the methodology shown would be typical for almost any ISF within any organization, regardless of being done independently or with the help of experienced, accredited consultants. The timeline will vary with the number of jobs in the competency model.

1. Build Operating Model

• Prerequisites: Project commencement

The Operating Model is a key and necessary step in ISF adoption. It establishes a project vision that aligns with the organizational goals. An effective operating model will highlight the rationale for including or excluding certain tasks, activities, and training. It can also blend with in-house KSAs or skills from more than one framework.

2. E  stablish Workforce Communications An absolute critical success factor for any ISF initiative is the ability for individuals to understand what the frameworks are, and what it means to them. It is important to recognize the sensitivities that individuals usually experience when going through business transformation. A clearly defined communications package that alleviates fears and motivates participation will maximize the potential for adoption success.

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A description of each of the numbered steps in the Gantt chart follows:

• Deliverables: Operating model with risk mitigation and benefits plan • Workshop: Yes, if using advisor consultants • Resources: Stakeholder and manager involvement (a few days each) • Other: Detailed project plan created as needed

A best practice is for the organization’s senior management to execute the communications plan typically in a town hall or smaller group meetings, reinforced by email and online videos. • Prerequisites: Completion of the operating model • Deliverables: Communications package and delivery to participants • Workshop: No • Resources: Stakeholder and manager involvement (2 or 3 days)

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3. Assessment Configuration

• Prerequisites: Workforce communications pack started

This is an administrative step to capture and enter into the online systems the names and related information about the program participants.

• Deliverables: Participants registered in online systems and invited for assessment

4. Accredited ISF Training

• Prerequisites: None

This includes one or more classroom courses as necessary to educate stakeholders and managers in the architecture and practice of the specific ISF(s) being used — introduction and advanced.

• Workshop: No • Resources: HR administrative assistance

• Deliverables: Course materials • Workshop: No • Resources: Attendees assigned • Additional: Regular schedule live online or as request at your site • See: LearningTree.com/3930

5. Baseline Skills Profiling

This activity involves:

This task involves participants completing a convenient online survey designed to capture a cross spectrum of each team member’s individual skills and level of competence, both actively being used and latent. It also probes the skills overall within the participants’ team to gain peripheral perspective. Carefully worded, the survey is done using “self-appraisal” — what the individual believes of themselves and of their teams, not to be confused with the oft misused term, “self-assessment”.

6. Validation Interviews Validation interviews are intended to confirm in one dimension, claims made by the participants during the self-appraisal. Interviews are performed one-on-one between a certified consultant (or trained internal practitioner) and the individual participants. These interviews use proven techniques designed to examine the veracity of the skills participants identified during self-appraisal.

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• Prerequisites: Assessment configuration completed • Deliverables: Individual and organization baseline profiles (various graphs and analysis) • Workshop: Yes – survey preparation – 1 day • Resources: Approximately 15 to 45 minutes per participant • Additional: Validation of the skills claimed in the survey is highly recommended

This task is labor intensive and is usually not performed if objective knowledge validation (task 7) is utilized. • Prerequisites: Baseline self-appraisal completed • Deliverables: Validated individual skills profile report • Workshop: No – individual interviews • Resources: Approximately 1 hour per participant — 6 participants per day per interviewer • Additional: For large numbers, not all participants need be interviewed; a statistical sample can be used to establish the veracity of the baseline self-appraisals

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7. Objective Knowledge Validation (Online Assessments) Objective knowledge validation skill gap analysis identifies the differential between the knowledge and skills housed within the workforce of the organization and the skills needed for projects and services to fulfill the mission of the organization. Effective knowledge validation skills analysis makes it possible for an organization to direct resources to meet the requirements of their initiatives, including improving performance, quality, productivity, and “time to benefit.” The process in identifying the gaps also involves cause-determination with the goal of minimizing reappearance of gaps in the future. The baseline self-appraisal surveys will have identified the workforce skills that require validation. From this,

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it is straightforward to identify what knowledge-validation assessments are applicable for each of them. • Prerequisites: Baseline Skills Profiling individual self-appraisals completed • Deliverables: Organization and individual skill-gap reports; raw data export available • Workshop: No – online tool only • Resources: Approximately 1 hour per participant • See: LearningTree.com/Skills/Library The following diagram outlines how self-appraisal combined with objective knowledge validation provides accurate and highly meaningful skill-gap results.

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8. Organizational Design The organizational design task extends and perfects the operating model produced during task 1 by mapping and otherwise including the discovered IT workforce current and desired states. Accredited advisors (or internal practitioners) work with HR and key managers to design and rationalize the organization’s skills matrix. The key outcome is to establish a role-oriented structure that is aligned with the organization’s goals and

9. R  ole Profile Development and Validation

vision. Significant manual and automated analysis go into this activity. The design itself is focused at the organization’s desired state. • Prerequisites: Operating model and baseline self-appraisals completed • Deliverables: Organizational role matrix • Workshop: Yes — 3 days • Resources: 1 or 2 days stakeholders and managers

• Prerequisites: Organizational Design underway • Deliverables: Validated Role Profile Report

This activity includes the analysis and generation of an initial role profile baseline. The role profile baseline is validated by interviews with stakeholders, managers, and team leads. The Validated Role Profile Report is one of the most important documents delivered during the adoption of an ISF — it is the pivotal artifact.

10. Position Matching

• Workshop: Yes — 3 days • Resources: A few hours from select stakeholders and managers

• Prerequisites: Organizational design underway

This is an optional activity to match individual participant skills to the needs of each team and other organizational entities. The goal is to reassign job chores to different individuals and optimally align the workers to projects.

11. I ndividual Development and Optimized Training Plans A key goal of an ISF adoption program is to provide a comprehensive plan that outlines and recommends the progression for individual development including the training necessary to match the plan. This is for each individual and the organization overall. It also includes personal aspirations for progression. Based on the skill gaps identified earlier, a certified advisor (or internal practitioner) will review the assessment reports to

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• Deliverables: Validated role profile report • Workshop: Yes — 3 days • Resources: A few hours from select stakeholders and managers

determine the optimum training plan for each team member and the organization overall. Recommendations might include custom courses, coaching, onboarding, or other similar learning experiences. • Prerequisites: Organizational design underway, skill validation completed • Deliverables: Continual professional development plan • Workshop: Yes — 3 days

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12. Deploy Competency Model This activity produces the final artifacts from the adoption project — they summarize and provide insightful guidance to the organization as a whole, often with presentations and discussions with key stakeholders. Throughout the adoption project, advisors would have been using a number of different data collection and analysis tools. These have various automated reports that provide different

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perspectives which will be provided as determined by the project findings. • Prerequisites: All previous tasks completed • Deliverables: Skills inventory and validated organizational role matrix • Workshop: No • Resources: Brief meetings with some participants, managers and stakeholders

This is the last step in an ISF adoption project.

Ongoing Continual Improvement

A Partner for Workforce Optimization

Skill-needs analysis and individual assessment programs should not be a one-time engagement. Over a period of time, the benefits and advances gained will wane as technology advances and with staff turnover. Ongoing partnership to foster continual improvement in the workforce is recommended.

Learning Tree seeks to be a valuable partner to your organization. Our mission is to help you achieve optimal productivity of your workforce. We can:

Workforce Optimization Solutions Learning Tree has been providing quality training, coaching, and workforce enhancement services for nearly 42 years. Our instructor corps of 600+ practitioners cover virtually any IT discipline. They all currently work in their field of expertise and have real-world experience in their subject areas — experience you can leverage immediately. Recognizing the need for more effective and convenient workforce enhancement capabilities, Learning Tree has developed leading-edge workforce assessment tools and processes that enable competency reviews and assessments to be completed in a fraction of the time it might otherwise take. The results are verifiable, with high validity and reliability.

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1. Help you build a world-class workforce aligned to your strategic objectives, and maximize the overall potential for reach or exceed all organizational goals. 2. H  elp you invest your workforce development budget in a smarter way to address skill gaps. 3. H  elp identify and apply the right skills enhancement solutions at the right time. 4. H  elp build successful project teams now and in the future. Learning Tree has a 42-year track record of proven results in the IT industry. More than 66,000 organizations — from the world’s largest multinational corporations and government agencies — have turned to us as a trusted partner. Learning Tree is committed to your organization’s success and will strive to exceed expectations in all of the services we provide.

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About Learning Tree International

About the Author

Established in 1974, Learning Tree is a leading provider of IT training to business and government organizations worldwide. Learning Tree provides Workforce Optimization Solutions — a modern approach to delivering learning and development services that improves the adoption of skills, and accelerates the implementation of technical and business processes required to improve IT service delivery. These services include: needs assessments, skill gaps analyses, blended learning solutions, and acceleration workshops. Over 2.5 million professionals have enhanced their skills through Learning Tree’s extensive course library including: web development, cyber security, program and project management, Agile, operating systems, networking, cloud computing, leadership, and more. To learn more, call 1-800-THE-TREE (843-8733) or visit LearningTree.com Connect with us online:

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Gregory L. Adams, P. Eng. Senior Consultant, President & CEO of ISDI, Learning Tree Instructor & Author Gregory has been in the IT field for more than 35 years, with extensive experience both in the government and private industries. His areas of expertise include software engineering, advanced design, Agile/Scrum transformation, SFIA/NCWF adoption, and web and mobile device security. • Has undertaken numerous projects, including those in approximately 50 of the FORTUNE 500 companies. • President and CEO of ISDI — a consulting company dedicated to excellence in software design and development. • Previously served as Learning Tree Chief Strategy Officer. Acknowledgements Matthew Burrows, primary SFIA architect for his industry-changing insights and contributions to the development of SFIA and its adoption process.

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COBIT® is a registered trademark of Information Systems Audit and Control Association® (ISACA®). ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved. PMI and PMBOK are marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. US1702 WORKFORCEWP

Competency Modeling Using Industry-Standard Frameworks  

Industries are producing competency requirements based on effective bodies of knowledge known as Industry-Standard Frameworks (ISFs). How ca...

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