Deploying IT Competency Frameworks – Critical Success Factors and Key Performance Indicators

This is a follow-up to my previous blog on “The Benefits of Deploying IT Competency Frameworks.

Deploying IT competency frameworks can be viewed as a seven-step process.
Deploying-IT-Competency-Frameworks

The first step is to determine the strategic direction of the organization and what technologies are needed to support its goals.

The previous blog addressed attributes of the second step by addressing the benefits of having the right set of skills.

The third step in the process for deploying IT competency frameworks is to determine the outcomes that your organization wants to realize. In order to do this, you have to be clear on your level of commitment, your Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Attributes of this third step are addressed in this blog.

The next steps in the process as indicated in the graphic above will address how the right skills are defined, how skills gaps are determined and the activities associated with acquiring and maintaining those skills. Those steps are currently outside the scope of this blog.

Undertaking the effort to deploy IT competency frameworks will require additional commitment and time, spanning the roles of the executive sponsor(s), through the managerial layers and into each individual in the organization. At some point, every person in the organization will be involved. One of the greatest challenges is that deploying an IT competency framework becomes an ancillary activity for each individual involved instead of being integrated into their daily activities to complete the process. The result is that deploying IT competency frameworks ends up being a long and drawn-out activity and individuals begin feeling that the organization has not provided them with the allowable time to participate in the process to the extent they need to effectively do the required work.

First, here are some CSFs that are important before starting the process:

  1. Deploying IT competency frameworks requires both the initial support and the continued commitment of executive sponsors.
  2. The activities and effort must be factored into some portion of the daily activities of everyone who participates.
  3. Focus is on the IT skills that are necessary for strategic organizational readiness and the job roles that are defined are not based upon the current roles or the people who are filling those roles.
  4. Clearly define an end-point for the process and schedule the activities accordingly.

For the most part the CSFs are fairly self-explanatory. The third CSF is important and is an area where I see organizations get bogged down defining the new skills that are necessary. The goal is to determine what new skills are needed and part of the deploying IT competency frameworks is either create new job roles or evolve existing job roles that are needed to support the functional areas of the organization. Even if an existing job role is being changed, it should be done independent of the people or person filling that role. The next steps in the process as indicated in the graphic above will address how the right skills are defined, how skills gaps are determined and the activities associated with acquiring and maintaining those skills. Those steps are currently outside the scope of this blog.

Secondly, KPIs provide ways to measure the outcomes, both during and after the process of deploying IT competency frameworks. They are quantitative measurements that measure progress against goals. A project plan should be established with clear milestones for measuring progress. It’s also important to establish KPIs for measuring the long-term benefits that organizations want to realize.

  1. Each individual involved in a deploying IT competency framework, will be allocated x% of time in their daily activities to participate in the process.
  2. X% of the project will be completed at each stated milestone.
  3. The project will be complete on an established date.
  4. The organization will allocate x$ to training and development to enable individuals to acquire the new skills required by their job role.
  5. The organization will allocate x% of the annual budget to deploy an IT competency framework.
  6. Adoption and implementation of new technology because individuals have the skills will be x% faster.

Defining CSFs and KPIs are about making a commitment to the deployment of IT skills frameworks and involve the planning steps. The next blog in this series will address the attributes of steps four through seven.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James DiIanni has multifaceted expertise that spans 36 years in the technology, training, education, certification and consulting arenas within private and public sector organizations across multiple industry verticals. James has worked with numerous organizations to implement IT skills frameworks for the purpose of enabling IT organizations to define and develop the IT skills and organizational structures necessary for strategic readiness. He has worked with companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Citrix and Boeing. His educational background encompasses a Bachelor of Arts in Management Information Systems, a Master of Science in Information Systems Management and a Master of Education in Adult Education and Leadership.

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