Competency Center & Competency Mapping - CiteHR

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Below is a thread on Competency Mapping Steps and Competency Centres.Please contribute to make it even more meaningful.

The steps involved in competency mapping with an end result of job evaluation include the following:

1) Conduct a job analysis by asking incumbents to complete a position information questionnaire(PIQ). This can be provided for incumbents to complete, or you can conduct one-on-one interviews using the PIQ as a guide. A sample PIQ that we use when conducting this step with our clients was provided to this client. The primary goal is to gather from incumbents what they feel are the key behaviors necessary to perform their respective jobs.

2) Using the results of the job analysis, you are ready to develop a competency based job description. A sample of a competency based job description generated from the PIQ was provided to this client. This was developed after carefully analyzing the input from the represented group of incumbents and converting it to standard competencies.

3) With a competency based job description, you are on your way to begin mapping the competencies throughout your human resources processes. The competencies of the respective job description become your factors for assessment on the performance evaluation. Using competencies will help guide you to perform more objective evaluations based on displayed or not displayed behaviors.

4) Taking the competency mapping one step further, you can use the results of your evaluation to identify in what competencies individuals need additional development or training. This will help you focus your training needs on the goals of the position and company and help your employees develop toward the ultimate success of the organization.

The concept of Competency Centre is a relatively new field of study.

Competency centers have three premises: They fuel business differentiation, they presume reassignment and refreshment, and they deliver tangible business value.

How does competency centers work?

Competency centers act as repositories of knowledge and as resource pools for multiple business areas. Many serve as touchstones to which staff members return when released from a project or as focal points for sharing skills, defining standards and building an area of appropriate practices, as in a project office.

Competency centers identify and strengthen high-demand, high-value knowledge and skills. By assigning people and sources to certain projects, they reduce duplication of knowledge — a situation prevalent in enterprises with highly distributed operations — which increases the shared leverage of people. On the downside, because they represent a pool of assigned resources, competency centers place heavy demands on managing customer expectations and schedules, on coordinating assignments and opportunities, and on breaking up resource bottlenecks.

Competency centers assume flexibility and replenishment of knowledge, assignments and learning. They serve as channels through which project managers, practice managers, business customers and line managers can fulfill projects, teams and business initiatives (see "The Repertory Enterprise: Antidote to Organizational Angst?" COM-13-8784). Most important, competency centers continually generate and refresh knowledge, competencies, practices and skills. Competency centers that do not refresh thinking are probably competency centers in label only.

The Repertory Enterprise Structure

The repertory enterprise consists of five elements that form an integrated yet flexible work system: 1) the management zone, 2) communities of practice, 3) dyads, 4) virtual teams and 5) infrastructure. The key to the repertory enterprise's structure is the recognition of three distinct enterprise "spaces": the "management zone," the "social zone" and the "production zone." Each zone is supported by a common underlying infrastructure. The enterprise structure will vary significantly relative to its focus (e.g., projects, knowledge work, or workforce distribution). In many respects, the repertory structure builds on the matrixed organization that has evolved over the last several decades. Although its complexity requires inspired leadership and explicit processes, the repertory structure reconciles the need for organizational agility with the disruptions of continuous change.

The Management Zone: The management zone is both the "front office" and "back office" of the repertory enterprise. This is where the enterprise leadership sets the strategy and purpose of the enterprise, and provides the resources, infrastructure and support services necessary for enterprise planning and production. In the movie business, this would be the "studio organization," which identifies markets, marshals resources, designs and plans productions, manages distribution, and provides the management processes necessary to execute a movie project.

The Social Zone: The social zone consists of two elements: the community of practice and the dyad (a relationship between a mentor and an employee). Communities of practice are self-organizing and take on many of the characteristics of "guilds." Employees migrate to communities of practice to share, learn and innovate. The other key component of the social zone is what Shirley Edwards, a researcher at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, calls the "dyad" — two people working together in a close partnership. Here we use the dyad to describe the mentor-employee relationship. This relationship is different from the boss/subordinate relationship, which continues its fundamental administrative, development and allocation role in the enterprise. The mentor is a teacher, confidant and coach to the employee. The mentor-dyad relationship transcends organizational reporting relationships. An employee can have many bosses and team leaders over time, but usually retains the same mentor.

The Production Zone: The production zone is where most knowledge work is translated into work products or other deliverables via "virtual teams." While communities of practice are social units, virtual teams are production units formed around a singular purpose and mutual accountability. The virtual team is "the play," or production of the repertory enterprise. Here technical, managerial and professional talent are sourced based on specific knowledge, skills, capabilities and relationships suited to and aligned with the purpose of the team.

Infrastructure: The final element of the repertory enterprise is the underlying infrastructure, which consists of digital, physical and supporting services. Continuing the metaphor of the repertory theater, infrastructure provides the stage, props, technical support, supporting context and services that enable the production of the enterprise.

Actionable Advice: Managers who seek to buffer organizational turbulence while virtualizing work activities should:

1. Actively support the formation of communities of practice, encourage employees to join communities and participate in community activities and learning, and seek senior enterprise management sponsorship.

2. Separate the production of work from the development and assignment of people.

3. Encourage mentoring outside the traditional boss/subordinate relationship. Encourage experienced employees to serve as mentors.

4. Encourage peer review (including input from virtual team leaders and team members) as part of the annual review process.

5. Work with human capital management to offer a variety of employee career development opportunities, and training that is both part of formal reporting relationships and external to them.

6. Develop explicit processes for forming, leading, supporting, training and evaluating virtual teams.

7. Modify reward/recognition and compensation systems to support community participation and virtual-team-based work.

Hope this is of some use to all of you.

Warm Regards,


brilliant article.........amazing learning...keep up the good work...keep up posting such brilliant articles
Dear Ambarish,
I had gone through the article on competency mapping and ahd also read some book but still im not very clear about the subject. I need to do this exercise in our organisation. i had question like it need to be dome for some posiiton of need to be done for entire position that we have in a organisation.
Do we need to hire the consultant to do this exercise.
Kindly advice.
Kind regards

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