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Competency Mapping is a process of identifying and mapping the skills and ability of a person to the requirements of a task. These competencies could be behavioral, technical, managerial etc.

 

An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Rajesh Chakrabarty on 16th Feb 2021.

 

Applause for all the respondents - Aji Lal, Victor kibet Luvai, Keerthi Babu, Sanjay Singh, Rajesh Chakrabarty, Santosh Sharma

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Q 339. Different people in a project team need to exhibit different competencies. A project leader can do competency mapping for the team to have a better understanding of the individual competencies. What is competency mapping and how is it performed?

 

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The project leader is primarily accountable and responsible to ensure that project is completed effectively and efficiently. A team effort from a team which contributes aptly to the project tasks is what enables an on time and successful project.

For a successful completion of the project the project manager would want a team which is able/competent to deliver the needs of the project tasks. He would need enough people, not more nor less

A project Manager would always ideally prefer to place the ACES IN PLACES to ensure that each member is able to deliver his/ her best abilities to the tasks which need the desired competency. Hence it is a must that the Project Leader does a competency mapping for the team.

Competency Mapping is important as it helps the Project Manager to;

-      have a better understanding of each team member’s strengths & weaknesses.

-      Increase his awareness about the skill sets available or the skill gaps that are prevalent in the team.

-      make cognizant decisions while defining the scope of work and allocating responsibilities /tasks to team members or groups within the team.

-      Plan development efforts through training/counselling , for the improvement of skills within the existing team members, if any realised gap in skill or lack of required competency is realised through the Competency mapping analysis. Else, to create vacancy for new team members ONLY if the organisation/Sponsor allows to.

A project leader should be transparent with his team members and provide them one to one feedback on his inferences. Feedback can be provided for the group, wherever pertinent. This helps the following;

-      inspires open communication within the groups in the team and between the Team members and the leader as well.

-      this sort of an project culture also helps the leader to appraise performances quantitatively and specifically and delegate and guide without any scope of ambiguity in mutual understanding of ability.

-      minimises the scope of expectation gap.

-      Provides an cognizance of any weakness/ competency gap, which may hinder the quality or timeline of the project output.

 

The Project manager needs to take the following steps to Map the competencies of his team members:

-      Prepare a project Charter which will comprise of the work breakdown Schedule - the tasks /work in the project.

-      Prepare a competency Matrix with the following steps

 

A)   Create Overview of the required Competencies

The required competencies for the tasks within the project can be arrived at and tabulated with an in depth review of the task forecast.

Let’s take a project in an organisation with the objective to improve the utilization and the yields of the equipment. The project team would be a combination of staff from departments like operations, Maintenance and Repair, Purchase, Finance, Quality. Each participant will have an defined role in the project the basic competencies or skills that the participants may hone are ;

(a)   Basic Project Management Knowledge- So that there is less time invested to teach them the involved methodologies.

(b)   Communication and Basic People Skills –This will enhance the understanding and bonhomie amongst the team members

(c)   Conflict Resolution – This will ensure that there is no delay or process hazard due to situations when there are some conflicts that may arise between members from different functions or fields and all members work with harmony towards the project goal only.

(d)   Problem Solving Skills- It will help them in mitigating or solving issues that arise during the project fulfilment.

(e)   Subject matter expertise (Technical Knowledge about the Equipment) – This is important at least in essential few members, so that issues and solutions for equipment specific functioning, during the project can be resolved immediately.

(f)    Risk Management: This will help the team members to pre-empt and mitigate any threats that may affect the work in hand.

(g)   Customer Management Skills : A basic customer management skill , to service both internal customers from within the organisation and the external customers is a must for any project. This not only readies the members , but also prepares them to train the final users /yielders to answer any query or attend to any untoward incident that causes inconvenience to customers.

 

B)   Define tools to Evaluate the available competencies within the team or new recruit

 

The tools to evaluate the existing competencies within the team, or the external hired candidate, that can be employed are;

1)    Competency based Interviews :

Structured interview with questions designed to target information and level of the desired competency in the candidate.

2)    Questionnaires &/ Or Psychometric Test

There are 2 forms of questionnaires that can be used ; (i) The Common Metric Questionnaire (CMQ) which uses the four common or general domains required for a team player – Background, Amiability(courtesy and team work), Decision Making, Knowledge of the work in hand .  (ii) Functional Job Analysis (FJA) , a qualitative analysis which breaks down the test into 6 parts of behavioral evaluation points; Data, Instruction following, Reasoning, People practice, Mathematics and language.

Psychometric Tests are standardized , scientific tools to evaluate the mental capacity and behavioral styles of the candidate , through aptitude, achievement and personality testing.

 

3)    Assessment Centres

This is a process wherein simulations of various elements of the job in hand are created to test the candidate. These situation based tests help to evaluate the key competencies required for the success of the project, like knowledge, attitude, skill and behaviour

 

4)    Critical Incident Technique

This technique is based on direct “On the job “observation of the candidate. Many organizations use a Scored checklist of acceptable, non-acceptable job behaviors for the supervisor to evaluate the performance of the candidate in live situations. I know of an organization that calls this checklist “Knowledge Observation Checklist”. A periodic, ideally quarterly or annual scorecard/ evaluation sheet is created for each Employee to grade or rate his/her performance.

 

The above mapping methods can be used individually or in combinations, depending on the satisfaction level of detailing required of the competency of the candidate. A Competency Rating Scale needs to be used to score/measure the result of the test(s)

I personally feel that if conducted effectively, Interviewing is the most powerful technique to obtain information which may otherwise be unavailable through the other methods.

*** There is another method of asking the member to do self-assessment. I do not second this method as there is no guarantee of accuracy here, not even close to accuracy. The disadvantage is that people are not always mature or evolved enough to evaluate themselves properly. I would rather recommend a 360-degree feedback system, wherein feedback is taken from supervisors, peers and subordinates. This may give close to accurate results***

 

Once the tools to evaluate the Competencies are decided;

C)   Evaluate the available competencies within the team or new recruit  & Determine the interest level of the team members in accomplishing the allocated tasks

 

We must evaluate and measure the proficiency for each competency mentioned above. The best approach is to score the participants through the tests and evaluation techniques mentioned above and create levels based on a segment of defined range of score achieved. I have seen many organisations use a 5 level scale to determine the proficiency Level (P);

 

Lev0- Unacceptable (Counselling on Career)

Lev1- Needs Improvement (Extensive Training)

Lev2- Fair (Coaching Required)

Lev3- Good (Can be a good assistance)

Lev4- Excellent (Tasks can be delegated)

An important additional supplement to the step above is that every individual needs to like and enjoy their work. There are many a people who fall in the higher favourable levels in the competency assessment, but they may not be willing to do the work or may not be enjoying the work. The good level of competency is of no use then. Hence;  For each person, you’d also want to know the interest level (I) ;

Lev0- No interest in applying his/her skill

Lev1- Interested in applying his/her skill

 

D)   Incorporate the above information and analyse the insights and act upon them.

The Competency matrix is to be prepared now by incorporating the above information . The Competency matrix thus formulated appears like this.

Skill Matrix

Participant

Kapil

Sunil

Sourav

Pinky

Virat

Capabilities

P

I

P

I

P

I

P

I

P

I

Basic Project Management Knowledge

4

1

4

1

4

0

3

1

3

1

Communication and Basic People Skills

1

1

3

1

4

1

4

1

4

1

Conflict Resolution

2

1

0

1

3

1

1

0

1

0

Problem Solving Skills

4

1

1

0

4

1

3

0

3

1

Subject Matter Knowledge

4

1

4

1

2

0

2

1

3

1

Risk Management:

4

1

3

0

4

0

4

1

2

1

Customer Management Skills

4

1

4

0

2

0

1

0

0

0

 Average

4

7

3

4

3

3

3

4

2

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis and Action points;

Using this matrix, we can spot the individual’s and team’s strength and Weakness. It is obvious that Kapil has good all-around Competency and maximum interest in applying his skills. Pinky & Sourav have best competency in Risk management and will be able to aid the team to mitigate risks. Though Virat is very enthusiastic in sharing his skills, his competency overall level does not meet the acceptable levels, hence his best competency which is Communication and people skill can be used to the most to ensure that the coordination within the team is maintained by him

As a team, it is obvious that the team overall is deficient in the skill of conflict resolution.

The Project Leader may need to be wary of this and take the onus of ensuring that minimum conflict arises within the team and any instance is resolved quickly. It is also evident that the team’s overall interest in customer interaction is low, which may be because of lack of confidence. Whether the project leader will take the onus on himself or hire another team member with great customer management skills to manage the customer management is dependent on factors like the consent of the Sponsor, budget and the extent of importance of customer management in the said project.

Thus, the project Leader can balance the skill levels and the interest levels to the best suited requirement for the project by taking required actions towards the insights derived from the Competency matrix derived through the Competency mapping process!!!

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Competency mapping is a way of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a department or a team. It is about identifying skills and strengths in areas like teamwork, leadership and decision making. Thus, it is about identifying job skills and strengths in the areas like teamwork, leadership and decision-making. 

 

While doing competency mapping in a department, analyst can easily find the strengths and weaknesses of a department, can implement the right method of reducing weakness. One process weakness is another one's strength hence an analyst can concentrate these correlated process or department and reduce weakness and improve performance also easily find if analyst create an idea or make a decision that how much influence other teams or department.

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Competency mapping will do the based on individual strength and weakness. The intention is for better understanding of the team members.

 

Also it will help the business to create a new opportunities. Basically its performed during TNA.

 

 

 

 

 

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Competency Mapping is processes of recognizing the key competencies for an organization and/or a job and incorporating those competencies throughout the various processes (i.e., job evaluation, training, recruitment) of the organization. It generally examines two areas emotional intelligence/emotional quotient (EQ) and strongness of the individual in areas like team structure, leadership, and decision-making.

 

Key steps of Competency mapping are :

 

 

·       Identify the department of the Organization for which competency mapping   needs to be done

·       Identify the organizational structure and list down the grades and levels  present in the organization

·       Perform the  job analysis and prepare a job and role description

·       Collect the data about the core competencies of the employee

·       Classify the obtained data into required skill set and current identified the skill levels

·       Evaluate and share the identified skill set with immediate supervisors and  heads of other departments

·       Prepare of competency matrix

·       At last Mapping of competencies to be done

 

 

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Competency Mapping may be a process of identifying key competencies for a corporation or institution and therefore the jobs and functions within it. Competency mapping is vital and is an important exercise.

Competency mapping is a way of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a employee/team/organization. It is about identifying a person’s job skills and strengths in areas like teamwork, leadership and deciding .

Boyatzis.(1980) – “A capacity that exists in a person/employee which results in behaviour that meets the work demands within parameters of 0rganisational environment, and that, successively brings about desired results”.

 

Need for Competency Mapping

Competency mapping has gained commonness, momentum, and popularity. The old maxim, ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ has lost its validity insight of the fast-changing business environment. In order to cope with the changing world economy and keeping in view that the world is becoming a global village, companies/factories have become more aware of the need for having competent employees and developing distinguished competencies for each organization.

• Identify key attributes (skills/knowledge/ability/behaviour) that are required to perform tasks effectively.

• Analyse individual’s Strengths and areas of development for better understanding leveraging for task/job completion.

• Evaluate the suitability of an individual for and identified position/role consistent with the required competencies.

• Anticipate developmental needs to keep the organization ‘future-ready’.

 

Understanding key steps of the Competency Mapping process

 

image.png.4858c4d87dc55871616f84afa2a962b2.png

 

There are Five (5) key steps in any competency mapping process

 

These aren't simply the steps but also the construct of the competency map. Each one of the step also from the weather within the competency map that you simply become a framework.

1. Classification of Competencies

Generally, the competencies are classified into two categories. Functional and Behavioral. However, the competency are often classified into more categories counting on the general objective of developing a competency framework through the method of competency mapping.

2. Definition of Competencies

It is vital that competency is defined well. This helps in providing a transparent picture of what exactly is that the detail about the set of skills and skills required to try to to the work. You can see below example, where for a sales team the competency/skills has been classified as functional and it has been clearly defined.

image.thumb.png.c4654c030fb36f0d2dd299a2a759acc5.png

 

3. Identifying Behavioral Indicators (BI)

The key element of any competency mapping process and developing a competency framework is that the set of behaviors that defines that competency. In the above example, we've already classified the competency as functional. Also, we've defined the competency, now the behavioral indicators are going to be assigned.

It typically says that you simply simply got to demonstrate these behaviors to point out that you have the competency of ‘Drive for Sales Results’. Behavioral indicators are also called Behavioral Descriptors (BD) / BI.

image.thumb.png.f70090e7693204320d13aa94cca1655e.png

 

4. Identifying Proficiency Levels (PL)

Not every one during a department are going to be at an equivalent level of experience or within the context of competency mapping, at an equivalent level of proficiency. Therefore, it's critical that within employment role, department, level or grade of employees the specified proficiency levels are defined.

image.thumb.png.fa257626a4afd04b5962268c5467564c.png

As seen within the example above, we've a DPL of three that's just two below the utmost . But we don't know what would define a DPL of 4l. Therefore, it's extremely important that we clearly define the meaning of every level of proficiency from 1 to level 5 in DPL.

 

Proficiency Level 

image.png.c92b35401579517d6235954961127010.png

 

SOME OF THE TOOLS USED FOR COMPETENCY MAPPING

1.INTERVIEWS

2.COMPETENCY-BASED QUESTIONNAIRES

3.ASSESSMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

4.CRITICAL INCIDENTS TECHNIQUE

5.PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS

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