MDD

Friday, 25 March 2011

Yet Another Framework for Assessing IT Capability

The SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age) is (yet) another framework for assessing information technology capability. In this case the emphasis is on individuals and career development rather than corporate governance or management structure. (see sfia.textmatters.com)

The basic model is styled on a 'learning ladder' mingled with 'leadership' or 'power' aspects, i.e. 1) follow, 2) assist, 3) apply, 4) Enable, 5) Ensure-Advise, 6) Initiate-Influence, 7) Set Strategy-Inspire-Mobilise.

These 'levels' are applied across corporate functional areas or activities to create a 'skills framework' or matrix for ranking individuals and recording progress. Functional areas or activities include: a) Strategy and architecture, b) Business change, c) Solution development and implementation, d) Service management, e) Procurement and management support, f) Client interface.

Questions
  • The SFIA is just a tool, it offers an immediate snapshot of a workforce, more importantly however, how is it used or applied over time?
  • Is SFIA developmental? i.e. does inform career development, future training, skills and project exposure? 
  • Do individuals perceive an incentive to emphasise and specialise in focused areas or to generalise?
  • When is specialisation versus generalisation recommended, at different times in the individual's career?
  • Is SFIA used as a filtering mechanism, for selection or vetting?
  • How transparent is the process under which it is used? Do participants have transparent access to others' inputs?
  • Is it part of 360 degree reviews?
  • How does project, activity, process and service performance captured?
  • Is this the menu or the meal? What I mean by that is does engaging in SFIA activity as an occasional exercise serve to distract or does it become a regular assessment framework intended to be the 'usual' lens to view progression and career paths at work?