Competency Assessment – What Are The Critical Success Factors?

Posted 14/04/2014

Few argue whether competency assessment is a good idea or not. The key question is what makes it successful? In our view there are 3 key things.

Just do it

Worrying about what tool to use, how to link with the wider organizational competence assessment, how people will feel about being assessed and what to do with the results makes so many companies we know just put it off. Actually with the right targeted help all these questions can be answered quite straightforwardly, the process conducted skillfully and sensitively in 4-6 weeks and and the results are so powerful clients wonder why they did not do it earlier.

Go deep enough

Most clients talk about competency assessment as a way of base lining the individual and team skills profile and planning training and development. But few do it to a level of procurement skill detail that is really meaningful and practically helpful. For example. think about the different aspects and dimensions of ‘influencing skills’ or ‘commercial acumen’ that combine to make a buyer or category manager really effective!  Using influencing as an example it is only when you drill down to the components of;

·         Networking

·         Stakeholder

·         Supplier conditioning

·         Facilitation

·         Presentation

·         Negotiation

·         Ongoing relationship management

To name just a few, do we get a picture of exactly where a person or teams strengths lie. So, to really ‘look inside the box’ , competency assessment should be detailed and specifically aligned to the where the procurement team is trying to get. 

Follow up

Naturally any competence assessment process needs to be handled sensitively. At best it is an opportunity for individuals to self assess and reflect on where they are and where they want to get to, which is then validated to ensure accuracy and a consistency. Having invested energy in the assessment we should build on this momentum by planning and communicating clearly what will be or not be on offer to follow this up. Training, coaching, self help options or intended reorganization are usually what people expect and will harness the energy created. We find that there are usually one or two key themes where the whole team needs to step up and then pockets skills where targeting training or coaching works best.

Tagged by topic: Learning and Development

  by Anna Del Mar

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