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 Conceptualizing the Approach

1. Thinking through the Need

In thinking through the need, it is helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What is the business need for the competency model(s)?
  • What HR applications will be built using the competency model(s) to address the business need? Which is the most important application?
  • What is the organizational context?
  • What business or organizational changes have occurred?
  • What other competency models exist or are planned?
  • Has the organization developed a mission or values statement?
  • What is the organization’s strategic plan or direction?
  • What aspects of the organization’s culture should be taken into account when considering this work?
  • What HR processes, applications, and programs are already in place for selection, assessment, succession planning, professional development and performance management?
  • For which HR process should the first model be applied?
  • Who will sponsor this work? What are the sponsor’s needs and concerns?
  • What other key stakeholders will be affected by the competency model and its applications? What are their needs and concerns?


2. Clarifying the Need

You probably will not have answers to all of the above questions and it is likely that the sponsor and other key stakeholders will have perspectives and concerns that you have not thought of. By talking with your sponsor and with some other key stakeholders, you can clarify what is needed. In addition, sounding out key stakeholders and demonstrating interest in their needs, you will begin to build support for the project.


3. Developing an Approach

Three main approaches to competency model building:

  • Single job competency model
  • One-Size-Fits-All approach
  • Multiple Jobs approach

Developing an approach involves selecting one of the three approaches and adapting it to the needs of the organization.


4. Gaining the Sponsor’s Support for the Approach

Before you can begin a competency modeling project, you need to have your sponsor’s support, first for the general conceptual approach and later for a project plan that specifies the time, money and other resources that will be required. Before developing a detailed plan, it is useful to ensure that the sponsor supports your general conceptual approach. Therefore, you need to share your approach with the sponsor and check to see if you have your sponsor’s support. You can do this in an in-person or telephone meeting.

Source: Building Competency Models workshop



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