Plan and organise
Designing target operating models and organisation structures and conducting workforce planning
SFIA can be used to design and validate proposed organisation designs and target operating models. Using SFIA for position/role analysis and skills mapping provides a quick cross-check and an effective bottomup review of the scope of the positions in the organisation design. The SFIA levels of responsibility help optimise spans of control and the number of organisational levels. Generic, SFIA based, profiles are a significant enabler of organisational agility. They allow operating models and organisation designs to flex and change without needing to be re-written.
SFIA does not assume specific operating models or organisation structures. It is equally effective in enabling agile, collaborative, working practices as it is for functional, hierarchical or process-driven models.
Creating job descriptions and role profiles
SFIA-based role profiles, job descriptions and skill profiles are probably the most common use of SFIA in organisations. Context is important in the use of any framework, and it is crucial to understand the organisation’s needs rather than simply use the skills in an isolated manner to form a single job description or role profile. The specific mix will be different from one organisation to another.
SFIA aligned job descriptions and role profiles are useful and popular for many reasons.
- They can support the complete skills management cycle.
- They provide clarity to enable productivity and performance to match expectations.
- They reduce business risk by increasing the chances of recruiting and developing individuals with the required skills, at the right level. This is positive for both the organisation and the individual and reduces the costs of churn, when individuals feel ‘the job is not what they thought it would be’, or the organisation discovers the individual has not got the right set of skills to do the job effectively.
Many organisations streamline this process by recognising standard combinations of skills. These are typically called role profiles or professional profiles. To apply SFIA appropriately, it is helpful to be clear on the relationship between skills, roles, and jobs.
SFIA does not attempt to cover everything that an individual may be required to do. SFIA does not describe any product or technology-specific skills or knowledge, industry years of service or qualifications. For example, a service desk manager requires knowledge of a particular process framework (such as ITIL or COBIT) and the specific service desk tools which are used in that organisation, and they may also need specific industry experience, security clearance and defined qualifications.
Although job/role design is greatly assisted by the use of SFIA, the framework itself does not describe roles, jobs or organisational units - it simply provides the building blocks to help create these. There are no organisational design templates, examples or suggestions in the core SFIA Framework. The SFIA categories and sub-categories should not be used to imply specific organisational units, departments, teams or jobs.
A job can be made up of one or more roles, which, in turn, include one or more skills at appropriate skill levels. For example, there may be a job advertised in an organisation for a Service Desk Manager. This job could include the roles of Incident Management Process Owner, Major Incident Manager and Knowledge Management Process Owner (and possibly several more). Each role would require one or more skills at various levels, with the skills being defined using SFIA.
The role of Major Incident Manager, for instance, and detail of the activities which anyone carrying out this role would have to complete, can be defined in the Incident Management process. This role profile would use SFIA to describe the generic level of responsibility for the role and include the SFIA skills and levels for these skills which are required in order to perform this role consistently to the required standard. This role might be carried out by several different people with various job titles, and therefore be referred to in a number of job descriptions.