Case Study: Implementing Skills Management and SFIA into a large, complex Business Change & IT Organisation


Leading Financial Services organisation with Business Change & IT staff of 1500 across multiple sites.


The organisation needed to up-skill and re-skill c. 1500 FTE in order to implement a new Target Operating Model and bring about higher performance and maximise employee engagement.



 The Challenge

  • Need to significantly improve the professionalism of Business Change & IT workforce
  • The organisation wanted to up-skill and re-skill many of their technical people
  • This would bring about higher performance and maximise employee engagement
  • The organisation was split geographically and had a varied interpretation of roles
  • Inconsistency in skills and roles led to inefficiencies in resourcing
  • The people management skill of line managers was low and many people managers were external contractors



Results & Benefits

  • Consistent skills & competency framework enabled a number of high quality people management processes such as career development, recruitment & resourcing
  • Generic role profiles enhanced flexibility of staff and enabled more efficient resourcing
  • Role profiles generated higher performance by making clearer expectations for all professionals
  • Greater data-driven insight to skills in the organisation supported recruitment and skills and capability development
  • Tracking and skills development over time and linking to improved organisational performance
  • Savings in budget by identifying common themes and smarter sourcing



  • Identify implications for the workforce from the future operating model of the organisation
  • Agree design principles with key stakeholders
  • Research external and internal best practice and incorporate into the principles
  • Identify key professions and assign lead people from each profession
  • Define small number of professional roles for each profession.
  • Map these roles to an industry standard Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) as well as key behavioural competencies and functional BC & IT skills
  • Automate skills assessment for efficiencies of collation, assessment and use of the data to provide business insights
  • Utilise the skills data collated to drive business decisions re BC & IT skill development


Success Factors

  • Engagement of all members and stakeholders – encourage the community to grow from within. Coach & mentor rather than direct action.
  • Focus on business context for each community – exploit high potential areas – do not force the same model and same business agenda on all
  • Learn from others – create strong community amongst the community leaders
  • Inclusion of all employees into at least one community

 Project Deliverables

  • Approx 40 professional profiles covering 7 professions / career families
  • Guidance notes for assessors (individuals, managers, moderators)
  • Skills (SFIA) database populated
  • Moderation approach defined and documented
  • Amended people management and budgeting processes
  • Skills development plan


Speed bumps & pitfalls to overcome

  • Many managers needed to be brought into the assessment. Mixed quality of managers and their ability to assess technical skills of some of their direct reports.
  • How to moderate and calibrate skills assessment
  • How to select a manageable number of skills for the framework
  • Feedback to individuals had to be handled sensitively
  • Data protection issues
  • Fears from individuals about how the data would be used
  • Focus of role profiles – current v aspirational