63 things you can do with SFIA

SFIA is a flexible framework with many direct and indirect uses.

This makes SFIA a very powerful tool but it does come with a health warning; be wary if someone tells you how to “implement” SFIA.

  • The real question should be “What are your IT workforce related challenges and opportunities” and how can adopting SFIA help you tackle them.

To illustrate this point I have collated a list of 63 activities which SFIA can support.

  • These are real examples – I have either done these myself, helped organisations to do these or seen them in action in other organisations.
  • They are curated from
    • my personal experience initially as a SFIA user and then as a SFIA consultant
    • sharing experiences with SFIA Users via the SFIA User Forum and the SFIA Council
    • SFIA Conferences

So if someone suggests you implement SFIA – which of these 63 things are in scope? And why?

To help make sense of them I have categorised these using the IT Talent Life cycle which many people will be familiar with.

  • In reality, many of these examples can span more than one of the categories.
  • The other feature of the framework is that it does NOT come with a prescriptive set of processes. You can do whatever you like with SFIA!
  • To adopt SFIA and achieve your target benefits you will typically need to create new processes or adapt your existing people management processes.

Although this is a long list of uses – I am sure there are many other uses of SFIA.

  • If you do know of anything you think should be added then please let me know.

Organising & Planning the IT Workforce

  1. Develop IT Talent strategy
  2. Design of IT Career families
  3. Design and creation of Professional communities of practices
  4. Organisation design
  5. Role design
  6. Organisational skills – gap analysis and prioritisation of skills development
  7. Validation of a Target Operating Model
  8. Design outsourcing model
  9. Workforce planning
  10. Simplify job language to enable Position management
  11. Integrating 2 IT organisations
  12. Writing role profiles / job descriptions
  13. Supporting process / technology driven transformations
  14. Transition of start-up organisation to mature IT organisation

IT Workforce Talent Acquisition

  1. Creating job specifications for one off ad hoc recruitment
  2. Creating job specifications for  a one off recruitment campaign
  3. Creating job specifications for All recruitment
  4. Screening candidates
  5. Assessing candidates
  6. Outsourcing – review of staffing
  7. Outsourcing – specification of demand and supply
  8. Internal recruitment

Deployment of IT resources & skills

  1. Deployment of IT professionals onto client assignments
  2. Resource management
  3. Finding subject matter experts within your IT workforce
  4. Creation of 70:20:10 / developmental assignments
  5. Reducing dependency on Contractors – reduce risk and cost
  6. Managing a diverse workforce – multiple locations , geographies, cultures

Assessing & Analysing IT Talent

  1. One off organisational skills assessment / skills audit
  2. Personal skills assessment
  3. On-going skills assessment as part of performance management / personal development
  4. Internal promotion / recruitment criteria
  5. Benchmarking for IT Certifications
  6. Making “buy v build” decisions
  7. Making sense of complex IT roles
  8. Prioritisation of training / development activities
  9. Benchmarking performance – internal
  10. Benchmarking performance – external
  11. Managing performance problems
  12. Clarifying and explaining performance gaps
  13. Developing line manager capabilities
  14. Identifying the risks of losing key staff
  15. Identifying resourcing risks and contingencies within teams
  16. Retaining key IT staff

Developing the IT Workforce

  1. Supporting IT strategic workforce development for transformations / significant change program
  2. Creating a learning and development catalogue
  3. Measuring outcomes of L&D programmes
  4. Defining learning outcomes of academic programmes
  5. Defining career paths
  6. Improving line managers capabilities
  7. Designing and implementing IT Career development processes
  8. Improving the quality of career conversations
  9. Developing high performing IT organisations and people – improved engagement / productivity
  10. Demonstrating professionalism / instilling confidence in stakeholders
  11. Positioning IT qualifications
  12. Applying generic HR High Potential (HiPo) processes to IT organisation and roles
  13. Training & development to support new Service Management processes
  14. Applying 70:20:10 model

Rewarding the IT Workforce

  1. Designing salary guidelines
  2. Job evaluation
  3. Benchmarking for individual recruitment
  4. Support for annual salary reviews
  5. Dealing with restrictions on IT salaries (e.g. public sector)

SFIA / Skills Framework for the Information Age

10 Things you should know about SFIA

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