The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) is a great tool to support transformational change in IT organisations.

This article from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) highlights the importance of the people side of Transformational change and the puts the case for HR to support the change with a new operating model and improved processes and capabilities.

One of the issues which HR finds with IT organisations is working with complexity of roles, skills and technical jargon – and that’s where SFIA can help.

Here’s a some examples of how organisations can use SFIA to drive transformational change in their IT Workforce.

Support for Target Operating Models and Organisation Design

  • SFIA can be used to quickly validate and expand proposed organisation designs and target operating models.
  • The SFIA levels provide a shorthand for the level of responsibility for positions in the organisation design which in turn enables sizing and costing analysis to be performed.
  • Using SFIA for position/role analysis and skills mapping provides a quick cross check and a effective bottom-up review of the scope of the positions in the organisation design.
  • Designed correctly; skills based role profiles are a significant enabler of organisational agility so that target operating model and organisation design can be flexed to respond to market or other changes without the need for wholesale re-writing of role profiles.

There are significant benefits in quality and speed in using SFIA for this analysis compared to the usual approach of working with an Organogram and a series of job titles.

IT Workforce planning and IT workforce development

  • A problem with many efforts at workforce planning is that the exercise doesn’t get much beyond headcount (FTE) and job functions.
  • Analysis at that level overlooks the fact that any transformation is very likely to mean a shift in skills required by the workforce i.e. – the transformed organisation will need more of some skills and less of others … as the article states “Skill shortages are rampant”
  • What puts organisations off doing this level of planning is complexity – and its here where SFIA can help provide the right balance – its simple enough to use, but enough detail to be useful

Engagement & Communications

  • Finally when we come to communicate the new operating model and organisation design the SFIA skill level descriptions make it a straightforward (and inexpensive) exercise to explain the nature of capability required compared to creating lots of role profiles.

The BCG article looks at the following trends …

Driving Growth While Preserving Margins
The Emergence of Hybrid Business Models – Managing the core (legacy) business alongside new growth areas
The War for the Right and Best Talent – Skill shortages are rampant
The Need to Collaborate Across Boundaries – Employees must be able to easily navigate functional and product boundaries to achieve the collaboration needed to deliver … more holistic solutions.
The Need for New Ways of Working – Agile development and solution-based selling are forcing the development of new processes and new operating models..

To meet these challenges they propose a new expanded role for HR which includes …

HR’s Engagement with the Business.
HR’s Own Way of Working.
HR’s Own Talent.
The Use of Analytics, Measurement Systems, and Related Tools
HR Structure and collaboration
HR operational planning

… and seven critical areas for HR to upgrade its capabilities

Organization Design.
Employee Engagement and Culture.
Strategic Workforce Planning.
Talent Acquisition and Retention.
Learning and Development.
Leadership Development.
Compensation and Performance Management.

From bcg.perspectives – Transforming Technology Companies: Putting People First