Competency Framework - Design Guide
Note: this blog post has been created for context around my 3 series post Cronofy's Competency Framework Journey.
What is a Competency Framework?
A framework which describes the knowledge, skills and behaviours associated with certain levels of seniority within a role. It allows Managers to objectively assess someone's performance against the expectations of their position within Cronofy.
Cronofy has a Competency Framework (CF) for Individual Contributor (IC) level (levels of seniority, from 1 to 5) and Management (Team Lead, Head of). Within our CF we have three pillars of competencies:
Individual competencies (the individual knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform in your role)
Collective competencies (team working, engaging with others across the business)
Cultural competencies (alignment with Cronofy Principles)
Difference between a Competency Framework (CF) and Job Description (JD)?
The duties of the role
Knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform at that IC level
Day to day activities
The competencies required at various IC levels
Experience needed to perform in the role
Specific and measurable
Summary of the skills - not specific enough to be measurable
Defines what performance success looks like
Examples of job description skills *
Examples of competencies**
Bookkeeping, programming languages, SaaS sales experience
Empathy, leadership, relationship building
*Note: It’s common for job descriptions to include competencies, but job descriptions don’t form part of competency frameworks
**For a longer list of competencies, there are a bunch of resources you can google
Coming up with CF statements
1. It needs to be specific enough to be measurable (can we prove how successful you’ve been at this)
*What are the measures of success for this role?
2. It needs to be broad enough not to be an instruction or job duty (how have you performed at this competency)
*Will it be evident if someone has - or has not - performed against this competency?
3. Not too general that it can be misinterpreted (to avoid scenarios where your idea of performing against a competency does not match with your manager)
You might find benefit in breaking a role down to its most simple form, thinking about the responsibilities of the job, and then working backwards to come up with competencies required for that role.
Sell the API
Explore use cases, identify whether Cronofy can help them, and if so how
Respond to and resolve support tickets
Service / resolution
Delivers quality responses to our customers
Proactive and ongoing learning and development in your role
Takes control of career path, evaluates the outcome of learning to fill gaps in own skillsets
More ownership and focus on career path, not ad hoc
Innovates with new technology and solutions to solve objectives
Identifies areas for improvement and implements new processes
Technology could contribute to this
Performs to a high level and solves business challenges
Proactively contributes to, and supports other departments in Cronofy's mission
More relevant to the business and its objectives in line with the individual
High level of performance
Strong communication of progress
Communication and performance of role
Works on a variety of projects and finds solutions to complete
Consistently breaks down well-defined solutions into multiple small, deliverable tasks
Much more measurable
Attention to detail
Timely and accurate records of [XYZ], or of a certain tool / area of responsibility
Solves problems with minimal supervision
Proactively finds gaps in [other departments / other areas of work / projects] and resolves with minimal disruption
Puts some context around a 'problem'
Resolves customer issues with efficiency
Helps customers to help themselves
More proactive, and longer term impact
Strong cross-management capabilities, engaging with other Heads of to achieve results
Proactively works with Managers to solve [People / Security / Sales etc] problems, and able to anticipate - and prevent - problems arising
Specific to making a difference / adding value
Sense checking your CF
Ask yourself these questions when you have created CF statements:
Does the Competency Framework restrict or show overachievement?
Should allow this freedom but also allow for fair and equal management
Are the statements aligned with the appropriate seniority?
Align with, lead, or champion / contribute to, accountable for
Are there any statements that could be misinterpreted or misunderstood?
To avoid barriers in meeting criteria
Are the statements measurable?
To accurately assess how well someone is performing
Are the statements suitably specific?
Allowing freedom to perform without strict guidelines or instructions
Are the statements a job duty?
Should focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours - not what the role should do day to day
Are the statements accurate to the position / department?
They should be appropriate for the position, not a generic statement that could fit anywhere
I hope this is helpful. Feel free to reach out to me if you'd like to talk about our approach or want to ask me any questions. Additionally, for the full 3 part series on Cronofy's Competency Framework Journey, check it out here
Progression FYI, a catalogue of startup competency frameworks
CIPD’s The Profession Map, to help think of core competencies for the role
Lattice’s Career Growth templates
CharlieHR’s Career Progression Framework journey (3-part blog post)
Cronofy's Competency Framework Journey (3-part blog post)