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  • Writer's pictureMark Harbottle

Competency Framework Journey - Part 1/3 - Designing

Updated: Jan 10, 2023


That’s a long title. Well our journey to creating a Competency Framework and rolling it out across our business was a really long one! So long in fact I decided to create a three-series blog post to document the creation, content and measuring success.

This blog post series is for anyone in the Talent space, or those curious enough to want to know more about how companies define and measure success.

At Cronofy we take great pride in our focus on personal development. We want everyone to feel that they can do anything and go anywhere, but I wanted to make that much clearer. How can we show the career paths, the skills required, and how can we support our team members on their individual journeys?

The answer was a Competency Framework (which, from now on, will be called CF). This was new territory for me, and dear reader, please be warned that if I’ve learnt anything it’s that CF’s are unique to every business; they’re shaped by what’s important to you and your business. My journey will differ dramatically from yours, but I hope you enjoy, and learn something, from this read.


The starting point, the reason for. I set out with the following aims:

  • To define existing roles at Cronofy, and show what is required to excel in these positions

  • To identify (and help provide) learning and development opportunities for progression

  • To show the different routes people can progress to

  • To help with creating and defining new roles we need to hire for

  • Assist with objective interviewing

At its core, this was about providing clear career paths and environments that encourage personal development.

“Now I know what senior looks like, I know what I need to do to get there”.

I had to set out a little structure of progression here, because I couldn’t attach a handful of competencies if we couldn’t define the difference between, say, mid-level and senior. We came up with this:

Seems straightforward right? A few comments:

  • We’re actually creating two career paths - an IC route, and a Management route. Stepping into a management role can be done from any IC level (most likely IC3, but maybe IC4 or even IC2 if it merits)

  • We’re too small as a business to have VP’s, Chiefs and Directors, so our CF will only go up to IC4 (IC route) and Head of (management route). In the future we’ll add to it, but were just not ready for that

  • The progression is not linear. It’s perfectly reasonable to say that an IC1 junior could jump to IC3 if they were excelling in the competencies of their role

  • This career path can fit into any department. That consistency was really important to us

How do you move from one level to the next?

We had to define the behaviours for each level that were transferrable across departments. I spent a long time researching other CF’s and it was fascinating, but so many of them felt impersonal. Lots of large companies use KSB (Knowledge, Skills, Behaviours), and a lot of startups used a variety of competency titles like ‘Leadership’ and ‘Influencing’ with lots of behaviours to describe them.

We wanted something simple that could be accurately measured, easily defined, and assessed from interview through to a career at Cronofy. To quote Garry our CTO “skills and behaviours? I assumed that anyone doing a job already has skills”. Genius.

Anyway, we settled on three pillars that were going to define our Comp FW:

Individual competencies: The skills required at that specific IC level

Collective competencies: Because at Cronofy we assess someone’s success on their ability to work / engage with other people and teams

Cultural competencies: Because if we hire against our Principles, then we should be assessing someone’s success against them

These cumulated everything that was important to us. Excelling in these three areas means you’re developing as a person, working with others (therefore developing as a team) and are aligned with our Principles which are paramount to succeeding at Cronofy.

When we reflected further, we realised that during interviews people who had high technical ability but low alignment with our Principles were unsuccessful. It’s the same as working here - if you don’t perform in all three areas, it’s unlikely you’ll succeed at Cronofy.

So that concludes the why and initial design. you can jump over to Part 2 where I'll be covering the content!

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