Building a skills inventory is as easy as K-S-A


K: Knowledge

What do I need to know to do the job?

For example:

A software developer needs to know Java programming.

S: Skill Level

What makes the difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary performance?

For example:

Two dentists may possess the same knowledge of dentistry. What makes the difference in practice? The level of skill varies with experience.

For the role of software developer, the skills ladder may read as follows.

Low Writes scripts, with data structures, control logic and simple functions
Medium Uses object-orientation and test-driven development
High Applies design patterns and employs frameworks

For many professional skills, the ladder follows the framework

Low Applies the professional skill independently for timely and accurate completion of assigned tasks.
Medium Uses patterns prevalent in practice and gained through experience to accomplish feats.
High Shapes the profession with seminal contributions.

For English language skills, the ladder follows the framework

Low Language is a transactional medium to conduct most social and business transactions adequately.
Medium Language is a medium for self-expression, to engage, interact and influence in chosen sphere.
High Language is a medium of self-expression, to create artistic works that inspire generations to come.

It is important to have a framework that is easy to understand without being hung up on definitions.

A: Attitude

What are the behavioral competencies to be successful?

Continuing with the example of a software developer, aspects of the process of software development have strong behavioral implications.

For example,

  1. Agile methodology requires a team that is deeply committed and a SCRUM Master who demonstrates servant leadership.
  2. Maintenance of code bases requires an orientation to debugging code written by others, often with poor documentation.
  3. Some developers just fit right into paradigms like Test-Driven Development (TDD) while others feel like a round peg in a square hole.

Technical skills can be picked up with interest and perseverance. Attitude is a different matter and more often the derailer. Look for a competency model if one exists to work off. It is worth the investment in probing the behaviors that a job requires to set people up for success.

One Response to “Building a skills inventory is as easy as K-S-A”
  1. Kunal says:

    Objective and relevant for any profession !!

Leave a Reply to Kunal Cancel reply

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