Archive for the ‘Development plans’ Category

When I started this blog I was mostly after a way of writing down thoughts I had about Talent Management (TM) without promoting my own company (that is what we have the company blog for:-) ). Since then I have realized that even if I have been living with TM-suites for 15 years not many else have, hence my series about parts of the integrators in Talent Management.



  1. Development integrated, part 1
  2. Development integrated, part 2
  3. Development integrated, part 3
  4. Development integrated, part 4

I kind of hoped for a debate in the commentaries, but building a following like the big bloggers takes time and I don’t have the time to spend that I think is needed on twitter for that.

So I continue write my ideas in the hope that they will be of value to someone. And even if they are not it’s a good way of thinking things through and shed light on areas from different angles, and that’s always good for at least me, so that’s another reason I blog today. I do it for me.

If anyone find it helpful, all the better.

Enjoy the summer

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In part 1 we tried to look at a definition of competencies and what different types there might be.

Now we should look into where can we use these competencies in a Talent Management environment

If we start by saying that any job can be described in competencies, a combination of:
•    Desired knowledge
•    Desired behavior
•    Desired certificates

we are not so far from the truth. As we have already established that we see these 3 as just different aspects of the same thing we are in luck. We might use our competency framework to describe the job, and therefore the position, requirements.

We are here assuming we will use competencies for defining positions not formal training or education which might be another option, but as competencies describes what you know and can use we prefer that before a list of classes you attended.

Once we have that we can assess our employees (that assessment might be done by employee, manager or a combination, also using 360 assessments) on all types of competencies, and produce a gap analysis.

Competency process

Based upon that Gap Analysis we can then try to better our employee. In order to do that we create development activities, and connect them to an identified competency gap.

The development activity might be something we used before, so we go to our activity catalog and search on our competency gap to find activities that we have used before to close that particular gap.
As we might not find one there we also search in our training catalog, and based upon our competency gap we get some suggestion on training we might use.
The employee might also be considered as a successor to another job or position. Same thing applies here. We do gap analysis, identify activities and training, all based upon the competencies.
The employee might do it all by herself in the career planning to get a feeling for how long way it would be to get to the dream job.

Once when the development activities are done we do a new assessment to see if the gaps are now filled.
In next part we will look at how we can add more data to our competencies to actually use them in our Talent Acquisition process

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Well, finally we are at the final post in this mini series. We will now summarize it all.

  • In part 1 we went over the basics of integrated development activities.
  • In part 2 we examined what these activities can be, and what we need to support them.
  • In part 3 we talked all about competencies and followed an employee from hire to fire.

So now to the conclusion

I will here try to summarize and give lists of what you need to look for. The whole post is a  bit system centric and not how you later implement it as I for once actually think that you need a system that gives you all the opportunities to build your process. With a good system you will get a support for parts of the process that would never have been possible if you did it all on paper or in Excel.

The Development activity – basics

First we need the development activity. In post 2 we agreed that we need

  1. What are we doing?
  2. When are we doing it?
  3. Any cost connected to it?
  4. Double assessments (both of how did the employee do, and how good is the activity)

For some of the activities we might need

  1. Sub activities
  2. Summaries
  3. Progress notes
  4. Appointment scheduling

And the integration points

Our activities could be connected to other processes

  1. Career plan,
  2. Succession planning
  3. Performance management
  4. OnBoarding
  5. Stand alone (yes some could be that)

And then we want to reuse our knowledge

We indentified a need to be able to build a library of activities. That library should contain:

  1. What we did
  2. Did we address a competency gap with it
  3. Did we succeed
  4. Assessments
  5. Costs

We also wanted a good integration with our competencies so we could

  1. Identify activities from our library based on competency gaps

And use other knowledge

If we have a LMS (Learning Management System) we want to be able to integrate that one, preferably with all data as in our development activity catalogue.  A development activity could be a training item in the LMS.

Thats it folks

Well actually its not. You still need to map out all the details in your process around development activity.

  • If you have a catalogue, who can add to it?
  • What are the rating scales use for assessments
  • The whole workflow around an activity
  • Are you buying a training catalougue with your LMS or building one yourself?
  • Build or buy Competency framework?
  • social feedback on activities (s0mething I totally ignored so far because its a huge area of its own)

And so on. But we have a start to get there, We just need to remember:

We need a fully integrated development activity process

We have touched a lot of other processes, but hey, its silo free talent management so its supposed to.

Next steps

Now that we have the integartions mapped out and the basics in place we whousl consider items like

  • Social feedback
  • More engaged employees
  • Competencies
  • the workflow

And we will do that in 2012. So keep your eyes open.

Happy New Year

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We have come to the 3rd part about the development activities and why and how they should be integrated to other Talent Management processes.

Initial overview of the Development landscape you will find in part1.

In part 2 we explored the requirements on our system by different types of activities.

Now its time to go into competencies, the other big integration point, and see how we can get a maximum efficiency out of our processes if we have them integrated in a good way.

We have shown that regardless of type of activity we often end up with a common set of requirements. We also end up with a number of integration points in our system. But what about competencies? If we integrated them too we might end up in Talent Management heaven. (just might mind you)

Imagine the following scenario

We have an open position we need to fill. What we start with is to look at the competency requirements on the team that this position is part of, have a look at the other team members competency profiles and produce a gap analysis. With that one we know what we need to fill the position with, in matter of competencies at least.

We then do an internal search with that competency gap analysis as a basis (and we also use career plans preferred jobs, mobility and relocation info as input as well as any succession data we might have in the system). We dont find anyone this time, so we go to next step

With our gap analysis, and our competency requirement profile on the position and job we head over to create a requisition for our recruitment sub process. As we know what the job profile looks like and we also know what is the most important parts (our gap analysis) our system helps us in creating a job advert and also attach screening questions to our application form that are relevant for what we need.

Later we have a good candidate that meet our criteria and its time for the interview. Our helpful system provides us with some interview questions based on the job, position and our earlier gap analysis. It also lists a range of activities that this particular candidate would need to go through before entirely be up to speed. We now have the information about how long time that might take, and the cost.

We hire the candidate and in the OnBoarding we have a list of development activities for the new employee. The list is produced based on the gap analysis and position requirements and the answers our candidate gave during the application process. From that the sytem did a candidate gap analysis, went into its list of development activities and pulled out a best set for this employee. All you have to do is approve them.

The employee goes through OnBoarding and the development activities. Some of them end up as a record in the employee profile, some of them prompts an addition to the competency profile for the employee.

After a couple of years the team is overstaffed and you need to downsize. The analytics in the system gives you the different scenarios on what competencies you need and how to get a best match with the available team. As always you will end up with a shortage somewhere so the system can not only give you the best scenario, it also produced the list of development activities with time frame and cost you need to plan.

Convinced you need a good integrated system?

In next part we will summarize it all in bullet points to get a list of integration points and data you need to support it. But now lets head home for Christmas and we will get back to development and conclude these posts after Christmas.

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Development activities, different types of them, and how they should be handled.

In part 1 we went over the basics of integrated development activities.

Now it is time to examine what these activities can be, and what we need in our software to support them.

If we go back in the mists of time, say to the 1990s, a development activity very often was “attend an instructor lead training”.  It can still be, but today we recognize that development can be so much more.

Integrated Employee Development

Instructor lead training

The good old instructor lead training is still going strong. Sometimes that is the answer, and we need to handle it. It may just be that we want to record what we do and also keep track of the cost and when we did it. But we should at least have an assessment of the training in itself, not how well the employee developed, but what did the employee think of the training. Can be used when we decide if we want to use it again. Sometimes we want the training catalog to be integrated in our system, if we do that we can also use competency gaps to identify what training to use (more in a later post about competencies).

Online training

Here we often think e-learning. Truth is that it comes in a wide variety, but it all comes down to some sort of integration to LMS. Yes, it might also be done without an integration. The training might be hosted at a supplier portal. So what we need is to record, what we do, cost and a due date. It would also be nice to record assessments as above.


Most often we mean, I need a coach. The employee and the coach/mentor should meet, they should record activities and progress. So here we also need a possibility to have a list of appointments, and a list of sub actions, with their own assessments, timing and costs. To be able to sum on these to get a final cost, or a final assessments is always nice.

Read a book/self study

Sometimes we just need time. We know what to do , we need a quiet spot and we need time to do it in. Might be self study, read a book, review some old work. Whats interesting is that this is also a development activity and should be assessed afterwards. Any cost for it? Did we send the employee somewhere to get quiet?

Job rotation

And lastly we have job rotation. Might it be that the employee should try some time in another job? We need access to career plan then to get a hint of what that job ,might be. A possibility to setup that temporary position. Assessments afterwards, and maybe also a record in the internal job history.


So we have different activity types, and they have overlapping needs. Some of them might be crucial to have in the system and some we might just want to have the ability to record, not fully support the process of them. Lets get back to that in a later post.

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Development planning, which little process where we plan what to do to develop our competencies, skills and ability to use them. It’s really one of the most integrated things within Talent Management if done correct.


A Development plan might be thought of as a bunch of development activities. They might be or might not be connected to anything, but it is when we connect them that we start to get added value out of our system.

Imagine you have a fancy Talent Management Suite.  You do all kinds of Talent Management, Career & Succession, learning, competencies, performance, onBoarding, workforce planning.  You hopefully have some integration points in there, but what is the thing gluing all together?

Yes Development activities:

  • An employee is to be ready to be a successors, might need development
  • Oh dear, we have a competency gap, need development here
  • Employee wants to get somewhere with the career? Better also explore what development activities might be needed
  • In order to reach the performance goal we need to enhance our abilities? Add some development activities to the mix

And so on.

If you have an old school solution you will end up with a lot of different activities, and if you are lucky you will be able to pull out a few reports and glue them together to get an overview.

New school does that for you.

A development activity might be part of career, succession, onbioard8ing or any other process, it is still an activity to develop the employee and should not only be part of the process it originates from it should be easily accessed from the employee view. Easily reported on, and also easily reused when trying to define new activities,

  • What activity have we done before to get a new CTO ready?
  • What OnBoarding activities did we use last time?
  • How did we close that competency gap?
  • So she wants to be a manager, do we have any good activities we have done in similar situations earlier?

That leads us into the next part of the activities; they need to be assessed twice.

  1. Did the employee reach the intended goal with the activity?
  2. Was it a good activity?

With these assessments we can in an easy way present good reusable activities for a later user. Connect it with competency gap and we can search through them.

In next post we will explore what types of activities we can use and how they should be handled.


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Last couple of years the social media has exploded. The good old recruiters were early adopters and started using LinkedIn, twitter and even Facebook for building talent pools, networks, sourcing and advertising.  The rest of the Talent Management processes were more slow starters with Learning perhaps as the one exception. They found that their earlier effort of conference rooms in the portal, wikis, shared documents and all that were now social media.

Integrated employee???

Integrated employee???

So what about the rest? Can we use social media in Career and succession planning; can we use it in performance or maybe in compensation?

Sure we can, question is just

  • How do we use it
  • And what platform do we use

For recruiters it was easy. They wanted to interact with all people in the world so they just went to the places where they were. For the other processes it’s not that simple. One thing is that even if most employees are aware of that what they do on Facebook might have job related implications they don’t really want their employer to start using Facebook as an internal company system (gen Y might be an exception, as well as free lancers). Facebook is mostly a personal network (but we connect with a lot of job related people on it).

One company who realized that was yammer, so they released a twitter look-a-like that can be used within a company. That has a number of advantages

  1. No risk of leakage. Information posted is still company internal
  2. When an employee leaves we can delete its access (one major drawback of Google Wave)

What we need is the support for company internal networks, referencing, CV, cooperation, discussion forums and all the things we now use in our personal life. We don’t only need the functionality we also need it integrated with our existing systems. The employee does not want to have to enter CV data one more time (they are sick and tired of double entering data). They want to access it wherever they are (if the company wants their employees to be accessible they need to provide the means to be that, don’t hide behind bullet proof firewalls).

In Career & Succession planning we might use the internal network not only to find the people we would find by a competency search. We might actually find people based on who they cooperate with, who they share documents with or who they are recommended by.

In performance management we can find out new participants to 360 assessments by looking at the employee network.

In compensation we might even use recommendations, number of cooperation’s and participation in wiki and documents as input.

All this leads to one conclusion.

INTEGRATE. We can’t do this if we keep it all in different systems/platforms. We truly need an integrated approach so we can use the advantage of combined data.

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