Competence Management

Principles

The aim of an organisation’s competence management strategy is to make effective use of the potential which every organisation has, given the existing staff skills and proficiency and, using this as the basis, to draw up the competence requirements needed for sustainable competitiveness, i.e. to actively control and steer their portfolio of competences.

Competence management combines two basic approaches to organisational science which also have a role to play here; a resource-based or core-skills approach, and a learning-oriented competence approach. Both approaches are relevant when applying a competence management strategy.

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The resource-oriented approach

The resource-oriented approach – also known as the core competence approach – deals in essence with the use of potential within an organisation, aiming to secure an organisation’s survival by accumulating the right resources in the long term and thereby stand out from the rest of the market.

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The learning-oriented approach

By contrast, the learning-oriented competence approach focuses on the individual as a key member of staff. Key competences are therefore characterised as prerequisites of a person’s self-disposition.

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The FMT approach

Is a congruent combination of the two approaches. We work with you to develop your required key competences, make your aims and objectives visible and map out the existing competence status of your organisation. We then use competence development activities to firmly close long-term gaps and make short-term acquisitions to fill short-term gaps, working together to create the fertile ground on which to grow your organisation’s future self-disposition which we can then sustain and monitor with you.

Tasks

Competence management, as a core task of knowledge-based organisation governance, goes beyond the traditional understanding of training and development, in which learning, self-organisation, use and marketing of competences are integrated. Competence management also includes describing and documenting the tasks and professional competences (e.g. in the context of a human capital audit), as well as the transfer, use and development of competences, while focussing on securing the personal goals of the employee along with the organisation’s aims.

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Analysis

Establish a structured and condensed summary of the professional competences on an employee level and company level. The aim is a structured qualitative and quantitative analysis of the existing competence level.

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Analysis

Critical analysis of the competence levels and identification of the organisational objectives, resulting in a target-oriented appraisal of the professional competences.

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Distribution

Distribution and dissemination of the competences throughout the different levels in the organisation (project, process and control levels) with the aim of achieving a high level of acceptance of the current competence level. The transition to knowledge management is smooth.

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Development

Adjustment of the developed professional competence portfolio, taking into account the existing potential and the future requirements (increase or decrease). This also includes a risk analysis, in which the organisational, departmental or technical risks of an exodus or obsolescence of important professional competences are identified and countermeasures recommended.

The model

A professional competence management strategy can be implemented in a company using a process model developed collaboratively with Prof.  Dr. Matthias Ziegler of the Humboldt University. The model is based on the underlying principle that the employees can steer, adapt and develop their own professional competence portfolio, as well as the organisation steering, adapting and developing the combined organisational competence portfolio. Synchronisation of the interests of both parties is an important element of this model. The modular structure of the model should make it easy for the individual to adapt the model to the requirements of his/her organisation. The technique is split into three phases; identification, validation and transfer.

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Identification

Starting with the analysis, the strategically important business areas which already exist within the organisation are systematically reviewed and identified, along with their linked company competences. The model provides for the value-added processes, business processes, products, services, projects and technologies initially selected to be reviewed with regard to business-related fields of competence. Based on this knowledge, a strategic goal is set for the competence management strategy (e.g. initiation of competence-oriented further education; rebuilding the company’s competence in XY, etc.). The individual competences which are relevant to the employee tasks specific to the organisation (task catalogue) are identified from the results of the analysis. Roles are identified from this catalogue (role catalogue). For each role, a well-defined target competence profile is prepared which is stripped down into technical, methodical and social components respectively (drill-down). Task and role-specific competences are combined in a competence catalogue and structured in core business areas.

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Validation

In the validation phase, an appraisal is carried out of the employee’s current competences with the help of the target competence catalogue. This appraisal is carried out objectively and digitally. We recommend organisations concentrate on strategically important groups of employees (e.g. research and development, sales and marketing and other key positions). The competence level, i.e. the characteristics of the individual competences, will be recorded against a predetermined scale, thus making them measurable.

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Transfer

The competence transfer between the employees builds on the transparency of the current competence level, and is organised very precisely, depending on the competence supply and demand within the company. Competence levels, which were previously isolated are now transparent throughout the organisation and can be networked. Suitable digital solutions support the dynamic or periodic updates and distribution of competence information. Tracking the network pattern between the employees will result in an organisation-wide diagnosis of the learning and competence patterns. Used as a management tool, the company leadership team should be using the results of the competence pattern as the basis for improving the competence management strategy and specific adjustment of the networking concept. By underpinning the model with a performance management system adapted to the company, it is feasible to have a permanent control on the competence portfolio along with an active development programme.