The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

risual Ltd - Making it Stick - webinar recording

Making SFIA a part of daily-life for all colleagues and using SFIA for job descriptions, recruitment, performance reviews and personal development planning.

Charlotte May-Wymer, Head of People at risual Ltd, shares risual's approach to SFIA and what they have done to ensure its longevity in all aspects of working life at risual.

risual use SFIA across the whole organisation, not just for technical roles but for all roles, and have integrated SFIA with HR processes, systems and dashboards. It is part of daily-life for all colleagues and is used job descriptions, recruitment, performance reviews and personal development planning.

risual Ltd is a UK-based business & technology services organisation, offering consultancy, managed services, training & adoption, education, and apprenticeships for cloud technologies. It is a Microsoft Gold Partner across 15 categories and an Azure Expert MSP, placing it in the top 0.05% of MS partners globally and is a Microsoft Fast Track Ready Partner.

Key learning points

Charlotte described a number of ways that risual have been able to help make SFIA part of  the culture and the ways things work at risual.

  • SFIA is feature of day-to-day language, it's used across the entire organisation (not just IT) and is tightly integrated with HR activities
  • risual encouraging individuals to take ownership of their own development through self-assessment
  • SFIA evidence and levels are stored in Dynamics 365 for HR and the data pulled into easily accessible dashboards
  • Recruitment - Interview questions and behavioural competencies both linked to SFIA
  • Coaching and mentoring - Identifying gaps and opportunities
  • Templates - Useful templates stored on the HR intranet
  • Drop-in sessions - Monthly sessions available with the HR team for guidance or queries
  • Using SFIA to support job descriptions, appraisals, development reviews and performance journals

Webinar recording

Slides available here (pdf attached)

Questions & Answers

We had a large number of questions over the 2 webinar sessions. Charlotte was able to answer most of these on the webinar. 

One of the advantages of attending the webinars live is the opportunity to ask questions directly to our speakers. 

Here's some of the questions Charlotte discussed/answered on the webinar...

  • risual have around 170 employees and SFIA is used across all roles and levels - apprenticeships to senior leadership team
  • risual are using SFIA 8 - have used many of the new skills and have not found any elements missing in SFIA 8
  • there are around 80 roles across the business, we recommend up to 5 professional skills per role
  • what are the most common questions you get at your drop in sessions / most common topics you find yourself covering
  • how you can use SFIA with non technical roles
  • how to introduce the SFIA framework to new starters etc. - who and at what stage? 
  • what is the response of new people to joining a SFIA culture if previously unaware of SFIA?
  • what learnings do you have from launching and embedding SFIA?
  • combining assessment of SFIA's generic attributes/levels of responsibility from assessing the SFIA Professional skills and levels.
  • with the experience of your SFIA implementation, how challenging do you think it would be to implement this across a department of 400 staff in an organisation of 6000 with overarching HR processes?
  • risual recruit at entry level (apprenticeships and graduates) as well as mid- and senior-level
  • What L&D partners do you work with? Have you mapped their offerings into SFIA? e.g. the Microsoft training
  • Charlotte has taken the Introduction to SFIA training and has been accredited as a SFIA Accredited Practitioner
  • Training and awareness for managers and individuals is delivered internally - linked to risual's people management processes (described in the webinar)
  • risual find the that the SFIA framework is simple enough that good line managers are able to support individuals in assessments and their professional development. The drop-in sessions help resolve specific queries.
  • We have not modified SFIA and do not used a condensed version

Additional questions/answers...

These were raised by webinar participants. They don't directly relate to risual's use of SFIA so we've provided a response from a SFIA Foundation perspective.

Question. Is it feasible to use SFIA in a non HR context? e.g. we are using it to purely assess and record technical abilities - completely separate from HR and work performance assessments

  • Answer. It's not unusual to see teams, departments or organisations use SFIA in this way. In that case it's the responsibility of the operational teams/managers to make sure things "stick".

Question. What level is SFIA Accredited Consultant

  • Answer. SFIA Accredited Consultant is aligned to SFIA level 5 - more details here