Across the majority of professional functions, much of the recruitment, performance development and learning and development were managed in siloes, with no central capability framework to underpin these processes. Some areas of the University had developed capabilities however these were often developed in isolation and were not integrated into a learning management system. Across other professional functions, an understanding of capability frameworks and their use were limited.
Curve Group were engaged in building an enterprise wide capability framework for all professionals staff, as well as functionally specific frameworks across 13 professional functions, ensuring a consistent and connected approach. Enabling tools to support implementation were also developed and treated as integral to the success of the engagement.
Curve Group took a highly consultative approach with Leaders and subject matter experts to ensure relevance, buy-in, ownership and commitment to the capability frameworks.
With a large number of stakeholders to engage and a number of capability frameworks to develop, a staggered approach was taken to development capabilities across different functions in tandem. First, a thorough desktop review of existing documentation was undertaken eg. Functional strategy documentation and any work started around capability development, this data was coupled with an external scan of best practice capability frameworks in the field. The data was synthesised into an initial set of capabilities and tested in a ‘capability selection interview’ with heads of functions. Here, capabilities were prioritised and selected on the basis of alignment to functional and broader University strategic goals. Subject matter experts were then brought together to support the skeleton build of their functional capability framework, where names, definitions and core proof points of capabilities were designed in an interactive and engaging workshop. Curve Group then took the skeleton build of the capability frameworks and built out the detail across proficiency levels (foundation, intermediate and advanced). Functional representatives were consulted throughout the process of detail build as required to ensure genuine functional ownership and relevance.
Capability frameworks were then validated in workshops with heads of functions and subject matter experts. Throughout the process of functional capability development, data was gathered and tested to inform the build of the Enterprise-wide capability framework, which included those capabilities that emerged consistently across most functions and considered essential to all members of professional staff.
At completion of detailed design and validation, all functional and enterprise capabilities were packaged to ensure the content looked interesting, felt engaging and ensured a simple navigation experience. Finally, enabling tools were developed including a learning options gap analysis, where existing learning options were mapped to all functional and enterprise capabilities. This activity supported thinking and decision making around priority areas for gaps in learning options. A ‘how to’ guide for staff and supervisors and a self-reflection tool were also developed to ensure each individual could understand the critical capabilities for professional staff as well as those capabilities critical to their function specifically. The self-reflection tool supported a self-assessment of current capability and a clear understanding of the process for developing capabilities in partnership with their supervisor.
Recommendations for implementation, communication tools developed through out the process and all working documents eg workshop session plans, interview guides, project plans and decision making documentation were shared as part of the final hand over in this engagement.
Through a highly consultative and engaging process, Curve Group developed an enterprise-wide and functionally specific capability frameworks to support the University to drive long-term strategic success. Enabling tools were also developed to support implementation. The capability frameworks are set to feature in a newly procured learning management system and will underpin recruitment, onboarding, capability assessment and development and career development across the University.