How to enhance a developer’s career, skills and competencies model

Start by creating an IT skills grid for each team member.

  • List the individual’s specific skillsCatalog all technical competencies and skills in key areas such as design, HTML, communications, customer service and inter-personal relationship.
  • Define maturity levels—Using a standards system such as the Carnegie Mellon Capability Maturity Model (CMM) , specify current maturity levels for each skill along a standardized spectrum.
  • Identify skills of interest—Ask the individual to specify areas of interest that coincide with what the company will require over the next one to five years.

Work with each staff member to develop an individually customized Action Plan to help them move from their current position on the IT skills grid to their desired one.

  • Establish direction—Make sure that complementary skills are developed which, when combined, represent a clear path toward responsibilities that will be more rewarding to the employee and more valuable to the firm.
  • Define key stages—Design the Action Plan as a road-map—one made up of discrete stages that provide both the individual and the company with logical touch points where progress can be assessed, achievement acknowledged and course corrections introduced.
  • Specify outcomes—Decide how the individual’s progress will be measured. When possible, identify benchmarks. Devise passing grades on standardized technical competency exams or numerical scores based on department peer reviews or internal user surveys.
  • Annualize objectives—Incorporate this information into a career plan supported by mutually agreed upon annual objectives for the employee. Conduct performance evaluations throughout the year. Provide counseling as appropriate. Update the staff member’s career plan, annual plan and objectives, and positioning on the IT skills grid. Use these elements, among others, to assess incentives and other compensation.