SFIA8 Beta version launched

SFIA8 Beta version launched

SFIA8 Beta version launched

On 30th June 2021, as part of my role on the SFIA Global Design Authority Board, we launched SFIA8 Beta version during a series of webinars designed to give time options that work for the users of SFIA in all regions. SFIA is used in nearly 200 countries around the world, and the effort to develop a new version is also truly international, with contributions from many countries. Our role on the Global Design Authority Board is to work through the change requests and other input material, make decisions about what will be in the new version taking into account certain design principles, and then develop the content.

We have launched SFIA8 Beta version now so that we can get more feedback from the users of SFIA – what do you like in the Beta, what don’t you like, are there any additional changes we should make? SFIA has always been driven by the user of SFIA – we find out what industry wants, we work out the options for what SFIA can do, then we check back, test, beta release.

The final version of SFIA8 is due for release in September 2021. We gather feedback until the middle of August, then freeze the change requests while we process everything and finalise the final version for release.

The main points regarding the changes between SFIA7 and SFIA8 Beta:

  • Evolutionary rather than revolutionary – as always with new SFIA versions, to make the transition easier
  • 6 categories, same as SFIA7, but one name change – “Skills and quality” becomes “People and skills”
  • Changes to sub-categories – names and numbers
  • Moving of skills to other categories and sub-categories
  • Generic Levels of Responsibility (LoRs) still have 5 attributes or characteristics – Autonomy, Influence, Complexity, Knowledge and Business Skills
  • Some wording changes to the LoRs
  • Readability – making it less wordy, removing or rewording all sentences of 30+ words.
  • Explanation document to show behavioural elements, emphasising how SFIA covers factors such as collaboration, communication skills, creativity, decision making, delegation, execution performance, influence, leadership, learning and professional development, planning, problem solving, and other generic attributes.
  • 120 professional skills – up from 102 in SFIA7
  • 486 skill-at-a-level elements, compared with 390 in SFIA7
  • With 5 generic Level of Responsibility attributes at each of the 7 levels, that’s another 35 elements, so 521 in total when you add the skills at each level they are defined
  • 5 skill codes retired/replaced as content is covered in other ways within SFIA8
    • Analytics (INAN) – replaced by 3 new skills, Data science (DATS), Business intelligence (BINT) and Machine learning (MLNG)
    • Business analysis (BUAN) – split into 2 new skills, Business situation analysis (BUSA) and Feasibility assessment (FEAS), following input from business analysis professional bodies and individual professionals
    • Conformance review (CORE) – covered by 2 skills, Audit (AUDT) and Quality assurance (QUAS)
    • Network planning (NTPL) – merged into Network Design (NTDS)
    • System software (SYSP) – merged into IT infrastructure (ITOP)
  • 23 new skills added
    • Audit (AUDT)
    • Business administration (ADMN)
    • Business intelligence (BINT)
    • Business situation analysis (BUSA) – contains some elements previously in BUAN
    • Certification scheme operation (CSOP)
    • Data engineering (DENG)
    • Data science (DATS) – contains some elements previously in INAN
    • Employee experience (EEXP)
    • Feasibility assessment (FEAS) – contains some elements previously in BUAN
    • High performance computing (HPCC)
    • Investment appraisal (INVA)
    • Machine learning (MLNG) – contains some elements previously in INAN
    • Numerical analysis (NUAN)
    • Organisational facilitation (OFCL)
    • Personal data protection (PEDP) – splitting out some elements previously in IRMG
    • Scientific modelling (SCMO)
    • Service catalogue management (SCMG)
    • Subject formation (SUBF) – contains some elements previously in TEAC
    • Systems and software life cycle engineering (SLEN)
    • Threat intelligence (THIN)
    • Vulnerability assessment (VUAS)
    • Vulnerability research (VURE)
    • Workforce planning (WFPL)
  • 5 skills re-named / 11 restructured
  • 24 levels added / 5 moved or replaced
  • High level of change to several skills, including the following:
    • Business process testing (BPTS) renamed Acceptance testing, with significant repositioning and updates, including new descriptions at levels 2 and 3
    • Business risk management (BURM) renamed to Risk management, with significant restructure including an extension to include a level 3 description
    • Change implementation planning and management (CIPM) renamed to Organisational change management, with level 3 and 4 descriptions introduced
    • Change management (CHMG) renamed to Change control
    • Consulting (CNSL) added a level 4 description
    • Continuity management (COPL) has added descriptions for levels 2, 3 and 6, with minor changes to levels 4 and 5
    • Contract management (ITCM) now has a description at level 3
    • Data visualisation (VISL) now has a level 3 description
    • Information content authoring (INCA) renamed to Content authoring
    • Information content publishing (ICPM) renamed to Content publishing
    • Data management (DATM) restructured
    • Enterprise IT Governance (GOVN) renamed Governance, and restructured to cover other forms of governance. Level 5 definition removed
    • Information governance (IRMG) renamed to Information management
    • Information security (SCTY) restructured, including removing levels 3 and 4 as these are now covered by Security operations (SCAD) and Vulnerability assessment (VUAS)
    • Penetration testing (PENT) restructured, including adding a level 3 description
    • Security administration (SCAD) renamed to Security operations
    • Porting/software configuration (PORT) renamed to Software configuration, and updated
    • Systems installation/decommissioning (HSIN) renamed to Systems installation and removal, and updated
    • Teaching and subject formation (TEAC) renamed Teaching, and restructured to split out elements to the new Subject formation (SUBF) skill, and to include descriptions at levels 2, 3, 4 and 7
    • IT management (ITMG) renamed Technology service management and updated
    • IT infrastructure (ITOP) now has a level 5 description
    • Learning delivery (ETDL) now has a level 2 description
    • Network design (NTDS) now has descriptions at levels 3 and 4, as includes content previously in Network planning (NTPL)
    • Resourcing (RESC) now has a level 3 description
    • Safety assessment (SFAS) now has a level 4 description
    • Selling (SALE) now has a level 3 description
    • Systems design (DESN) now has a level 3 description
  • The “overall description” for each skill is much shorter, with a new “Guidance notes” section for each skill.
  • The rest of the structure for each skill remains the same
  • Each skill contains these elements: Skill name, skill code, overall description, guidance notes, level descriptions
  • Duplication reduced, further emphasising the need to treat each skill-at-a-level as a separate component. Therefore in assessment all relevant levels of a skill should be captured rather than the outdated practice of only selecting the highest level of skill. This is the same for role profiling or any other practice of using SFIA for mapping, development planning, project resourcing etc – include all the levels of a skill that are relevant.

Additional detail is available in the SFIA Change Log

If you want to get involved by contributing ideas and change requests:

  • E-mail updates@sfia-online.org
    • if you can’t find something or have a specific question or idea
  • Change requests…
    • please reserve this for specific suggestions for changes to the content of the beta
    • please include the 4 letter code in the title
  • Detailed comments on skills content…
    • E.g. typos, grammar, or suggestions for re-wording
    • Microsoft Word documents on the site and then email to updates@sfia-online.org
  • Deep dive web meetings
    • To be arranged

If you want to use SFIA8 Beta in SkillsTx, please contact us.

Matthew Burrows