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Job Profiling: The CBM way:


Job profiling is the basis for the implementation of the methodology. It is a process to determine what each job entails. Most of the work will be done during this exercise and therefore this exercise must be carefully planned and co-ordinated. All the team members must be thoroughly trained in doing Competency Based job analysis, as they will assist management, line management and employees to analyse each job in the company. If this phase of the CBM implementation project fails, the total implementation of the methodology will be unsuccessful.

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether every single job must analysed separately or can certain groups of jobs be done simultaneously. It is possible to group jobs and analyse these jobs as an single entity. This approach must handled very carefully. Although certain jobs may have exactly the same outputs and responsibilities, there may be certain unique responsibilities and outputs each job in the cluster may have to deliver and care must be taken that these unique responsibilities are not ignored during the process of analysing clustered jobs.

One will also find that certain occupational groups (i.e. programming) will usually have the same outputs and responsibilities for each job level in the group. However the level of responsibility will be different for each job level in the group and the capabilities required as well as the performance standards to perform the major tasks will also be different on each job level of the group. Therefore it is very important that when the various capabilities are defined, the definitions thereof as well as the descriptions of the various capability levels are standardised for the total group.

 Who must be involved in Job Analysis?

The secret to the success of job analysis is the involvement of every employee in the company. From Top Management to the most junior officer in the company. Each person must take responsibility and give commitment to participation in the project.

Top Management's involvement regarding commitment, support and sponsorship for the project. Line management for taking ownership of the process and continuation of updating the job profiles under their control. Human Resources for managing the project and provision of expert advice and guidance, development and implementation of policies, processes, procedures and systems during the implementation of the CBM. The employees for their support, subject matter expert knowledge and full participation during the compilation of the profiles.

Therefore it is very important that communication regarding the project be done at all levels of the company. Employees must be fully informed on what is going to be done, when it going to be done, what each person's role is going to be and what the impact of this new methodology will be on their daily life. The most important is that they be informed on the progress made on a continuous basis. The reason for this is to enhance their ownership and support of the process.

How must the profiling be done?

As said before this is the most crucial part of the project and careful planning and co-ordination must be done to ensure that the implementation is successful. A formal project plan must be compiled, approved, implemented and monitored. There are various ways with which the job analysis can be approached, but the key to success is that all the employees must be involved in the process.

As this is a very time consuming process it is easier to work with groups of people occupying similar jobs than approaching each person individually. In other words a high level analysis must be done by the Human Resources representatives to group the various similar jobs into occupational groups. This will make it easier when compiling the various KPA's and capabilities for these jobs.

The job analysis will then be done in a group format or Dacum meeting. Dacum is an anagram for the words "Developing a Curriculum". It is a method in which a selected number of Subject Matter Experts (SME's) are constituted to obtain the most objective analysis possible of a specific Occupation or Occupation group.

 A Dacum meeting constitutes the following:

  1. A moderator (usually the Human Resources Expert) who is trained and experienced in Competency based job analysis without a working knowledge or background of the occupation or occupational group under discussion. This person must also facilitate the group discussions and be able to keep the focus on the task at hand to prevent discussions drifting into problem solving discussions of the members present.
  2. A number of competent and experienced practitioners of the occupation who know the occupation and who could be regarded as the experts. Usually the occupants of the jobs under discussion.
  3. The High level SME (manager of the department('s) represented by the group members) as there may be future changes in the jobs under discussion that must be included as well.

The Dacum process stands on three pillars:


  1. Expert practitioners can describe their occupation better than anyone else.
  2. Any Occupation or Occupational Group can be described in terms of KPA's, Major Tasks and Capabilities.
  3. All KPA's and Major Tasks described will have direct implications for the knowledge, skills and attributes incumbents must have to perform them effectively and efficiently according to the standards identified.

Appointment of Dacum participants:

Make sure that all the participants being appointed are competent and experienced employees who know the job contents of the occupation very well. Dacum participants could include a combination of the following persons:  

Doing the Job Analysis:

Prior to the Dacum meeting, each participant is asked to describe the specific occupation or Occupational Group independently as they know and experience it. These job descriptions should include descriptions of :

  1. KPA's, and Major tasks presently being performed by the incumbents
  2. Other KPA's and Major Tasks that should be considered for inclusion.

No particular job description format should be prescribed, since it complicates both the writing up and analysis of the Occupation. Participants should particularly be asked not to use any existing Job Descriptions since these Job descriptions tend to be vague, theoretical, outdated and inflated in many instances.

Please make it quite clear to the participants that this is not a job evaluation exercise as they will tend to inflate their responsibilities to try and increase their pay with the exercise.

The duration of the Dacum will depend on the complexity of the occupation or occupational group. A general guideline is between two to three days per occupation or occupational group. As more jobs are analysed, the process will become faster as more information is available for re-use from one job analysis to the other. As more definitions are compiled regarding capabilities, the same definitions and levels could be applied to other jobs and Major tasks. Usually the levels of capabilities required will be different depending on the level of responsibility.

 On the day of the Dacum meeting, the following must be done:

  1. Each participant must be fully informed on what their role is and what is expected from them during the meeting
  2. Each participant must be fully informed and trained on the CBM. (Just regarding the analysis of the occupation) terms and definitions must be explained with practical examples.
  3. If possible a Job Analysis Questionnaire must be compiled and handed out and used as working document for analyzing the occupation (see example).
  4. Consensus must be reached by the group regarding the KPA's, Major Tasks, standards, capabilities required etc. for each occupation under discussion.
  5. All decisions must be fully documented per job or occupation and handed to the Human Resources Department for archiving in the Job and Skills Inventory as this information will be used as basis for all the Human Resources Functions.
  6. If possible the Job Profiles must be computerised to avoid a paper war and time wasting. It would also make the information more accessible to all the functions of Human Resources.
  7. Make use of index cards or pieces of cardboard/paper to write down each KPA, Major task, standards, indicators, capabilities, capability levels, etc. and paste on a wall. This makes it easier to group, shuffle or remove information until the final product is compiled. Once this is completed, the final information can be typed or captured on a computer system.

The Job Profile:

The Job Profile contains all the generic information regarding a specific Job or Occupation that is required by all the Human Resources Functions. It forms the basis for implementing the CBM and contains the following information:  

The following diagram summarises the information contained in the Job Profile. This diagram will continuously be used in the remainder of this site to explain what information will be used by the various Human Resources Functions and to further enhance the understanding of why the implementation of the CBM must be approached as an open system:



Project Management approach:

As mentioned before, this is not an easy job and to ensure that things run smoothly the implementation of the CBM Methodology should be done according to project management standards. Carefully plan in phases how you are going to handle this project.

Some things to remember while designing your project plan:

There is no specific project plan available to assist you with this task, as each and every company must design their own way of implementing it and what is working for the one, may not be applicable to your environment.

The most important thing is that the people who will be driving and implementing this project must be fully trained and knowledgeable regarding the concept and definitions as they are the ones who will have to explain and handle any questions and issues from Line-management and other parties involved in the process.


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