The U.S. Army and the Defense Department undertook a project in the early 1990s with a project led by Mark Mumford, to explain the underlying elements of effective performance. The end product is known as a “capability model” (or skill model) that frames performance as the capabilities (skills and knowledge) that make effective performance possible.
So rather than just collecting a bunch of tasks that the performer should be able to do, the model helps you to lay them out in a more manageable framework in order to gain an understanding of what exactly makes an effective performer. The model has three components: Individual Attributes, Competencies, and Outcomes, which feed into each other.
Capability Model: Individual Attributes
The Individual Attributes are composed of four attributes:
General Cognitive Ability — This can be thought of as intelligence, which is linked to biology, rather than experience. While the Army conducts general entrance exams to measure the intelligence levels of new recruits, the civilian world generally relies on other means, such as the applicant's educational grade level to make a very rough guess on his or her intelligence.
Crystallized Cognitive Ability — This is the intellectual ability that is learned or acquired over time. In most adults, this cognitive ability continuously grows and does not normally fall unless some sort of mental disease or illness sets in. It is composed of the concepts and mental abilities that we learn through experience.
Motivation — This is the performer's willingness to tackle problems, exert their influence, and advance the overall human good and value of the organization.
Personality — These are any characteristics (traits?) that help the performers to cope with complex organizational situations.
Capability Model: Competencies
There are 4 major Competencies are the heart of the model:
Problem-Solving Skills — The performers' creative abilities to solve unusual and ill-defined organizational problems.
Social Judgment Skills — The capacity to understand people and social systems. They enable the performers to work with each other.
Knowledge — The accumulation of information and the mental structures used to organize that information (schema). Knowledge results from developing an assortment of complex schemata for learning and organizing data (knowledge structure).
Professional Skills and Knowledge — The knowledge and skills critical for producing key outputs.
This refers to the degree that the person has successfully performed his or her duties. It is measured by standard external criteria.
Leadership Development Model
There are five Effectors on the Capability Model:
Modeling — This includes both Albert Bandura's Observational Learning in which we “learn” from observing others (not merely “imitate”) and other forms of social learning in which we learn from being situated in a common environment with others.
Mentoring —The informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and psychosocial support.
Coaching — Encouraging the individual to improve job skills and knowledge.
Training/Development — Learning that is provided in order to improve performance on the present job and helping others to acquire new horizons, technologies, or viewpoints.
Feedback — The learner responds in such a way as to reverse the direction of change.
Implementing the Framework
During the rollout, do not get hung up with identify basic tasks, but rather competencies. A task is normally identified with a particular job, duty, or project; while a competency is a knowledge structure and/or related skill sets that will guide a person throughout a chosen career path.
A task basic fits in the third component of the capability model — performer outcome; while a competency, along with the attributes, allows ones to effectively perform the tasks.