What makes an IT team succeed? CIO Council spells out the skills

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.—In the latest update to the core competencies
required of a strong information technology program, the Chief Information Officers
Council has created a separate category on information management.

The update is the work of the council’s Education and Training Committee. Last
year, it developed the original guide on the skills it considers crucial to a systems
organization’s success.

“We added information management as a separate category because we recognize it as
a very important category,” said Jim Bouck, a senior auditor at the General
Accounting Office and a committee member.

The committee also dropped any agency-specific terms from the guide, so that its
details can apply to all government IT employees, he said this month at the Interagency
Resources Management and CIO Council Conference.

The council next month will post the updated guide on its Web site at
http://www.cio.gov. The committee began refining the competencies guide in the spring,
Bouck said.

The competencies, which now total 51, also address end-user IT skills, Bouck said,
though many of the original items are unchanged.

“Core competencies are the knowledge and skills organizations need to achieve
their mission,” Bouck said. “They help people in building their skills, and
organizations in recruitment and retention.”

The topics are fairly general, Bouck said, and agencies must mold them to fit their
specific needs.

A survey taken at the conference found that 30 percent of respondents did not know
about the competencies guide and were not using it in their agencies.

“The core competencies are not widely seen,” said Fred Thompson, a Treasury
Department official responsible for IT work force improvement and a committee member.
“We need to do a better job of communicating them.”

The Energy Department has used the guide to evaluate employees’ IT skills, said
Mary Ann Wallace, Energy’s director of information records and resource.

“We have found the core competencies very useful,” she said.
“They’re a piece of information useful in doing employee development.”

Energy took the general core competencies and tailored them, Wallace said. “We
asked what do these competencies mean to Energy,” she said.  


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