Competency Mapping is a process of identifying key competencies for a company or institution and the jobs and functions within it.
To make it even clearer, we could say that a competency is a behaviour rather than a skill or ability although it sometimes includes skills and abilities. We can look at the steps involved in the process:
First: A job analysis is carried out by asking employees to fill in a questionnaire that asks them to describe what they are doing, and what skills, attitudes and abilities they need to have to perform it well. There would be a bit that requests them to list down attributes needed to make it up to the next level, thus making it behavioural as well as skill-based.
Second: Having discovered the similarities in the questionnaires, a competency-based job description is crafted and presented to the personnel department for their agreement and additions if any.
Third: Having agreed on the job requirements and the skills and attitudes needed to progress within it and become more productive, one starts mapping the capability of the employees to the benchmarks. There are several index points within the responsibility level. An almost (but not quite) arbitrary level of attainment is noted against each benchmark indicating the areas where the assessee is in terms of personal development and achievement.
These give an adept HR manager a fairly good picture of the employee to see whether he needs to perform better or to move up a notch on the scale. Once the employee `tops' every indicator at his level, he moves on to the next and begins there at the bottom - in short, he is promoted.
This reasonably simple though initially (the first year only) tedious method helps everybody to know what the real state of preparedness of an organisation to handle new business (or its old one) because it has a clear picture of every incumbent in the organisation.
It helps in determining the training and development needs and importantly it helps to encourage the best and develop the rest. A win-win situation for everyone.