Defining and Facilitating Testing: Skills Development and Management for the Met Office
The Met Office sought a partner that could both help them to develop and implement an enhanced framework for skill development, which was compatible with the SFIA version 4, but would then enable them to manage it following the term of consultancy. The Met Office turned to Qualitest for this support.
The Met Office, a Trading Fund of the Ministry of Defense, is a world leader in weather forecasting and climate science. Their business involves providing a wide range of services to government and commercial customers in the UK and overseas, many of which are based on using leading-edge science and technology.
The Met Office assess their test teams’ capabilities annually for their on-going skills and development program, but their development framework was based upon the SFIA version 3 and needed upgrading to bring it in line with the SFIA version 4. They wanted a partner that could both help them to develop and implement an enhanced framework for skill development, which was compatible with the SFIA version 4, but would then enable them to manage it following the term of consultancy. The Met Office turned to Qualitest for this support.
Business Needs and Objectives
The Met Office management knew that there was a need to increase effectiveness, efficiency and proactive working practice, but in what, and for whom, was the problem. Each team member’s current skill set needed to be analyzed so that the most relevant and effective personalized plans could be put together. An important part of this would be to test an individual’s skills independently rather than relying on self-assessment, which can be inaccurate. The Met Office required support integrating with the SFIA version 4 framework while making development plans applicable to the business and motivating and engaging staff.
The Qualitest Solution
Richard Morgan, Qualitest Training Manager, was brought in to support the Met Office through these improvements. Richard’s experience in the software development lifecycle enabled him to fully understand the complexities involved and to synthesize the multiple elements effectively. Initially Richard worked with the management team to establish the Met Office’s priorities and how the framework could assist these. He then carried out a series of face-to-face interviews to understand and uncover skills that currently existed or were required, and a series of self-assessment exercises to establish the individuals’ recognition of their own skills in these areas.
Once these sessions were complete Richard established each person’s development plan including a grading of their current skills and a route for ongoing development. Richard’s involvement helped the Met Office build a framework that could be easily sustained and managed internally with little or no input required by Qualitest. This meant that the Met Office did not to have to pay ongoing consultancy fees as the skills would be developed through their existing management.
Implementation was smooth and it has been a great exercise for the test team as they have had their skills qualified and assessed by an expert external source, as well as having been given an individual route map to achieve the highest standards possible.
“I was impressed by the way that the teams engaged enthusiastically and readily accepted ownership of the framework. This will help ensure that required skills are identified and individuals’ development is managed to maximize the effectiveness of the Service Transition function.”
Richard Morgan, Training Manager, Qualitest