Reference and guide to SFIA version 7. Framework status: Requirements.

#42 Revisit the need for the 4 Sustainability skills: change request pending

In 2010 - 4 sustainability skills were added to SFIA version 4 to create SFIA 4G. This should be revisited with 2 key lines of inquiry. 1 - Should sustainability been seen as a standalone set of skills - or can it be adequately covered in other specific skills? 2 - Do we need 4 separate skills?

The attached document from 2010 explains the rationale for introducing these 4 skills.

The four skills are:

  • SUST Sustainability strategy (in Strategy and architecture)
  • SUMI Sustainability management for IT (in Strategy and architecture)
  • SUAS Sustainability assessment (in Change and Transformation)
  • SUEN Sustainability engineering (in Development and implementation)

The document states:

"in the management of sustainability the inclusion of four new skills will help incorporate sustainability thinking into the mainstream. "

One of the principles of SFIA is to reflect skills seen in the "real world of work" - do the 4 sustainable skills pass that test?

My personal experience is that take up of these skills in most organisations and by individual IT professionals is either non-existent or negligible. Anecodotal feedback from other SFIA consultants is the same.

Are there any training, qualifcations etc which rely on these skills?

Download: SFIA4G_sustainability_skills.pdf (997.1KB)


John Godsell says:
Oct 16, 2017 10:09 AM

I tend to agree. Perhaps generics could be adapted to include?

Andy Thomson says:
Nov 21, 2017 11:49 AM

In 6 years I've used one of the Sustainability skills (SUMI), just once, which was for the role of a Data Centre Facilities manager. That is a role rarely found alongside other IT / Business Change roles, which is why I suspect it hasn't occurred more often.
In 2016 BSMimpact conducted a survey of SFIA skills usage over the first whole year of v6, which showed that SUST, SUMI, SUAS and SUEN featured, uniquely, zero times in anyone's assessment. (Even SFEN featured once). It was noted that, while of underlying importance, "It appears that sustainability skills are not at the top of anyone's agenda".
I recall the Sustainability skills were included when "Green IT" was a popular idea (the BCS was launching a certificate in Green IT at the time, which is now I believe the "Certificate in energy and cost management").
I agree that the spirit of these skills should not be lost but should be included in the description of other skills, such as DCMA and HWDE.

Andy Thomson says:
Nov 21, 2017 11:52 AM

As more IT infrastructure moves to the Cloud, the environmental factors are less significant to SFIA user organisations.

Ian Seward says:
Nov 21, 2017 01:29 PM

Tend to agree ... it seems overloaded for most SFIA users but what about the organisations that do all the data centres.

Strikes me that we should have this in there somewhere but that one skill might be sufficient?

Think there might be some place in the Generics too but we must be careful not to overload them as is.