#42 Revisit the need for the 4 Sustainability skills: change request accepted
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)
Attached to Sustainability strategy
What we decided
Accepted. The proposals to rationalise needs to ensure other parts of SFIA cover the content satsifactorily.
What we changed
- Retire SUMI, SUAS and SUEN, and update SUST, renaming it "Sustainability".
Sustainability assessment SUAS
- Sustainability assessment is already covered in CORE as the overall description includes "sustainability".
- Retire SUAS and as a duplication for CORE
- ITMG already covers sustainability, so could be argued that it covers some of the ground of SUMI. EMRG mentions sustainiability, so does BUAN, DESN, HWDE, SLMO, ASMG, CPMG, ITOP, DCMA, QUMG, and CORE - and I don't think the skills are destinct enough to warrant separate ones. We could be accused on over-generalising, but we're just not finding evidence of these being practiced as distinct skills - so we should remove SUMI, SUAS and SUEN, and retain an updated version of SUST, renaming it "Sustainability".
Providing advice aligned to SUST level 5
Influence on policy and stratgy is covered by generic responsibility for influence at level 6, so doesn't need to be repeated in SUST and is not usually aligned to SFIA level 5 descriptions anyway.
Sustainabilty enginnering (SUEN) and Sustainability management (SUMI)
- ITMG already covers sustainability and can be used covers the responsibilities of SUMI in a way that reflects the industry norms (ie that manages have sustainability as one of their responsibilities not their only responsibility)
- Sustainability mentioned explicitly in EMRG, BUAN, DESN, HWDE, SLMO, ASMG, CPMG, ITOP, DCMA, QUMG, as well as CORE. Within the existing SFIA user bases therre is now evidence that the skills are destinct enough to warrant separate ones.