Dod architects’ Competency Framework Guide New Tools for Career Development and Management

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This guide to the DoD Architects’ Competency Framework provides information about new career development and management tools for systems and enterprise architects and those who support them. The Competency Framework and Task List will evolve as requirements for systems and enterprise architects, their supervisors, program managers, Human Resources staff, educators and trainers, and, possibly, external organizations such as OMB evolve. With the implementation of DCAT and the development of Proficiency Level Illustrations, strong, standardized tools for architects to plan and manage their careers will be available throughout DoD.

List of Terms and Acronyms

CIO – Chief Information Officer

Competency Framework

Competency Model

DCAT – Defense Competency Administration Tool

Components, Agencies, and Activities

DoD – Department of Defense

FY – Fiscal Year

GAO – Government Accountability Office

IT Functional Community

Job Family Specifications

Job Series

OMB – Office of Management and Budget

OPM – Office of Personnel Management

OSD – Office of the Secretary of Defense

OSD Architecture and Interoperability Directorate

OUSD (P & R) – Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness

Position Description

Proficiency Level Illustration

Task List

Appendix A - DoD Architects’ Competency Framework

*Note: A “√”in the Critical column indicates that the competency met the overall Importance criterion (an average rating of at least 3.5 on a 5point scale). A “√” in the Selection column indicates that the competency met both the Importance AND the Required at Entry criterion (at least 50% of SMEs rated the competency at 3 = “Needed for the job and required at entry because it will not be acquired through formal training, such as classroom, on the job, or field training”). A “√” in the Developmental column indicates that the competency met both the Importance AND the Need for Training criterion (at least 2.0 on a 3-point scale).**Note: Competencies that met the cut-offs for the Selection and Developmental criteria are listed for illustration only and should not be used for selection or developmental purposes unless verified by a representative sample of raters from the population for which they will be applied.

General Competencies







Accountability: Assures that effective controls are developed and maintained to ensure the integrity of the organization. Holds self and others accountable for rules and responsibilities. Can be relied upon to ensure that projects within areas of specific responsibility are completed in a timely manner and within budget. Monitors and evaluates plans, focuses on results and measuring attainment of outcomes.


Administration and Management: Knowledge of planning, coordination, and execution of business functions, resource allocation, and production.


Analytical Thinking: Ability to take an objective, data-driven approach while insisting on sound theories behind decisions. Ability to identify patterns and relationships in data as well as seek root causes and underlying issues.


Arithmetic: Performs computations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division correctly using whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percentages.


Attention to Detail: Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.


Conflict Management: Identifies and takes steps to prevent potential situations that could result in unpleasant confrontations. Manages and resolves conflicts and disagreements in a positive and constructive manner to minimize negative impact.


Continual Learning: Grasps the essence of new information. Masters new technical and business knowledge. Recognizes own strengths and weaknesses and pursues self-development. Seeks feedback from others and opportunities to master new knowledge.


Creative Thinking: Uses imagination to develop new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to problems; designs new methods where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or are unavailable.


Customer Service: Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.


Decision Making: Makes sound, well informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.


Education and Training: Knowledge of teaching, training, research, making presentations, lecturing, testing, and other instructional methods.


External Awareness: Identifies and understands economic, political, and social trends that affect the organization.


Financial Management: Prepares, justifies, and/or administers the budget for program areas; plans, administers, and monitors expenditures to ensure cost-effective support of programs and policies.


Flexibility: Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles; effectively deals with ambiguity.


Influencing/ Negotiating: Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior; works with others towards an agreement; negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions.


Information Management: Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information; organizes and maintains information or information management systems.


Integrity/ Honesty: Instills mutual trust and confidence and creates a culture that fosters high standards of ethics. Behaves in a fair and ethical manner toward others and demonstrates a sense of corporate responsibility and commitment to public service.


Interpersonal Skills: Shows understanding, friendliness, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness to others; develops and maintains effective relationships with others; may include effectively dealing with individuals who are difficult, hostile, or distressed; relates well to people from varied backgrounds and different situations; is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences.


Knowledge Management: Knowledge of the value of collected information and the methods of sharing that information throughout an organization.


Leadership: Interacts with others to influence, motivate, and challenge them.


Legal, Government, and Jurisprudence: Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, government organization and functions, and the democratic political process.


Listening: Receives, attends to, interprets, and responds to verbal messages and other cues such as body language in ways that are appropriate to listeners and situations.


Memory: Recalls information that has been presented previously.


Mental Visualization: Sees things in the mind by mentally organizing and processing symbols, pictures, graphs, objects, or other information (for example, sees a building from a blueprint, or sees the flow of work activities from reading a work plan).


Oral Communication: Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.


Organizational Awareness: Knows the organization's mission and functions, and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them; this includes the programs, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of the organization.


Planning and Evaluating: Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.


Political Savvy: Knowledge of agency culture as well as internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Approaches each problem situation with a clear perception of organizational and political reality; acts consistently with organizational norms and expectations.


Problem Solving: Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.


Project Management: Applies the principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, and managing projects and resources, including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, and contractor performance.


Public Service Motivation: Shows a commitment to serve the public. Ensures that actions meet public needs; aligns organizational objectives and practices with public interests.


Reading: Understands and interprets written material, including technical material, rules, regulations, instructions, reports, charts, graphs, or tables; applies what is learned from written material to specific situations.


Reasoning: Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.


Resilience: Deals effectively with pressure and maintains focus and intensity and remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks. Effectively balances personal life and work.


Risk Management: Knowledge of the principles, methods, and tools used for risk assessment and mitigation, including assessment of failures and their consequences.


Self Esteem: Believes in own self worth; maintains a positive view of staff and displays a professional image.


Self Management: Sets well defined and realistic personal goals; displays a high level of initiative, effort, and commitment towards completing assignments in a timely manner; works with minimal supervision; is motivated to achieve; demonstrates responsible behavior.


Strategic Thinking: Formulates effective strategies consistent with the business and competitive strategy of the organization in a global economy. Examines policy issues and strategic planning with a long-term perspective. Determines objectives and sets priorities; anticipates potential threats or opportunities.


Stress Tolerance: Deals calmly and effectively with high stress situations (for example, tight deadlines, hostile individuals, emergency situations, dangerous situations).


Teaching Others: Helps others learn through formal or informal methods; identifies training needs; provides constructive feedback; coaches others on how to perform tasks; acts as a mentor.


Teamwork: Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.


Technical Competence: Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on the job experience to perform one's job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues.


Technical Documentation: Knowledge of procedures for developing technical and operational support documentation.


Technology Application: Uses machines, tools, or equipment effectively; uses computers and computer applications to analyze and communicate information in the appropriate format.


Technology Awareness: Knowledge of developments in existing and emerging technologies and their applications.


Vision: Understands where the organization is headed and how to make a contribution; takes a long term view and recognizes opportunities to help the organization accomplish its objectives or move toward the vision.


Written Communication: Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material that is appropriate for the intended audience.

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