Skills-based high level design document?

Jun 22, 2022


Does anyone have a skills-based high-level design document? Or suggestions on how we identify skills in a design doc? I'm tasked with using our design principles (skills-focused being one of them) to ensure our courses can be scaled across multiple roles/functions, while also being outcome based, balanced, agile, and optimizing existing content. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

3 Replies
Cyd Walker

Hi Katie, I'm not sure if this will be helpful, here's what I do for our Leadership skills we want to hard wire across the organization.

I look at our model which has a four main leadership behaviors and the skills/practices related to each behavior the leader needs to be able to do. Then as I'm building training related the behavior, I make sure they are able to practice the skills.


If the first behavior is Purpose, you would have the actions they need to be able to perform that demonstrates Purpose.

Then design your learning to help them practice it in action.

So basically I am aligning learning experiences (using our model as the guide) to what we want leaders to be able to do.

Katie Novack

This is helpful, thanks Cyd! A few follow-up questions:

  1. Who created your four main leadership behaviors? Right now, we don't have a process so I'm thinking we'd need to have our stakeholders align on a process first, so we can then link behaviors they need to be able to do.
  2. How are you documenting the skills and practices? I'm really stuck on how to capture this in like a Word doc.
  3. When are you implementing this exercise into your design process?
  4. Also, how are you defining Purpose as a skill/behavior? I'm intrigued! 
Cyd Walker

I'm glad it's helpful!

Here's a bit more of what I can share...

For the leadership model (if one isn't in place already):

You will want to collaborate with your leadership team to define the main behaviors they want leaders to exemplify (be the best example of) for the organization.

The leadership model process is typically conducted with senior leadership to brainstorm and get additional leader input from other levels, and then refine and finalize the model. It needs to be realistic.

In an example, you might simplify the leadership model to four main leader behaviors (or whatever suits your org best), and if Lead with Purpose is an example of one behavior...

Then define what practices leaders would demonstrate and tools they would use to demonstrate leading with purpose. For each behavior it was about 3 - 5 practices/tools listed under each. (This would be your model "document").

Building the leadership model into learning design:

As I build learning experiences, I look to the model for the behavior and practices we want to make sure leaders are building their skills in as we rolled out the model. 

Always look for "What is the problem we are solving?" For example, if you want your leaders to drive KPIs, and they are not using data to make better decisions. The problem might be lost revenue due (X amount of dollars) due to inefficient decision making.  Then determine how you will measure if they are making better decisions using data. What can you measure that will tell you that?

Now I build my course to give them the "why" they need to know this, the basics around data driven decision making, and then build scenarios or learning exercises to practice the skills.