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Factor Analysis
A “factor analysis” is a statistical method used to group variables (or, in the case of surveys, items) by the closeness of their relationships to each other. Closely related items are thought to measure the same issue or aspect of work; the factor is interpreted and named by using the items which belong in the group. Ideally, the statistics show that each item only belongs in one factor. Factors are often called “dimensions” in survey research, although not all dimensions have been determined through a factor analytic process.
 
FDA Section 21 CFR Part 11

For organizations whose training audiences include anyone involved in U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-related testing, the FDA has established strict guidelines for how information in captured and stored. These guidelines are outline in a section of U.S. Federal law, entitled Section 21 CFR Part 11.

 
Federated Model
A "federated model" has a small core team that manages some technology and corporate programs, and empowers business and functional units to run their own training programs.
 
Federated Search
A “federated search” is a universal search inside and outside the LMS for all-inclusive information gathering.
 
Flight Risk
Flight risk” refers to the degree to which a top-performing leader or employee appears ready to leave current employment, presumably for a better opportunity elsewhere.
 
Folksonomy
A "folksonomy" is a way to classify content in which end-users collaboratively create and maintain the organization schemes through tagging, rating and discussion. The word "folksonomy" is a portmanteau of "folk" and "taxonomy" – in other words, a taxonomy created by the folk.
 
Forced Ranking
Forced ranking (or "forced distribution") practices direct managers to evaluate their employees' performance against other employees and distribute ratings into a prespecified performance distribution ranking (e.g., 1 through 10; A, B, C; top 20 percent, middle 70 percent and bottom 10 percent). This approach is used to ensure rater reliability and avoid grade inflation. Organizations use this information to compensate and develop employees accordingly.
 
Formal and Informal Approaches
The myriad ways in which adults learn and that are available to be included in a learning program. In today’s corporate training world, there are two broad categories of approaches – “formal” and “informal.” In a learning context, formal commonly means that the program elements are designed using industry-recognized disciplines and methodologies, have a formal structure, and have specific, well-defined learning objectives. “Informal learning” typically refers to learning that was accidental, ad-hoc, unplanned and which happens without the disciplines of instructional design. Informal includes on-demand, social and embedded learning.
 
Functional Competencies

“Functional competencies” are job-specific competencies that drive proven high-performance, quality results for a given position. They are often technical or operational in nature (e.g., “backing up an Oracle database” is a functional competency).

 

Competencies are used in human resources in a variety of ways:  they describe the traits and skills and behaviors for a job role, they are used to establish performance and development criteria for performance management, they are used in the assessment of candidates for a position, and they are used in the assessment of people for leadership and new roles.

 

 

Our research shows that best-practices in competency management involve four categories of competencies: company values (core principles) which apply everyone, broad general competencies which apply to the entire company (e.g. communications, integrity, etc), leadership competencies (characteristics and skills we expect of leaders in our organization), and functional competencies (job-specific skills which are very different from role to role). Each of these four types of competencies is used for candidate assessment, evaluation, coaching, development, and assessment of potential.

 

 

Our research also shows that "building a global competency model" is often a poor way to implement competency management. Competencies can be used for assessment, hiring, training, leadership development, succession, and many other important purposes. Organizations should develop competency models with the end goal in mind. For more information, tools, and case studies visit the Bersin research library.