Structural Outline

The process of mapping career paths in an organisation has 3 foundational frameworks along with a few others, which we will not explore today that support the career program:

  1. The Level structure: from level 0 to 5. each level outlines the role a person at that level would play in relation to.
  2. Craft Specialisation: Craft specialisation aims at creating a loose form of standardisation in the skillsets that are required in a given department, which should change as the needs of the organisation changes.
  3. Dual Track Career ladder: A key value proposition of adopting this idea, is the fact that you give both “people managers” and “Specialists” a clear path forward that will enable them to grow in a manor that leverages, the strengths of the individual.

Levels Framework

Modelled after levels framework from “Org Design For design orgs” this is one of the foundational elements to consider when mapping out career tracks, as it creates a clear standard of comparison for team members, but also for perspective hires. 
Each Level, focuses on identifying:

  1. Responsibilities: What is expected from a performance perspective.
  2. Growth Areas: What you are expected to be learning at that stage.
  3. Threshold for promotion: What is required to be eligible for

Skills Matrix

Now anyone familiar with the discipline of design will know that these specialisations have fair bit of shared skills. for that reason what we should aim to do is build the specialisation based around the most useful grouping of skills as seen below.


A fundamental part of a career ladder, is insuring that the framework as a whole enables the development of specific craft Skillsets, as well as the leadership capabilities, to manage the crafts specialists.

Craft Specialisation

For example in the Discipline of “Software Design” There would be a series of specialisation skillsets that would form a design organisation. The typical examples might be

  • Product Designer: UI
  • Product Designer: UX
  • Content Strategist
  • UX Researcher
  • Service Designer
  • Communication Designer

Leadership Specialisation

[Description of leadership specialisations]

  • Director: Creates impact through their influence with people. Through their management ability they make the design team happier.
  • Program Manager: Creates impact through their Influence on ways of work, Prioritisation, toolsets and infrastructure. The result of this their influence is the increase in departmental efficiency tribe wide.
  • Principal Craft Specialist: Creates impact through the influence of their know how and specialised knowledge and ability. The result of the influence of the principal is the overall continuous improvement of standards and quality.
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