🖼️

The terminology - tracks and levels

In this section you can learn about the infrastructure and level expectations

Tracks

  • It's a common misconception that to progress you need to become a people manager. This really isn't the case. That's why we have opted for the 'two track' industry approach, which supports career progression either as an individual contributor, or as a people manager.
  • Where companies equally value both tracks, it's common that an individual contributor, as an "IC6" for example, sits in the same salary banding as a "Director" who is managing people.
  • Changing to management shouldn’t be seen as a promotion. It should be seen as taking on and learning new and different responsibilities (which you may not automatically be good at even if you’re a amazing IC!)
  • To work out which track you would like to progress in, ask yourself the following questions. If the answer is "Yes" it’s probably the track you should follow:

Track 1 - Individual Contributor

  • “Do I want to build bigger and better systems and processes?”
  • “Do I want to become a specialist in my role?”
  • You enjoy:
    • Knowing and understanding the micro details of how we get things done (and why)
    • Quickly identifying how to solve problems in your team
    • Getting creative with your technical knowledge

Track 2 - People Management

  • “Do I want to manage bigger and better teams?”
  • “Do I want to focus on hiring, team organisation, and helping people progress in the business?”
  • You enjoy:
    • Managing others, delegating work, building a team
    • Team organisation, including holiday management, role forecasting, and performance documentation
    • Guiding others through complex interpersonal and communication challenges
    • Achieving by mobilising and motivating others, rather than directly delivering yourself

At level 3, your progression splits between moving to people management or continuing as a highly skilled individual contributor. It looks like this...

image

Levels

A role-agnostic approach

To ensure people know what good looks like at a particular level across the business and regardless of their specific role, we have created a framework that defines and differentiates expectations at each level you travel through.

Below is a breakdown of these company wide expectations for both tracks:

Category
Expectation
Who I Deliver Work To/for
Who I work with
Who supports me
What's Expected Of Me
What I need to know
What I focus on
What outcomes I produce
How I support hiring new members
How I develop myself & others
How I Deliver My Work
How I prioritise
How I connect & communicate
How I solve problems and make decisions

Each level comes with a description, and an illustration of the type of responsibilities, behaviours, impact, and skills we think are reflective of someone at that level, but importantly, it’s not an exhaustive checklist. More on checklists in a bit.

Why did we take this route?

  • We’re laying the foundations that works for all roles across departments, with standard levels and expectations for how to move from one level to the next.
  • Our current framework consists of layers 1 & 2 as per the diagram below. This focuses on broad skills expected across all roles.

image

You won’t see functional craft specific skills known as layer 3 yet.

  • These are added later. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be improving your craft and you should work with your manager to identify ways in which you can nail layer 3 as well.

Within the framework you’ll also see example behaviours and tasks

  • To make the framework “come to life”, department/function-specific example tasks and behaviours are included for each skill. These give a sense of what type of behaviours we would expect from someone at that level.
  • The examples are not specific criteria that must be met - instead, they help paint a picture of the type of things done by someone that level.
  • Remember, this is not a box-ticking exercise. We know that people will almost certainly be doing important things that aren’t in the framework but providing an infinite list of examples is simply not possible. You can exhibit different behaviours and achieve different tasks of similar complexity, scope, or impact, and still achieve a level. Your manager will help decide what these look like with you.

I don't see our company values as criteria in the competency framework. Will we be evaluated on values and cultural contribution to the company?
  • Our values and behaviours are the baseline of what we expect in terms of behaviours and contribution from everyone regardless of level. You won’t see them directly referenced across the levels, however you may see elements of them in the skills and descriptions in the framework.
  • N.B. You can be knocking it out of the park in terms of performance but if you aren’t displaying the requisite values, you will not be promoted.
  • We plan on baking our values into our performance process - more on this soon!

Sub-levels

What are sub-levels?

Within each level there are sub-levels (0,1,2). To  determine a person’s sub-level we ask ourselves:

“How established are you in the role at CLIENT NAME?”

0 = New

  • Learning the skills and responsibilities
  • Is this person still learning this skills?
  • New to that level or the company, requires more direction

1 = Established

  • Matching the skills and responsibilities
  • Is this person "doing" without needing any support or supervision?
  • Strong experience at that level, takes on delegation
  • Starting to take on c.50% of the level above

2 = Advanced

  • Exceeding the skills and responsibilities
  • Is this person an expert in this skills and could be teaching it to others?
  • Excelling at that level, pushing to develop
  • Comfortable with c.80% in the level above.

💡
The idea of sub-levels is based around TRM (task-relevant maturity) which you can read more about here.