Why your framework should be a product not a project

Why your framework should be a product not a project

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This guide covers:

  • Why viewing your framework as a one-off project is a problem
  • The benefits of approaching your framework as a product
  • 3 Steps to make your framework a product.

This guide is for:

  • Managers responsible for building their team’s progression framework
  • HR teams creating progression frameworks for their organisation.

It’s vital to consider your framework a product, not a project. That’s because it’s a living document, not a one and done task. You’ll need to use it, change it and improve it as your team and organisation evolves.

The benefits of approaching your framework as a product

Many people embark on a lengthy process of researching, writing, levelling, assessing and rewriting, until their framework is ready for the big roll out to the team. It’s totally understandable — frameworks can be a big piece of work, and you want to get it right the first time (and get on using it).

There’s a problem with this approach. Often, that ‘perfect’ framework doesn’t work out, and needs to be done again. Sally Lait covers this problem over on her blog, as does the Medium Engineering Team here.

It’s frustrating, but it’s also inevitable. Here’s why your framework needs to grow with you;

  • Your team grows and new roles are created
  • The roles in your team change as responsibilities shift
  • Your team chooses to take their role in a new direction
  • The remit of your team changes or grows
  • You realise that, after using your framework for a few months, it’s not quite as perfect as you thought it was.

If you’ve approached your framework as a project — that massive piece of work, with an end date and the big bang roll out — this is a big problem. Your time is precious, and you don’t want to have to go through the whole build process again, or have to explain to your team why you’re changing it up so soon.

Approach your framework as a product though, with the knowledge and expectation that things are going to change, and this isn’t a problem at all.

The benefits of approaching your framework as a product

When you set up your framework as a product, you can;

  • Roll it out and start finding value from it faster, because you haven’t laboured over getting it perfect first time
  • Engage your team earlier, capturing their opinions, and testing and iterating from there
  • Evolve the framework based on actual insight from using it rather than theoretical discussion.

3 Steps to make your framework a product

Step 1: Get going faster with a simple positions grid

This needn’t map out every skill, but it should outline the roles and levels in the team. You can learn more about creating a framework here.

Step 2: Involve your team

Engaging your team early on ensures everyone has the chance to contribute and take ownership, and there’s a much lower risk of it being rejected.

Are the skills you’ve outlined representative of their roles? Do the levels of each skill match up? Are the positions right? Do you need to add more examples to a skill to bring it to life? Ask these questions regularly. You can request feedback easily in Progression.

Step 3: Use your framework in Check-ins

Conversation brings your framework to life, and will give you a good idea of whether it’s fit for purpose. Schedule Check-ins with all your team — your framework will form the basis of these.

Treating your framework as a product will speed up the build, reduce pain points and engage your team in a more meaningful way. It’s a win win. So what are you waiting for? Sign up to Progression for free today.


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