Defining Career Paths

Defining Career Paths refers to the structured process of outlining potential career progression opportunities for team members within the product development process. This includes identifying skills and experience needed for different roles, and creating a framework for growth and development.


The primary purpose of defining career paths is to provide employees with a clear understanding of how they can grow professionally within the company, aligning their personal development goals with the organisation's needs.

  • Motivation and Engagement: Increases employee motivation and engagement by providing clear goals and a sense of direction.
  • Retention: Improves retention by demonstrating investment in employees' growth.
  • Skill Development: Encourages continuous learning and skill development, which is essential in the fast-paced technology industry.


Industry Context

Upward career mobility and opportunities to learn new skills are top factors for younger employees when considering a new job. Having clear career paths can help attract and retain top talent in a competitive market.

ZeroBlockers Context

Specialisation has been the norm in software development teams but for more effective product development, cross-functional skills are becoming more important. Therefore ZeroBlockers advocates for skills-based career paths that allow team members to grow in their areas of interest and expertise rather than being limited by traditional roles.


Define Job SpecificationsClearly outline the skills, experience, and responsibilities for each role within the organisation.Provides a clear expectation of what is required for the current role.
Defining Performance LevelsSet performance levels to assess, categorise, and communicate the performance of individuals and teams.Standardises performance evaluations, guides development, and rewards.


  • Lack of Transparency: Not clearly communicating potential career paths and how to progress.
  • One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Failing to recognise individual skills, aspirations, and needs.
  • Over-Promising: Setting unrealistic expectations about career progression opportunities.

Case Studies

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