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Skills Maturity Matrix + Organizational Pace Layers
By Clay Parker Jones profile image Clay Parker Jones
4 min read

Skills Maturity Matrix + Organizational Pace Layers

People love Skills-Maturity Matrices, and with good reason – they help bring clarity to next steps and learning opportunities. We can make them better by applying Pace Layers to them. Here's how.

First, the Pace Layers

Based on a few different frameworks, these 18 Organizational Pace Layers help visualize, distinguish, and discuss different kinds of work within an organization. At the top of the chart is work with leverage that only lasts a few months – things like execution of highly specific work. At the bottom of the chart is work with leverage that can last a few decades – things like establishing the purpose of the firm.

Each layer here is distinct from ideas like effort, role, or expense: it can be very easy/quick to set corporate purpose; it can take a year to create a marketing campaign according to a preset spec; you might work with very expensive vendors to produce and execute plans.

A chart of Organizational Pace Layers, ranging from production/execution of plans to corporate strategic framework

Next, the Skills Maturity Matrix

Coming up on 10 years ago, we created a Skills Maturity Matrix for Strategists at Undercurrent. It's got some flaws – insert flaws here – but I think people generally found it useful.

The Undercurrent Skills Maturity Matrix as of 2013

When we originally built the tool, the idea was that we were shooting for "Best at Undercurrent" at "Level 7" and that "best in world" was represented by "Level 9." One of the clunkiest bits of putting this thing into practice was that it wasn't really clear what was required of someone to move between pay grades. Before Undercurrent's untimely demise, we almost made a better version that included something similar to Pace Layers:

By Clay Parker Jones profile image Clay Parker Jones
Updated on
Skills Maturity Matrix