When is a perfect time to create a career ladder for your team?

By introducing it too soon - the whole team might lose its speed, too late - might lead to chaos and losing old-timers. In a minute I'll show you a data-driven way to understand the perfect time, but first, let's review the theory.
According to the Adizes corporate lifecycle companies pass 10 stages - Courtship, Infancy, Go-Go, Adolescence, Prime, The Fall, Aristocracy, Recrimination, Bureaucracy and Death. From a career ladder perspective, adolescence is the right time to introduce levels in the company.
Adolescence is characterized by decentralization and change in leadership style from entrepreneurship to professional management. Companies pay market salaries, introduce standard interview flows and have job descriptions. Instead of hiring rock-start developers who can do all sorts of jobs companies tend to hire professionals for specific needs.
We can use data to answer the question. In valycs.com we split work into 4 code activities - new code, churn, refactoring and help. When you see that New Code slows down, but refactoring and help growth that's exactly the right time to say that you are in adolescence phase and introduce career ladder.
On the image above you can see that New Code is at 61% and legacy plus refactoring - 49%. So on this project we can introduce career ladder.

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