What is Career Architecture?

Career Architecture provides a framework for organizing jobs across the Electronic Systems (ES) division, regardless of the person doing the work or the location where it is being performed.  All ES jobs are positioned within a common job framework (the Career Architecture) and will have one comprehensive, transparent, job integrated system.  The Career Architecture contains a set of job families and career ladders with levels organized by Center of Excellence (COE).

Why was the ES Career Architecture created?

This initiative was developed to ensure employees have visibility to Career Ladders and Levels.  It is important that employees understand where their position/level fits in the ES structure.  Employees will also comprehend what they need to do to get to the next level in their career.  The Division has gone through multiple changes over the last several years, resulting in inconsistencies in Job Titles. With Career Architecture in place, the same job will be described consistently regardless of location, improving our ability to manage a geographically dispersed workforce.

  • Through this initiative, employees will be empowered when having career discussions/choices.

Is this an Exelis wide initiative?

This architecture has been implemented by Electronic Systems, not Exelis. 

What is a Job Function/COE?

A function/COE is a generally recognized major professional area often requiring a unique set of technical competencies and within which most career development will occur. The ES COEs are currently Business Development, Communications, Contracts, Corporate Responsibility, Engineering, Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Operations, Programs and Strategy & Technology.

What is a Job Family?

A job family is a professional discipline within a specific job function (COE) similar with respect to nature of work and knowledge requirements.

For example, within Finance - auditing, accounting, and budgeting would be common job families.

What is a Career Ladder?

A Career Ladder illustrates the progression of duties, skills and responsibilities for a specific Job Family, utilizing a set of leveling criteria that define the requirements for progressing to the next Level.

What is a Level?

A Level represents the hierarchical position of a job within a career ladder and is used to differentiate career steps based on predefined criteria. 

How do I access my Career Ladder?

The primary communication tool to navigate the Power of YOU is our new Career Architecture website: www.MyESCareer.com. By visiting this website, Managers and Employees will be able to find:

  • Overview and background information on the Career Architecture;
  • Information about COEs, Job Families, Career Ladders and Levels;
  • Communication materials to help better understand the Career Architecture
  • Updates and new information
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Contacts for questions and support

Why isn’t there a Career Ladder for my Job Family?

Career Ladders have been developed for job families containing at least 3 employees at 2 or more levels.  If you are in a unique job family, you may not have a career ladder.  If there are changes to your job family which cause it to meet the criteria for development of a Career Ladder, one will be documented and communicated to you. In the meantime, you should continue to have frequent, open discussions with your manager regarding your career development. The Architecture will be updated as necessary. 

How were positions placed into Job Families and Levels?

The process of mapping all existing ES salaried-positions into the new Career Architecture was a collaborative process working with HR and management.  Management in many cases included senior leaders through supervisor levels from each COE (e.g., Engineering, Finance, Operations, etc.).

Why did my title change?

Your title has changed to more accurately reflect the nature of work that you do and the level of responsibility and skill the position requires.  Your new title will better reflect standard titles used across ES and be more relevant to current titles utilized in the market.  You will not experience any change in job duties, performance goals or compensation as a result of the job title change.

What if I don’t agree with my new title or Career Level?

If you have any questions about your new title or Level, please discuss these with your manager.

Will my reporting relationship change?

There will be no change in reporting relationship as a result of this initiative. 

Who should I discuss my career development with?

Your Manager should always be your first point of contact when it comes to career discussions.

How is compensation linked to Career Architecture?

The Career Architecture implementation is not intended to affect employee compensation.  Career Architecture has been created to provide more consistency in how we define roles.  However, this initiative will give us visibility into our overall market position in terms of compensation.  We will have a clear picture of how we pay each employee compared to the external market, and compared to internal peers.  We will be able to use this data going forward, when making compensation decisions.

How is my base salary determined?

ES is committed to ensuring that our employees’ pay is internally equitable and externally competitive. To ensure salaries are competitive with the marketplace, ES annually reviews pay data from salary surveys covering industry related organizations.  This approach places greater emphasis on competitiveness with the external market and allows ES to align our pay practices more precisely with the market at the individual position level.

How will transfers to another COE or Job Family be treated if it is not a comparable job or promotion?

Each role change will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. The appropriate level will be determined for each unique situation based on criticality of the role, level of education, experience, performance and level of contribution.

Will we still have job descriptions?

The Career Ladders will replace job descriptions. Our intent is to have enough detail in the Career Ladders that we will not need to have a separate set of job descriptions.

Are levels and titles consistent across Job Families?

We have developed a titling convention that will be used across all of Electronic Systems, but allows for flexibility for the variety of jobs we currently have. In most cases, the level of the job will be included in the title. Each Job Family was reviewed and the titling convention was applied using the Leveling criteria.  

How does Career Architecture link with my performance (the PfP)?

Career Architecture will facilitate career development discussions between employees and Managers.

Who reviewed the recommendations to be sure they were consistent across large COEs (e.g., Engineering)?

Positions were mapped into the Career Architecture through a collaborative process; accomplished and supported by HR and our functional business leaders and managers.

What information is used to determine a job’s Level?

A job’s Level is based on a variety of criteria (e.g., complexity, scope of impact, discretion/latitude, and knowledge required of the job). A description of the criteria for each level by job family is provided in the career ladders. Please visit www.MyESCareer.com for additional information.

How much focus is placed on years of experience?

Education and years-of-experience requirements are used along with other leveling factors.