/ Designing Tech

Leadership Domains

Effective change can only be made with a solid understanding of your organization, and this involves understanding how people behave--these are defined as Leadership Domains and Behavioral Domains.

There are three common domains of leadership responsibility in a project: Motivation, Design, and Tracking. These domains come with a variety of titles or roles, such as project manager, designer, architect, program manager, etc. Sometimes these domains are owned by one role, other times they may be distributed across a few. While one role may take point on a given effort, it is not at the exclusion of the other domain's input. All three domains must work together in empathy and understanding of each other’s needs and fears.

Depending upon your organization, these domains may be grouped across individuals differently. However, if you consider them as three discrete domains, it helps to understand the primitive values provided by each domain.

The three domains are grouped like this because it divides the domains by common personality types and includes the contributions needed for successful execution of an effort. Those who are effective at the Motivation role often struggle in Design and Tracking. The same is true for grouping the other domains.

While there are always exceptions, and some individuals can handle two or even three domains with finesse, if your organization is sized to support it, these generally are best handled as discrete individuals who can work effectively together.

Spending time to understand where these domains and roles lie within your effort will help you to be successful in the Execution phase.


This domain holds the legitimate authority for the effort. The person filling this domain is the final decision maker, the person involved in motivating and guiding the other domains, and the primary leader for the effort.


Design is the role of understanding the needs of the customers and building a plan that provides a path forward. This role is responsible for understanding the work efforts at large and providing a framework for the schedule, and is also the role covered by Architect's. It comes with both expert and informational bases of influence. Design is discussed in detail within this book.


Tracking is the role of accounting for tasks, schedules, and finances. It is focused in informational influence around budgets, tasking, scheduling, and the like. It is taking the work effort at large from Design and reconciling it to the available resources, schedules, and time, along with reporting progress in both work velocity and finances. Tracking is often completed by a Project Manager. Tracking takes lead on building project level documentation around process, contracts, and statements of work.

Brandon Gillespie

Brandon Gillespie

Brandon loves Tech and has a breadth of experience including hands-on Implementation and Leadership Roles across many companies including small startups, enterprises, and the USAF.

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