To design is to solve problems. However, one of our long-standing issues is yet to be fully solved. This issue is how design teams are generally not set up for success or to scale as organisations grow. And we typically face these problems:
Design Operations (DesignOps) has begun to solve these problems and offers us support to amplify the value of design. Essentially, changing the narrative and providing the tools to set design teams up for success.
Being a finite resource, we often have our fingers in many pies, and as a result, stretch ourselves thin. We often find ourselves scrambling for clarity as we collaborate with our cross-functional teams, manage stakeholders, test with users, analyse data, craft experience and create sleek interfaces. All while navigating a calendar full of meetings, and bracing for the inevitable comment that design is becoming a bottleneck...
What if we had dedicated time to think deeply, validate ideas, collaborate with our cross-functional teams and help drive the business strategy from the top?
With the demand for design thinking being embedded in organisational strategy and with design leaders beginning to claim their spot on the C-suite, we have an opportunity to become the powerhouse partner we know we can.
DesignOps exists to amplify the value of design across an organisation with a focus on process over practice. DesignOps supports designers with consistent processes, rituals and defined expectations to deliver well thought out solutions. With a focus on operations to enable designers to do what they do best, solve problems through design.
DesignOps exists so that:
Design teams need the support, rituals, and defined expectations that a dedicated focus on people operations can supply.
IXDA, DesignOps Summit
Designers have the ability to go deep and wide when looking at a problem space and balance the needs of users with the needs of the business and technology. In order to amplify the value of design, we must first understand how we work together, how we get work done and how that fits into the organisation's workflow. We also need to consider design pathways for career progression and how the team is structured, to allow for greater talent recruitment and designer retention.
How we work together
How we get work done
How the team is structured
People are messy, people grow, you need to be ready to adapt and change. Meet your team where they are, you cannot go from 0 to 100.
Dir. Design Ops, Pinterest
Within the duel of doves community, we have a bunch of designers working at a range of companies, from in-house to agency to start-up. As these design teams scale, it is the perfect time to start thinking about DesignOps and how it might enhance the discipline of design within the organisation structure. To date, we have been integrating a DesignOps approach into our 9 to 5's with great success and have found a few key things that have helped us get started.
To kick off the practice of DesignOps we found these steps to be crucial:
Taken together, these incremental improvements not only help to sync cross-functional teams but also free up designers to focus on their craft and creativity.
If you have any questions, comments or would like to chat, feel free to reach out via our duel of doves community.
duel of doves is a curated community, created to encourage thought-provoking discussions through connecting and collaborating with like-minded people. A professional online home away from home, sans the office politics, where we can be ourselves and get sh*t done.
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