How does DesignOps help businesses?
The design has become a central function in most businesses. In the past ten years, due to the emergence of design thinking and its impact on business performance, many organizations invested in design and have embedded design in the production cycle (McKinsey 2015).
This new positioning of Design has led many organizations to acquire or invest in Design teams, and over time, these design units have become organizations within the organization.
The designer–to–developer ratio seems to be increasing compared to the relatively recent data reported by Dr. Sauro is reasonable, especially considering our findings that the number of UX professionals is increasing exponentially worldwide. As management recognizes that proper UX methodology substantially improves product quality, investments in scaling UX design — including the number of UX designers employed — would grow, and an increasing designer––developer ratio would follow.
As Design teams grow within organizations, both in terms of teams’ size and the number of teams, the need to harmonize design workflows and coordinate efforts and processes has led to the demand for new competencies to help the organization manage the complexity of their design resources.
Although the lack of a unified definition of who or what is needed to support organizations in maximizing their investment in design, a growing number of companies are introducing a new function focused on increasing Design’s impact on business performance through improved Design’s operation: DesignOps.
Successful businesses are making billions by recognizing the value of integrating “design operations” into their process.
DesignOps is a strategic function that applies a system thinking approach to understand how Design teams operate inside-out and outside-in to identify opportunities and create business benefits through improved spending and operational performances.
By overseeing the day-to-day and the end-to-end design process across the organization, the DesignOps leader focuses on streamlining processes, building and maintaining a design community, harmonizing ways of working across design and cross-functional teams while overseeing vital operational aspects such as the budget, tools, and the relationship with external partners.
In short, DesignOps analyses the teams’ workflows and the organization’s needs to identify opportunities to maximize Design’s impact on business performances.
Well-run DesignOps function can help codify design culture by efficiently managing the design processes & activities, improving collaboration, and measuring impact on business.
In the past few months, the need to improve and redefine ways of working due to the pandemic has suddenly amplified the need for DesignOps, especially after some organizations have reported how DesignOps minimized disruption and made the transition to a Work from Home model efficient and seamless.
The end goal of design operations is to increase the design team’s efficiency and improve the quality of design output.
Designers talk about the process, not the goal
When we talk about design to our stakeholders, we discuss why design is strategic and focus on the process. We rarely talk about how the design will help them achieve their business goals (design outcome). We need a tool or platform to highlight the value we bring to the table.
We are hard-wired to think about goals and outcomes. By no means are we saying that the outcome is more important than the process of getting there! If you follow this natural behavior and start a conversation with an outcome, you will promote design more effectively. Maybe you might get enough interest to take them along on a design process journey.
This is where the DesignOps role comes into the picture. DesignOps bridges the gap between stakeholders and designers by communicating the value of design in the business language.
The Role of DesignOps Manager
When it comes to promoting design, the DesignOps Manager understands the ‘stakeholders persona’ and finds a way to communicate with them and frame it, so they know.
DesignOps leaders are strategic decision-makers; they set a data-informed vision for the Design operation, define the tools’ ecosystem, and make engagement plans to increase cross-functional and cross-market collaboration.
A DesignOps leader acts at a business strategy level by connecting and engaging with cross-functional and cross-market C-level leaders to streamline design practices across the whole organization.
Why should businesses care for design operations?
DesignOps defines a vision, KPIs, and result-driven roadmaps that focus on design processes through a business lens work on executing the roadmap to ensure the vision is delivered and the expected impact is achieved.
DesignOps helps companies leapfrog the competition and get their products and services to market fast — they get to market with the right thing that builds long-lasting customer relationships.
DesignOps becomes a crucial discipline to put in place the tools, environment, and group techniques to facilitate all those handovers, team-by-team, to make the new design a reality with more agility, less noise, and more integration.
There are various roles in a design team, such as researchers, designers, developers, and testers, and every part needs its own set of tools. Designer’s tools such as Figma, Adobe, and Invision as separate from testers’ tools such as maze user testing and each of them is working in silos. Getting them all together for a Design Leader or a Product Manager to understand and strategize becomes a task.
You need one single source of truth where you can share, collaborate and work together as a team. That’s where the DesignOps tool comes into the picture! Design tools are the ones that allow you to execute the task, whereas the DesignOps tool will enable you to manage or govern the process around that task.
Cubyts is a -cloud-based Intelligent Design Ops Platform that enables organizations to align design outcomes to business goals.
Cubyts assesses design maturity to deliver superior, design-led digital experiences and have an impact at all levels in the organization. Every design intervention leads to the design outcome aligned to the business goal, which is measurable through the help of Cubyts.