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How DesignOps codifies an inclusive Design culture

Some of the most successful design-led organizations would be able to tell you that an inclusive design culture can significantly impact the productivity of design teams and their outcomes. With its growing importance as a metric defining design success, many organizations are going the extra mile to hire Cheif Diversity Officers to ensure the perpetual practice of company-wide inclusivity. 

An inclusive design culture helps organizations take advantage of the mixed bag of employee ideologies, cultures, races, and genders in diversified design-led organizations is an excellent way to maintain a healthy working environment and drive the best outputs and outcomes. When adopting an inclusive design culture for your DesignOps, the primary objective should always be to align diverse people, ideas, and mindsets to drive robust design thinking and build an unbiased and welcoming design community.

The power of inclusive design cultures

Creating an inclusive design culture initiates alignment between design teams and facilitates a work environment where learning, developing, and collaborating with shared design resources are seamlessly accessible to all stakeholders. High-performing design teams in efficiency and effectivity often have an inclusive work culture with great employee experiences. Design teams that prioritize building an inclusive workplace are known to witness better results from their design team performance. Additionally, organizations with inclusive design culture provide their employees with a voice, a sense of belonging, and most importantly, a safe organizational environment for all design and nondesign employees to share their design ideas and opinions with their co-workers without being subject to any form of location or cognitive bias.

The interplay between DesignOps, DEI & Design Culture

It is well-known to the design industry that DesignOps, DEI, and design culture work together in achieving everyday business and design goals. Each one significantly affects the performance of the other. When implementing organization-wide design thinking and a DesignOps mindset, you nurture and encourage a design culture that celebrates talent and ideas rich in diversity. Inclusive design thinking draws top talent from different ethnic diversities, genders, cultures, and ideologies to your organization.

The interplay between DEI and DesignOps

Organizations with an inclusive design culture are now perceivable as a safe haven for diverse talent and an indication of a progressive and productive workplace. Thus, DesignOps, DEI, and inclusive design culture act as different facets of the same function and drive design and products that could be great and of immense value to people. It is advisable to take a well-informed approach and an in-depth assessment of company culture when devising a DEI strategy.

How to leverage DEI to bring in a diversity of thoughts, ideas & approaches

To better understand DEI’s effect on organizations, we must first understand what Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive means for individuals and their companies. 

Diversity, equality, inclusion

Diversity speaks of employees from different ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, and disability statuses that offer their design thinking based on their life experiences and backgrounds. 

Equity refers to building an environment that prioritizes fair treatment and opportunities for all employees irrespective of their cultural background or ideologies. Equity focuses on creating a level plain field where all talent can flourish and succeed without going through any form of bias. 

Inclusion deals with valuing and empowering employees to feel a sense of respect, fair treatment, and belonging within the organization. 

A Global Consumer Trends report on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion found that nearly fifty percent of full-time global employees perceived their companies as diverse. Sixty-six percent of the worldwide workforce additionally feel that a safe working environment and fair wages are the most sought-after DEI outcome that is a consistent drivers of confidence, belonging, and productivity. Through DEI, companies could potentially seize the opportunity to bring employees closer together regardless of their differences, processes, and outcomes ushering in a united sense of belonging and workplace synergy. A great DesignOps culture following DEI best practices can act as an incubator for diverse ideas and approaches that go beyond the restrictions placed by cognitive or location-based bias. 

It is the role of DesignOps leaders to ensure an inclusive environment is maintained. In these design cultures, employees feeling valued are encouraged to outperform and incorporate their unique ideas and thoughts into their design-led operations, leading to remarkable outcomes that could drive business productivity and ROI. A design team’s performance can yield excellent outputs when a sense of inclusion and value is present and a sense of community building. This can be done by considering standardization and allowing information to be accessed uniformly across all organizational functions.

How DesignOps can help in building an inclusive design culture

When contemplating between design and business visions, it is worth knowing that design vision visualizes and makes the business vision possible. A good design culture should ensure the design vision perfectly aligns with the business vision early in the product development cycle. A tremendous inclusive design culture should empower teams to be efficient, creative, and effective in incorporating their unique cultural characteristics into the design. In design-driven companies, a good culture encouraging shared knowledge through diverse design teams can help improve the output manifold quality and reduce human error due to a lack of synchrony between various design groups.

How DesignOps can standardize and enable access to information across functions

Standardizing is a method that allows companies to plan and predict the resources needed and consistently grow uniformly across the organization, hence creating mass efficiency within all design teams and stakeholders.

Establish standard processes & activities

Standardization reduces the complexity of the decision-making process by replacing the process with easy-to-follow steps, standard procedures, and activities. This process is advantageous when dealing with multiple products, diverse employees, and cultures. Standardization creates a unified language that all stakeholders can follow throughout the organization. To summarize, standardization can help companies increase workplace compatibility, quality, scalability, and compatibility while normalizing custom design processes. All employees can make headway through mutually consistent design-led decisions in a standardized workplace.

By codifying the design process with standardized practices and procedures, businesses can identify important details that make their products stand out and fix them as a permanent standard in all future DesignOps. Additionally, codifying all the organizational and team-wide design processes as standards maintains consistency through all present and future design projects irrespective of organizational and team changes building a better design community within the organization. 

Companies engaged in codifying inclusive design culture ensure that critical product details and standards are secured and locked so that the details don’t change over time. By codifying an inclusive design culture, remote design teams work with the same standards and processes to improve collaboration and maintain design consistency.

Seamless collaboration

In an exclusive design culture, a lack of collaboration in shared processes and knowledge often leads to mismatched design and disarray between teams. On the other hand, an inclusive design culture encourages employees with varying backgrounds and identities to seamlessly collaborate and coordinate amongst themselves to produce efficient outputs. By building a collaborative environment, organizations empower their teams to perform cross-functional collaboration while maintaining a sense of ownership and individuality in their unique design contributions.

Common repository of all design-related artifacts (single source of truth)

In an exclusive design culture, a lack of collaboration in shared processes and knowledge often leads to mismatched design and disarray between teams. On the other hand, an inclusive design culture encourages employees with varying backgrounds and identities to seamlessly collaborate and coordinate amongst themselves to produce efficient outputs. By building a collaborative environment, organizations empower their teams to perform cross-functional collaboration while maintaining a sense of ownership and individuality in their unique design contributions.

DEI in teams builds inclusive design culture

DesignOps leaders undoubtedly have much to gain from adding inclusion to the workplace. So it would be wise to take control and enforce accountability and appropriate model changes needed to maximize the diversity of your teams. Take a step back and assess all possible flaws that could be holding you back from achieving a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture. By doing so, you ensure that your organization as a whole has transformed mindsets and takes strides toward high-performance teams. And remember, true inclusivity means that diverse employees perpetually feel welcome to be their authentic selves to contribute and impact the organization and its products while furthering their professional careers. Remember, considering diversity, equity, and inclusion as core components can help businesses build a healthier, empowered workplace and achieve a significant competitive advantage over potential competitors. Organizations that accomplish design team DEI and produce an excellent inclusive culture increase their likelihood of succeeding in their product design. 

At Cubyts, we understand the importance of providing an inclusive design culture for your organization. Our streamlined DesignOps platform can help you achieve inclusivity for your organizational design culture through our various collaborative and standardization tools. Create your own framework library with all your corporate files, folders, documents, methodologies, and good practices stored in one place. Ensure your design consistency is maintained through diversity and harness our platform to improve communication between your diverse teams. Find out more by visiting our website.