4 Steps to Getting Started with Design Operations


There are many elements related to enabling consistent, quality design. So where do you start? How do you identify the focus areas that make sense for you? 

There are four steps for implementing design operations at your organization. 


Step one.

Research the problem space. 

Collect the data and identify where operational problems lie. 

Survey team members to find out things like how much time they spend on core responsibilities vs operational tasks and overall employee satisfaction. 

Interview design team partners and document the design process to capture frustration points with workflow, tools, and roles involved at each step.


Step two.

Define Design Operations at your organization. 

Shape your Design Operations practice around the insights revealed during your research. 

– You can use a comprehensive menu of potential Design Operations focus areas as a starting place

Focus on the areas that you believe will be the most valuable for your organization and create your OWN specific Design Operations menu for your context.


Step three. 

Socialize your ideas. Now is the time to do some campaigning. A practice created in a small cell will NOT gain much momentum and energy, so take your ideas on tour.

Share your research findings and plans with other stakeholders. 

Revisit and revise your initial ideas based on the feedback you receive to make them stronger and secure support.


Step four.

Launch the practice. Don’t start with everything. Identify an initial set of Design Operations initiatives that you can achieve within a reasonable timeline. 

Prioritize the biggest pain points and determine tactics that you believe will start to chip away at those pain points. 


The goal is to identify manageable, achievable outcomes that will show the value of the Design Operations practice.

And DON’T forget. 

Track your efforts with measurable metrics that will help measure the success of your practice. No one metric will tell the full story. So consider a mix that will measure both the visibility and usefulness of Design Operations efforts and changes in design quality and design team health as a result.


References: https://www.nngroup.com/videos/4-steps-designops/