The role of designers is changing and new approaches are needed to foster a mindset that can support them to become more impact-focused and a key strategic partner. How can DesignOps help driving Designers’ transformation to maximise results and influence?

A T-Shaped designer had great skills and a focus on execution and delivery. But a π-shaped designer i data driven and focused on impact and collaborative conversations that can drive maximum results.
A T-Shaped designer had great skills and a focus on execution and delivery. But a π-shaped designer i data driven and focused on impact and collaborative conversations that can drive maximum results.

Design has gone a long way in the past 10 years thanks to the rise and impact of Design Thinking and to the impact design has had on businesses. There are a number of studies reporting how companies with Design teams have higher profits, such as McKinsey 2018, John Maeda’s Design in Tech Reports, The Forrester Report 2020.

Yet, many design leaders still complain about the role and positioning of Design within their organisation, claiming that their team is unable to influence conversations and that Design is still expected to execute briefs and deliver pixel-perfect prototypes or designs. But that…


Organisations have always faced a challenge in balancing productivity and creativity due to organisations’ constraints and priorities. But the right DesignOps strategy can deliver innovation at scale and achieve a true Organisational Ambidexterity.

Hands and a clock. Because DesignOps enabled organisational ambidexterity by streamlining processes and improving time utilisation.
Hands and a clock. Because DesignOps enabled organisational ambidexterity by streamlining processes and improving time utilisation.
Credits: https://www.pexels.com/@diimejii

DesignOps’ goal is to maximise value generation for both the business, the design teams, and the design leaders through the creation of efficiencies and the optimisation of end-to-end design processes. If its goals were important in the pre-pandemic world, the pandemic has hugely increased organisations’ need for flexibility and agility to effectively cope with the new WFH (Woking From Home) situation.

The sudden disruption in teams’ operations and ways of working have been a major challenge for most organisations, with the exception of those companies which implemented a successful DesignOps function before the pandemic hit: organisations with mature and ready…


Positioning and introducing DesignOps in your teams’ lives.

Less is more. This is what DesignOps does.
Less is more. This is what DesignOps does.
Credits: https://www.pexels.com/@kaboompics

Yes, DesignOps is a thing. And it is growing fast, establishing itself as an emerging function that actively supports teams and organisations to scale through the design of efficient Design teams.

DesignOps’ focus is to increase operational and spending efficiencies by understanding, analysing, and optimising the E2E design processes to deliver value to the design teams, the design leaders, and the business.

Value of course is different for each of these stakeholders and this is where strategic thinking and the ability to assess impact and weighting opportunities becomes essential.

It’s known that knowledge workers may spend up to 60% of…


PART 2

Part 2 of 2

DesignOps relies on ongoing performance assessments to constantly evaluate what can be done better to impact positively the business metrics. Yes, DesignOps’ impact is quantifiable.

Post-its with key words, such as finance, work, create.
Post-its with key words, such as finance, work, create.
Credits: https://www.pexels.com/@nietjuh

The application of a system thinking business mindset relies on DesignOps leaders ability to apply a solid analytical approach to quantify impact and inefficiencies and to focus on aspects that can bring more value to the organisation as a whole.

To do so DesignOps has a very specific set of KPIs, that are unique to its domain and which complement the Chief Design Officer’s performance indicators.

Design Leaders assesses the value of Design through metrics…


What is DesignOps and at which altitude should it be positioned to maximize impact? — Part 1 of 2

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Credits: https://www.pexels.com/@lanophotography

What is DesignOps and where does it come from?

Design has become a central function in most businesses: in the past 10 years, due to the emergence of design thinking and its impact on business performance, many organisations invested in design and have embedded design in the production cycle (McKinsey 2015).

This new positioning of Design has led many organisations to acquire or invest in Design teams, and over time, these design units have become organisations within the organisation.

As Design teams grow within organisations, both in terms of teams’ size and number of teams, the need of harmonising design workflows and coordinating efforts and processes has led to…


Everyone is talking about digital transformation: the news are filled with data and stats around massive investments in digital technology and in the need to transform businesses.

The IDC report 2017 estimates that worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies will grow to more than $2.1 trillion in 2019, while a Forrester study says that 57% of organisations say that implementing key digital technologies is critical to enabling their digital business. Nevertheless a Sloan Review Survey shows that respondents rated “current IT systems” as the third biggest obstacle to achieving digital transformation.

The relation between digital, IT systems, and digital transformation…


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Investments in digital transformation are growing and according to ICD worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies will grow to more than $2.1 trillion in 2019. Brian Solis in his report on the state of Digital transformation 2016 mentions that one of the top three digital transformation initiatives for 80% of the sample organisations include a Modernized IT infrastructure with increased agility, flexibility, management, and security.

Neverless, a report by Capgemini highlighted that since 2000, 52% of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist. …


IDC predicts that 2016 will be shaped by digital transformation, with availability, capabilities and business needs being the biggest related issues IT leadership will face.

With this announcement comes a flurry of buzz: from the media, articles about the latest platforms, apps, software and other tools that will lead digital transformation; from companies, vague references to ‘digital’ in press releases; and from marketing departments, campaigns touting CTO and CMO initiatives investing in the latest technologies, branded as the ultimate solution to deploy ‘digital transformation.’

Let’s take a step back for a second.

Digital transformation is considered the next step in…


The UX practices and mindsets are evolving. It’s becoming clear that UX is not just about user validation, pixels, or wireframes. That’s the old paradigm. UX is much more. UX permeates the whole design process and the overall underlying strategy. Because UX is strategy in action.

A little bit of history: do you remember when…?

For many years UX has been dominated by the design/wireframe and testing paradigm, and this is not a surprise.

Although stemming from HCI and UCD, the real turning point in the dissemination of a user centred culture was early 2000, when Jakob Nielsen and Donald Norman have highlighted and explained the importance of usability…


As UX professionals, we tend to consider our users as our key focus: we engage in research activities, try to understand their explicit and implicit needs, imagine how would they behave, interact, and react to our services and designs.

I could not think of any personification of the perfect UX professional, until today. It’s Elliot, do you remember the kid in E.T. who befriends the strange extraterrestrial creature?

Elliot’s attitude towards E.T. is a perfect Ux attitude of openness, lack of prejudice, genuine curiosity towards the users and their goals, absence of any agenda. Elliot engages so much with E.T…

Patrizia Bertini

Inquisitive mind | interest: DesignOps | Innovation | Digital transformation |Co-Creation | Privacy | Experience economy | Creativity | System Thinking

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