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What is DesignOps and why do you need it?

Design is an intricate part of the conception and development of any product in virtually every industry. However, as products and companies became larger and more complex, the need for streamlined design processes became very apparent.

DesignOps is a methodology of executing design projects in the most efficient, transparent and productive way that brings order to the artistic mess designers often find themselves in. By deploying dedicated DesignOps roles and teams, organizations can take their product development to a next level and ensure that all design aspects of their work are carried out in the best possible way.

To get a better idea of why DesignOps has arisen as a progressive trend and why we at Technofy are considering the introduction of a DesignOps specialist to our teams, we should look at some examples of how the idea works in practice.

Connecting designers with other stakeholders

Designers, quite like programmers, share their own language and are often left out from the conversation between engineers, marketers and senior executives. This may be
of no issue in the context of small enterprises, but connecting designers with other departments that partake in the product development process is a must for larger organizations.

The DesignOps role is the missing link that is capable of bridging this gap by implementing communication strategies for when, how and why design matters are communicated between all units. The DesignOps specialist can save a lot of time and effort by ensuring that all stakeholders are working to the same ends, thus eliminating the scope for unplanned delays or mismatches in the final product.

Setting up the right design processes

DesignOps, as its name already suggests, aims to operationalize every step of the design process in a company. The role presupposes the implementation of optimized working routines for all designers, clearly-defined workflows, unification of design tools and languages, establishment of clear performance metrics, etc.

If we need to sum it up, DesignOps aims to breakdown design process to small and workable chunks, and arrange them in a way that ensures maximum efficiency and
end product quality.

The HR functions of DesignOps

DesignOps can be a great asset in terms of facilitating, executing and organizing the human resource aspects of design production.Firstly, DesignOps are responsible for both the headcount and recruitment, which can be a huge relief for some HR departments. Furthermore, it is expected that DesignOps will take care of education and training, knowledge sharing, retention and even budgeting. This means that an organization may save big on human resources by offloading many operational processes to a DesignOps unit.

DesignOps bring order to the chaos

Designers are painters who left their brushes and palettes for the mouse and the keyboard, but kept all chaos that goes along with any form of art. Unlike artists of the last century who had a handful of tools to choose from, designers nowadays work with multiple, ever-evolving and constantly changing tools. This means that maintaining the same design language, the same tools and the same style across a team of designers is hardly possible in the context of large-scale projects. DesignOps thus step in to put order to all functional components of the design process that could pose risks to the continuity of the whole design culture.

Our approach to DesignOps

Like we said before, Technofy is already in the process of adding a DesignOps specialist to the team. Since design is embedded in the core of our business and we venture out to take on even larger projects, we looking for ways to relieve our designers of operational tasks and allow them to focus on their art more deeply. As creative and resourceful people, we are working to shape out our own path forward together by looking at how we currently approach design and collectively resolving how we can better it.

Final words

The introduction of a dedicated DesignOps unit in an organization can make a huge difference in both design efficiency and quality. It is a method to bring your business’ design game to a new level and grant your artistic creators with the means to do what they do best - make art. DesignOps remove stress and add structure to the whole process, while ensuring that the design team can deliver their absolute best, without unexpected impediments.