DesignOps Strategy

Operational excellence, by design.

How do we track design’s effectiveness for the business? How do we scale our design capability? What people, processes, and tools are the best fit for our unique goals? All of these questions have strategic answers, and we want to help you find them.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Operational Strategy

A DesignOps strategy is for companies seeking to improve their capacity to deliver design at scale and remove typical bottlenecks. A set of continuously evolving best practices for ensuring that a product team can deliver high quality digital product experiences at high velocity by operationalizing the main components of a design organization. If you want to optimize and empower your design team to create growth for your company, or you are starting a new design team, you need a DesignOps strategy.

DesignOps Strategy & Education

  • Teams use this engagement to get the right tools, systems and practices in place to deliver great user experiences more efficiently. The engagement includes performing a general workflow assessment to drive tool recommendations, staffing plans and change management coaching. As a result, a DesignOps strategy document leads to a design workflow transformation that helps to establish a scalable working design practice at your company.
  • Levvel brings together both design and development expertise. This allows us to create working models that eliminate friction between these teams and makes them both more productive. Establishing DesignOps creates a cross-disciplinary framework that allows design to work at scale. The aim is to get the right tools, processes and culture established to empower your company to deliver consistent customer experiences.

People

To build any strong, efficient, and productive process, a company must build a strong team of people to operate that process—and, design is no different. Who do you need on your product design team to make it work? We evaluate your team in relation to your company, and identify roles that fit where you are, and where you want to go.

  • Structuring and building the right team
  • Creating organized, effective cross-functional relationships
  • Humanizing your hiring, onboarding and professional development practices within the design team.

Processes

To support a fully functional design team, processes need to be in place to make sure that as the design team grows, it can function and integrate well with the rest of the company. This is where operational excellence can really take shape and begin to benefit the company’s bottom line and ability to create. We care about efficiency, but we also care just as much about effectiveness. If we want effective design teams, we have to provide them with a working model which allows them to deliver valuable products that make each deployment count.

A DesignOps strategy will help your company:

  • Identify gaps and weaknesses in the existing process
  • Create standardization in design language, design process, and guiding principles
  • Determine a design delivery process and prioritization process
  • Construct a governance process in which you will determine who needs to see the work and when, as well as the parameters within which to create great experiences.

Tools

A DesignOps strategy also helps determine which tools the team needs to work more efficiently to meet the company’s needs. Standardization is your best path forward. Establishing the use of a design system and standardized software will lead to more efficient collaboration.

  • Design Systems: Many of us have worked on digital experiences that, over time, became messes of redundant variations, small and illogical inconsistencies, and unmanageable amounts of content, pixels, and code that added painful time and expense to design and development cycles. As digital experiences get larger and more complex, you have to be able to maintain consistency to keep delivering a great experience. Design systems can help with that. At its core, a design system is a set of parameters and a set of tools to build experiences within your product, or suite of products. Design systems can consist of style guides, pattern libraries, and code libraries, depending on a company’s level of maturity.
  • Standardized Software: There are many different options when it comes to design software. Whatever your tool of choice, here are three questions design managers should ask themselves about their team’s software tools:
    • If I hire a new designer tomorrow, are they likely to be proficient using our chosen tools? If not, why not?
    • Does this tool allow my team to quickly make usable assets available to developers?
    • Do we know the landscape of available tools and why we are choosing to use the tools we use, currently?

Design Culture & Impact

Leveraging the full potential of your design capability means identifying success metrics, and then operationally supporting the achievement of those targets. We work with your team to define true north, and then analyze how we need to organizationally, and culturally plan for success.

  • Define success metrics
  • Retention
  • Creating a culture of design excellence
  • Operational integration of design within the company

Are you ready to maximize the impact of design on your business? Implementing DesignOps can lead to big wins for your entire enterprise, especially as a part of transformational new product and service initiatives. Let’s talk about how we can get design organization started on the path to operational excellence.

Platforms we work with:

Figma, Sketch, Adobe Creative Suite, Storybook, InVision, Miro

Selected Experts

Kat Perez

Design Capability Lead

Devin Smith

Vice President, Strategy

Christain Billings

Design Manager

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