DesignOps: Product, strategy and Organizations

DesigOps is a somewhat new term in organizations, but not a really new position or career, there’s a high chance that in your business or team is already a person with the responsibilities of a Practice Designer, Organizational Designer, or Program Manager.

The principle for DesignOps is that you can't change the product without changing the organization, based on that statement, more and more teams in the tech industry and many other industries that rely on design are starting to implement design systems and design thinking, not only into their service areas but also on the management side, especially after the pandemic left the business without a path forward or showed many flaws and lack of planning on the inside. the focus now is to reinvent, pivot, or create new experiences.


We used to think that in order to deliver great experiences we just need to get the design right, which is still true, but now what we are seeing it's that not only we need to focus on product, design, or strategy, but that the unseen stuff behind the scenes, that ultimately affects the quality, is what we really need to focus on, and as designers, we need to intentionally design and redesign the organization in order to get it right.

This is especially true if you want to realize the investment that companies are making into the design. After covid what we are seeing is companies making an effort and putting more resources into design, but they are not really recognizing the potential that they could. The reason for that could be, that business leaders are not familiar with design, or don't know how to establish it in the context of the organization, in this case, is the responsibility of the designers to take the initiative and to push change within the company, like Bob Schwartz said: “designers need to show up as business people first”.


And it makes sense, we have a lot of discussions about design thinking or design making in our businesses, if it is one or the other or both when the key thing is to define design roles that adapt to the need of our organization and optimize the company for the result we expect.

The same way we put so much effort into designing software that doesn't have a single point of failure, that way, we should design our organizations.