Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (2023)

Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (1)

Published in

recruiting field
(Video) In the File: Scaling from a DesignOps team of 1 to a team of many


8 minute read


1 day ago


Some say the design iscraftsmanship,Somepiece,and some consider design as a daily job that needs to be done 🤷‍♂️. There are many faces and opinions.What is design?

Therefore, I believe that we are all artists in what we do, in each stage or moment, no matter what we do. Our craft skills grow as we gain experience from various projects. Some rate their development subjectively, ie "it looks better or more professional", some seek the opinions of others, some set goals to track their progress, and some combine them.

As described in previous articles. DesignOps is here to support skill development and overall design maturity – the way design is understood, perceived, and executed.

As with any activity, we automate and improve procedures to get fully involved in the creation process. We usually define goals, create guides, tools, processes and frameworks that serve us not only to "implement better". They help us grow, combine, collaborate, or set expectations.

Existenceoperatingit's a good start and can create value immediately. As you scale and things get more complex, it's crucial to start beingTacticalIStrategicso aloneOperating.We need objectivity and guidance to create an environment that we can scale and stay focused.

Metrics, metrics, metrics! I listened to and participated in many discussions where business owners discussed the value of the project and its impact on the business. In many projects I have seen a typical case of primarily using ROI as a key metric to price and justify almost everything. Before I dig any further, let me remind you of one thing:

Design is often more difficult to estimate and measure due to its complexity. Anything that gets in the way can affect the bottom line, making it difficult to succeed and being blamed for project failure.

This also applies to DesignOps. DesignOps initiatives and projects tend to be more long-term than short-term, and not just operational. As a result, DesignOps affects more than just ROI:

  • how we work together
  • What impact do we create?
  • How the project and its practices are perceived inside and outside the organization
  • Continue to support growth, evolution and overall maturity.

This means that given the metrics, they probably shouldn't change from one project to another (or at least the critical ones), as it will be difficult to identify the big picture or answer questions like:

How do we proceed?

Metrics as indicators

I think of metrics as indicators to be quantifiedhow do we proceedin a specific context. Going back to ROI, this metric is and will be valuable when you need to think about budget utilization – the impact of design on the business. This can be useful in situations like tool trades where ROI or financial investment can influence the choice, giving a different point of view when making a decision. But it shouldn't be the only one.

(Video) Panel Discussion - Communicating the Value of DesignOps

Often you have more metrics to understand the current state and make informed and effective decisions. A combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, such as comparisons, ratings, behavioral metrics, attitudes, or financial metrics grouped by interest, can tell you how you're doing on specific aspects: DesignOps value streams.

Let's see the state of your organization (of the project) from the beginningTalentangle as an example:

  • The growth rate can represent the actual and predicted future state.
  • This indicator can be built based on the number of new employees, promotions, role changes or departures (churn rate).
  • You can also monitor the employee lifecycle (ELM) of all talents or zoom in on individual performance.
Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (3)

After defining a clear long-term objective, looking at it from different angles, Value Streams will help you define clear and contextual indicators. Here we use the callDevelop a mature development environmentand I looked at him withTalent,cultureLubFlowcorner.

💡Measuring DesignOps with the REACH Metrics Framework
Looking for help or a framework to define indicators? The concept of DesignOps value streams can be combined with the REACH framework ((Performance, Efficiency, Capability, Transparency, Health)).

The concept of value streams may seem robust and appropriate for large companies with dozens or tons of talent. However, instead of formalizing the structure, it is more about mindset. A philosophy that can be applied as it grows and scales with you, from individuals as an additional part of your job to a fully dedicated team.

Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (4)
Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (5)

In general, scaling is a major challenge for any leader, often calledProblem More and better for less.Hevalue streamsin DesignOps help you better control and support scaling while being flexible to the organization's situation, resources, needs, and plans.

Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (6)

AlthoughTalent,Flow,culture, IHit, they are neededValor streams, you may find the need to set additional. You may find it difficult to innovate because regular business comes first and the internal environment needs dedicated traffic to innovate. It might make sense to set up new flows likeinnovationconvey and build around this initiative(s) and team(s). Other streams can support, communicate and manage the expectations of the organization; Nobody wants to feel uninnovative, right?

Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (7)

The exact structure and roles will vary depending on your organization and your needs. The DesignOps value stream concept helps you better define the purpose and description of the job and, along with the career form requirements, the skills and experience a person needs to be successful in that job.

If you're just starting out with DesignOps, perhaps project managers or project leaders are taking all sorts of "Ops" initiatives. As the team grows, new needs and challenges arise; probably adding more roles to meet demand. With a large team, you can end up in larger structures that also require formal coordination.

Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (8)
Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (9)

The transition from small to large will not happen overnight. It can take up to 2 years for the first dedicated DesignOps employee to be hired. Though to be honest, it's quite common for DesignOps to have no budget, low budget, or shared budget. It is quite paradoxical that many want to offer products with spectacular experiences, and do not really invest in design or in the people who deal with it.

(Video) DesignOps Webinar with Dave Malouf
Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (10)
Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (11)

However, with the right attitude and passion, you can start small today, with nothing essential. If you persevere, it will pay off later in many ways 😎

Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (12)
Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (13)

The project is multifunctional and collaborative. This matters even more in DesignOps. To solve problems and manage change, strong and accountable partnerships are needed at various levels, among other things. Maintaining all the associations without sacrificing quality, care, or focus is a major challenge. The more disconnected you are, the more you can fall into the loop of creating only short-term results, or worse, developing an environment with later frustrations.

Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (14)

ideavalue streams was born not only to meet all of these. These small entities, or microservices, are designed to generate results that deliver value at different levels and angles, reflecting the organization's situation and plans. And what is more,value streamsthe concept was designed to meet and scale DesignOp's ultimate mission:develop a mature design environment.It is simply more than an alternative translation of the classical approach.People, practice, management, tools or platform.

Scale and quantify DesignOps value streams — DesignOps (15)

Design can be more than an added value to specific initiatives. It is an indispensable part of the company. Making DesignOps a key partner for ICs and strategic, tactical, and operational leadership is an investment that can drive growth, change, and innovation within an organization or across the enterprise. Because there are many overlapping roles between DesignOps and other roles, it is essential to create workable associations. This can include individuals (engineers, content writers, project managers, etc.), leaders, or other "operators" such as PeopleOps, ProductOps, and TechOps.

After all, we all fight for the same thing, but from different points of view and with different motivations to fulfill the vision and mission of our company 😎.

Zdenka(@zdenek.zenger) is a design enthusiast who shares his experiences and thoughts on Design Leadership, DesignOps, and Product Design. This article and opinions are personal. It does not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of commercial entities.

This idea was not born overnight.Kate Kaplan,Piotr Merholz,Dave Malouf,Patricia Bertini,Piotr Boersma,Angela Arnisa,Arthur the Loyal,Jan Šrůtek,peter rod,Michal Nosek,Georgy ChernyavskyIgreek veronicaThey were a great inspiration to me.

(Video) Peter Merholz – From Team Design to DesignOps at FBTB2021

Additional thanks come to events and groups likeRosenfeld DesignOps Summit,DesignOps de Friends of Figma,The DesignOps Team, oCamping UX Europe. Without them, I would have less to think about 🙂

Thanks for all the inspiration that helped me rethink, connect, test, and revise this concept. you are great ❤️

Paying off project debt How to decide which project debt to fix and incorporate into your action plan without
Leveling DesignOps Demanding perfect operations for a design team is nothing new. In fact, I say that DesignOps has existed since…


What is the value of DesignOps? ›

DesignOps is a mindset that frees designers to focus on problem-solving. The approach allows staff to optimize processes and ensure that design is an integral part of organizational strategy. authors are vetted experts in their fields and write on topics in which they have demonstrated experience.

What are core design values? ›

Most simply stated, design values are the qualities and characteristics a game's designer wants to embody in the game and its play experience. Design values help designers identify what kind of play experience they want to create and articulate some of the parts that will help their game generate that experience.

How does DesignOps work? ›

DesignOps plan and manage the design process by creating design systems and mapping out the design tools that the team needs. They create the frameworks of how the design team should collaborate with product teams and any other team within the entire organization.

What is the ratio for design ops? ›

The industry standard is one DPM for every 10-15 designers, but this ratio isn't the reality for many DesignOps experts. For a 15:1 ratio, DPMs are able to integrate with the design team to offer granular support, including tasks like: Meeting with IC designers daily. Managing and running team meetings.

What is operational measurement? ›

Operational metrics are indicators that measure a business's performance. These numbers provide a snapshot of key processes like production or sales calls. Operational metrics tracking shows how well the company performs these processes. The data may measure efficiency, productivity or quality.

What measurements do designers use? ›

Typically, your public size chart is characterized by 4 main measurements - bust, waist, hip, and height. However, depending on the type of garment you are developing, you may have other measurements that are important, like inseam for bottoms.

How do you measure design successes? ›

Measuring the success of your design involves putting into consideration the level of your stakeholder's satisfaction as well as the time taken to design and implement their product without any additional costs and time overruns.


1. Holistic Design Operations Webinar with Dave Malouf
2. Product Strategy Ops? The evolving role of DesignOps
3. FoF DesignOps Intro
(Friends of Figma, DesignOps)
4. DesignOps Capabilities in EPAM | Farid Sabitov
(We Are Community)
5. DesignOps: Balancing Process & Exploration in Design
6. DesignOps Coordination at Scale | Friends of Figma
(Friends of Figma, DesignOps)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

Last Updated: 05/22/2023

Views: 5422

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

Birthday: 1993-08-23

Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

Phone: +9958996486049

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.