I went to a panel discussion on Design Operations* which, by the way, is one of those jobs that should come up on job aptitude tests for creative types**. The panel featured Dave Malouf, Adekunle Oduye, Tomer Sharon, Angela Yeh, and Jessica Greco as moderator. This was in anticipation of the first Design Ops Summit in NYC Nov 6-8, 2017.
I am admittedly new to the idea of Design Ops (as opposed to a more traditional management structure), and after this panel discussion I am an instant convert. If I am understanding correctly, being a leader in Design Ops means:
1. Creating a consistent visual vernacular within the department
2. Evangelizing what the team is doing to the other teams in the organization. Especially development.
3. Presenting to management and stakeholders
4. Helping to ensure that the members of the team have access to equipment and pleasant work environment conducive to creativity***
Judging by the questions the crowd asked these are some of the side effects of being in Design Ops (not necessarily the views of the speakers):
1. Finding creative ways to describe what the UX Design team is working on to co-workers with non-visual backgrounds
2. People in big companies feeling lost in a sea of 20,000 employees at a large company and trying to feel OK with doing what they can every day, knowing they will never get 20,000 people on the same page
3. Trying to figure out the ecosystem of how their team members work together, especially after big hiring/firing periods. It reminded me of when I had a fish tank and was wondering if the Cichlids would eat the Tiger Barbs when I put them together****
*Thanks NYC UXPA and Digital Ocean for hosting.
**I'm still a bit worked up about getting sorted into the "Construction worker" category in high school.
*** I have a strong theory about office plants and creativity here, which I might post about later...
**** Yes, they did. Cichlids eat everything that moves.