Design Management
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Design Management

Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation

Kathryn Best

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  1. 216 pages
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Design Management

Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation

Kathryn Best

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About This Book

Design management (the management of design strategies, processes and projects) is an intricate subject. As the role of design in the world continues to broaden, organisations are increasingly viewing design as being integral to their decision-making processes. Opening with a contextual overview of the subject, Design Management then explores the stages involved in the application of design to business. Each topic is accompanied by key questions that get the reader to think about the issues raised, and professional case studies and interviews demonstrate the knowledge and practices described. Areas of key practical skills are outlined in order to bridge the gap between creativity management and academic theory, and professional practice.

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Information

Year
2015
ISBN
9781474260374
Topic
Diseño
Edition
1
Part One: Managing the Design Strategy
This is the stage where design initiatives are conceived, and the focus placed on identifying and creating the conditions in which design ideas and projects can be proposed, commissioned and promoted. At this stage, design management engages design thinking in the organizational strategy, identifies opportunities for design, interprets the needs and desires of the organization and its customers, and looks at how design contributes to the business as a whole.
KNOWLEDGE
Identifying Opportunities for Design
Opportunities for design projects, processes and thinking exist both inside client organizations and consultancies and outside in the wider social, cultural, political and economic context. There are no prescribed ways for identifying opportunities for design within any given organization. Instead it is the goals and aspirations of the organization, its corporate vision and purpose, or its brand identity and values, which will suggest what opportunities are right for each organization, and how a design-led approach could best serve them.
A corporate identity expresses the values and beliefs that an organization stands for, and these values and beliefs will be outlined in the company’s brand and mission statement. The same values and beliefs will also be translated into various business objectives and strategic plans across a number of departments within the organization and, finally, will also manifest themselves in the environments, communications, products and services of the organization. The values and beliefs of the organization will reflect those held by its customers; the people that use, buy or share in the overall brand experience.
If the purpose of design management is to identify and communicate the ways in which design can contribute to a company’s strategic value, then identifying opportunities for design is the first step towards this (Borja de Mozota, 2003).
CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES
Opportunities for design often stem from changes in circumstances: from new demands, either internal or external, made of an organization.
Within an organization, design opportunities can be found in the company’s name or brand, its mission statement, its corporate strategy (the overall objectives of the company), its business strategy (the department-level objectives that support the corporate strategy), or its operational strategy (project-level objectives). Opportunities can also arise during mergers and acquisitions, organizational restructures and company diversification, during formal meetings and informal conversations with other departments, and collaborations with stakeholders.
Outside an organization, opportunities can develop from changes in local, national or international politics, economics, culture, society, population trends, technology and legislation. Opportunities can also originate from humbler origins, such as a chance article in a newspaper or a casual conversation.
Perhaps though, the most valuable and rich source of opportunities for design arises from the customers themselves, whether through observing the way they behave when using a product, sharing the collaborative development of the services or collecting customer feedback on how to improve a service.
Table 3: The Business Triggers of Design
Table 4: The Experience Drivers for Design
TOOLS AND METHODS FOR IDENTIFYING DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES
There are a range of tools and methods that can be used to proactively identify and flesh out opportunities for design. The following examples are good starting points for identifying where an organization sits in relation to the ever changing outside world. It is this outside world – not the internal world of the organization – that determines whether or not there is a market for its products or its services.
STEEP Analysis
A STEEP analysis lists the Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental and Political factors that can affect an organization’s product or service. By identifying the emerging trends and influencing factors in each of the five areas, organizations can plan new business offers to address these potential growth markets and customer or citizen demands. A STEEP analysis can also be used as an early-warning system to help identify whether future trends will affect the need for an organization’s current business offers, and, if so, what appropriate actions can be taken.
SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is used to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of a particular organization or market opportunity. By identifying the factors that can, or do, have an impact on the organization, whether from the inside or outside, an appropriate response can be developed.
Competitive Analysis
Using matrices is a valuable way of fleshing out potential opportunities in the market because they provide a way to represent the relationships between an organization’s proposed product or service, the competing products or services, and any ‘gaps’ in the market. In this form of analysis, products and services are plotted on a ‘positioning map’, which allows them to be compared and contrasted relative to each other. The position on the map forms the criteria for differentiating an organization’s proposed business offer from the competition, and identifies the growth potential in launching a new product or service in an area not currently provided for.
Paradigm of Change
Drucker’s paradigm of change model suggests that any organization exists contemporaneously in three interacting, but different, time zones: past, present and future.
Flaherty (2002) further translated these zones into three business ‘dimensions’: traditional, transitional and transformational. These dimensions provide a rich starting point for identifying design opportunities and for exploring how design can respond to different challenges and operating aspects of an organization.
‘Ideas are surprising combinations of previously unconnected things.’
John Grant.
Conducting a competitive analysis is a valuable way of fleshing out potential opportunities in the market. This matrix for example, has been used to describe the brand position of washing powder detergents in relation to whether they are traditional or modern, and efficient or caring.
Source: Millward Brown Tracking Study.
Drucker’s paradigm of change model, provides a way to think about the past, present and future states of an organization. Exploring how design can respond to different dimensions of an organization can be a rich starting point for identifying design opportunities.
Source: Flaherty, 1999.
There is no way to market research a genuinely new product or service. To achieve purposefully planned change based on innovation, on an entirely novel and different product or service, the methodology required was…to devise some imaginable future and from that vision work backwards into the present.’
Peter Drucker.
Flaherty identifies three management approaches for each of these business dimensions. In the context of design management, each one draws forth questions about the role of design:
1. Managing the traditional business (improving current operations), how can design contribute to improving the current operations of the organization? Perhaps, for example, by concentrating on organizational strengths, or creating efficiencies in production processes.
2. Managing the transitional business (adapting to new opportunities), how can design help the organization to address new opportunities? Perhaps, for example, by satisfying unmet user needs or attracting new customers.
3. Managing the transformational business (focusing on innovation, or ‘purposeful’ planned change), how can design help the business move towards a new vision of itself? Perhaps, for example, by successfully exploiting new product development ideas.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Think of a brand or organization. What is currently NOT available to consumers that could be proposed as a market opportunity? Is there an unfulfilled user-need? How can design play a role?
Scenario Planning
One way to create an imaginable future in which to explore new design opportunities is to use scenarios. Scenarios create a context in which to imagine consumers using potential products and services. Thinking about the everyday experiences and behaviors of consumers in a scenario can provide the design team and other project stakeholders with a better understanding of their target audience as they highlight the relationships between the user behavior, situation and the products and services. By brainstorming and experimenting with these scenarios – whether they are drawn, written or oral descriptions – new ideas for products and services can emerge.
Rollestone (2003) points out another advantage of using scenarios; because they focus exclusively on the customer and the user’s behavior and experience, the design team is forced to look at things from the point of view of the user, and put aside any of their own personal biases.
Many creative ideas are developed in the course of business, but unless these ideas have a viable business case they are unlikely to succeed. Ultimately, the goal of the design resource is to support the values and objectives of an organization, address the needs of its customers, and to identify and create opportunities for design. Successfully promoting design and its growth will rely on an ability to address a wide range of issues, balance various agendas and value-judgements and forge a way forward, often in partnership with other individuals, disciplines, departments and organizations.
Technological innovations can be licensed and used in the creation of new products and services. Estimote create small, wireless Bluetooth-enabled sensors that can detect and communicate with nearby smartphones. Each ‘Beacon’, when placed in a physical space, broadcasts tiny radio signals to smart devices. Those in range (up to 200 feet away) are able to ‘hear’ these signals, estimate their location, and communicate with the beacon to exchange data and information. For customers, special offers from local retailers are communicated directly to their phone. For developers and retailers, the platform can be used to collect analytics t...

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