Design Leadership is
Don’t rush to make changes.
If you do, you’ll make enemies fast. Get to know each person in the team first.
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- What should I focus on?
- Start with values Before getting the team together, gather values from other design teams and jot down a few notes about the values you’d like to see your team consider.
- Gather your team and share your thoughts with them.
- Let each team member explain the values they identified.
Managing a Team
- Short term goals: How do you feel the project is going so far? Are there any projects you want to work on in the near future?
- Long term goals: What do you want to be doing in 5 years? What are your big dreams in life?
- About the company: What is the company not doing today that we should do to better compete in the market? What’s 1 thing we’d be crazy not to do in the next quarter to improve our product?
- Self improvement: Do you feel challenged at work? Are you learning new things? What area of the company would you like to learn more about?
- Manager improvement: What could I do as a manager to make your work easier? Would you like more or less direction from me on your work? How can I help you with your goals?
Design Reviews, Feedbacks, Standups
When they should happen: All the time! They’ll keep your team
Who should be there: The designer plus no more than 7 people
How it helps: Designers get the feedback they need to refine their work
When they should happen: Daily for large or distributed teams, less often for small teams
Who should be there: Everyone on the design team
How it helps: Your team gets the chance to sync up on projects
01. What did you do yesterday? 02. What will you do today? 03. Are there any impediments, or blockers, in your way?
When they should happen: After a project is launched or a sprint is completed
Who should be there: Everyone who worked on the project
How it helps: Your team will internalise lessons from each project
- What worked well for us?
- What didn’t work well for us?
- What can we do to improve our process?
When they should happen: After a project has gone poorly
Who should be there: Everyone who worked on the project and an impartial facilitator
How it helps: Your team will learn from their mistakes and find a way forward
- Facts: People recall events differently. The moderator can help the team agree upon what actually happened so lessons can be extracted. Establishing a timeline of events can help pinpoint where things went wrong.
- Lessons and actions: As key lessons are identified, they should be written on the whiteboard for all to see. The actions required to mitigate the problems stemming from the failed project also need to be identified, assigned an owner, and provided a clear deadline.
- After the meeting: The lessons learned from the postmortem should be emailed to the entire team, along with the action items that are to be completed.