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Evaluation Matrix.

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Welcome to the second article of the Design at Scale — Academy, which focuses on a designer in a team of 100. This article will explore how to evaluate a team, department, or business to determine its readiness for design transformation within corporations.

Disclaimer:

The Evaluation Matrix and its results are specific to the company and situation—there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. The matrix is part of the coaching package all participants receive after passing the course. This article will only concentrate on describing the desired outcomes. 

  1. Leadership
  2. Expertise
  3. Content 
  4. Communication
  5. Design 
  6. Technology
  7. Data
  8. Operation
  9. Scale

Leadership 

This section explores how leadership must prepare to scale a business to achieve a Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP). We'll examine the necessary techniques and practices and the importance of a clearly defined vision, mission, and quantifiable goals. We'll dive into how these elements are measured to gauge the success of a product or service.

Expertise

This section focuses on creativity, a crucial strength for digital organisations. We'll explore how digital knowledge and skills are valued within the team and how to develop them to enhance our delivery.

Here, the emphasis is on continuous collaboration that fosters partnerships between technical, empirical, and scientific expertise, unlocking new possibilities for the team. We're moving beyond the traditional research-design-apply cycle. We advocate for a reflective and iterative approach to implementation, ensuring continuous learning and improvement.

Content

A deep understanding of our content is essential to fulfil the abovementioned points. We must go beyond analysing the words, images, media, and motion. We must delve deeper and truly grasp the information we deliver to customers through our products and services. Can we effectively scale our teams to deliver the high-skill data sets that fuel our platforms and ultimately provide a sophisticated user experience?

Communication

We have a clear and measurable plan for utilising digital channels to reach, communicate with, and involve people in the creation process. We tailor our digital communication to our audience, ensuring it's timely, relevant, and beneficial to achieving our objectives. Internally, our communication has a single purpose: to improve daily tasks. It empowers teams to deliver work efficiently.

Design 

Service design unlocks new opportunities for our products and services. Encouraging user behaviour shifts for our partners and their customers fosters growth. Consequently, our design function needs to be completely aligned with this proposition. Therefore, our methods, processes, and frameworks should reflect a tailored approach to address the problem.

The design has transcended its role as a mere visual representation of a company. It's now a dynamic force that co-evolves with the products and services we offer internally and for our partners' loyal customers.

Technology

Technology is at the core of our operations, empowering all colleagues to accomplish their daily tasks. We continuously assess and improve our DevOps practices to align with our organisation's evolving needs. We connect and reach conclusions efficiently by leveraging digital collaboration and communication tools. We prioritise focused communication, avoiding excessive chatter that can hinder productivity and reflect a lack of progress.

Data

Measurable data utilisation is a cornerstone of our decision-making process. We collect and analyse user data to continually enhance our products and services, aiming to make them extensions of a better human experience. We gain a comprehensive understanding and make informed decisions by integrating real-time observations and data trends. Our approach leverages data from online and offline sources across the organisation, providing a holistic view of user interaction with our offerings.

Operation

Operations are vital in ensuring our organisation functions as a cohesive unit. We connect all departments across the business, fostering collaboration. Cybersecurity is paramount, and we take ownership of managing risks for ourselves and our partners. Our teams understand their data management and security responsibility, ensuring all work—from strategy and research to experience design, development, and integration—is fully protected before release. This commitment to security makes us a proud and trusted supplier for all our partners. We prioritise mastering a select set of tools rather than spreading ourselves thin across too many. This allows us to achieve deep expertise and deliver exceptional results.

Scale

Our Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) guides us in organising as needed and deploying resources where the business demands their expertise, which is built around internal and, upon validation, external knowledge-sharing communities. This fosters a strong community effect within our design team.

We effectively leverage algorithms and digital assets to optimise delivery processes. Team engagement is a constant priority, and client feedback facilitates ongoing improvement. We utilise dashboards to monitor, analyse, and forecast optimal outcomes for our design propositions. We embrace experimentation, empowering our colleagues to explore innovative solutions for the problems we face.

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Leadership 

Once completed, the Design Team Maturity Matrix will reveal the minimum and maximum achievable scores for each question within each team segment. This score range reflects the team's current maturity level within the organisation. Lower scores represent the team's current state and any challenges they face, while higher scores indicate the ideal state for overcoming those challenges and achieving greater integration.

Because the Matrix reflects a team's proximity to the ideal state, it offers valuable insights for strategic planning.  You can use it to identify the steps needed to achieve the desired level of design team integration.

However, there might be situations where achieving perfect integration becomes impractical.  For instance, external factors may limit your ability to implement specific content requirements.  In such cases, it becomes crucial to prioritise challenges within your control, such as those related to expertise, communication, and design processes. These areas depend solely on your design department and offer the most direct path towards improvement.

Tagged: agile · coaching · collaboration · cx · dastm · design · designatscale · designer2designer · framework · madebyhuman · management · mentoring · Method · organisations · process · scale · sme · startup · ux · ways_of_working
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