Design management is a field that I think many people don’t know enough about. As a practitioner in the field, I’d like to see more literature about design management that explains the role of design management in an organization, and I’d also like to see more promotional paths in corporations for design managers.

Basically, the field encompasses those managers and executives responsible for making decisions about how design is used in an organization. Here are a couple of really good descriptions that I’ve come across on the web.

From the Design Management Institute:
“Design management encompasses the ongoing processes, business decisions, and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively-designed products, services, communications, environments, and brands that enhance our quality of life and provide organizational success.”

“The scope of design management ranges from the tactical management of corporate design functions and design agencies, including design operations, staff, methods and processes—to the strategic advocacy of design across the organization as a key differentiator and driver of organizational success. It includes the use of design thinking—or using design processes to solve general business problems.”

I think it’s also important to understand the assets and skills that great design managers possess. I found a great blog post about ‘Hiring the Right Design Manager‘ that I think really does a nice job of highlighting the qualities that one looks for in an effective design manager. Design management skills are rare in the industry because it means finding someone who is a combination of the truly creative type and the level-headed business-minded individual.


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