Hello again. A few days ago we published the first part of the
article “5 Tips on Design Leadership”, which was written specifically for the start of the “Team Lead 2.0”
course, which was specially prepared for senior developers, TeamLeads, SCRUM masters and specialists who want to improve their professional level and gain the unique experience needed to effectively manage development teams. Today, as promised, we share with you the final two tips.Article author: Svetlana Konovalova
Design Leadership is about leadership and management in the field of design, in fact an analogue of the term Project Management for developers. Only if the second in Russia has already taken root quite well, then the first is not common. What should be the person who will be responsible for your design department or design team? How should you behave and what should you constantly remember if you want to become such a person? That's what we’ll talk about today. This article will be useful to those who begin or have recently begun their journey as a team lead. However, if you already have some experience, you can just once again make sure that you are doing everything right.
There are several things you should pay attention to when you occupy any managerial position in the company. The design team in this regard is not very different from the team of programmers, so some of the principles below can be safely used in your practice, even if your sphere of influence is “not designers”. Some practices may seem obvious, but I'm not in vain saying that they need to be kept in mind, because to forget the obvious thing at the most important moment is a favorite thing.
You will need strategic thinking and the ability to properly prioritize, in accordance with the resources that you have. Trello or Jira may well be planning tools, but before you can find answers to the three main questions, you need to clearly understand what your team is doing and what NOT doing.
The question here is not only the ability to delegate, but also a clear delineation of the sphere of influence. You should not try to “close all the holes with yourself”, in the worst case, your team members and you yourself will burn out professionally. Do not break into the design of merchandise or posters for your company’s conference if you are a designer of DIGITAL products. Something good rarely comes out of it, and non-core tasks add the lion's share of cognitive load.
Set priorities correctly and clearly understand where your sphere of influence ends.
Domestic and foreign policy
Work within the team is a topic for monographs and folios, but there is also an outside world. Other departments, for example. And designers need to somehow interact with them. Well, if the work is organized and automated (Sketch + Abstract, Figma API), and the transfer of design to developers does not cause any problems. However, this is not always the case.
Often, if the designer is not a former front-end or mobile developer, the design comes back from the developers, since any mechanics cannot be implemented in the code. In particular, it is not uncommon for designers to be planted separately, and developers do not meet them in any way, except in Slack or comments in Figma. That is why they may be thought of as people “not of this world” who “do not understand anything in the code” or do not know that “this cannot be done at all! it doesn’t work like that! ”
You, as a team leader, need to try to level out this attitude, making it clear that you are ultimately a huge team whose goal is to create a quality product, and not to evaluate each other's professional skills. Give this issue separate attention and time. You need to work not only on the atmosphere within the team, it is important to conduct a competent foreign policy, since it can greatly affect the quality of the product and the quality of work of your specialists.
Of course, this is far from all the aspects that need to be worked out, but keeping these things in mind is simply necessary. By the way, if in some of these tips you replace the word “designer” with the word “tester”, for example, the general principles will still be understandable and applicable. And remember that your main weapon is communication. Understand your area, learn to listen, learn to speak, and your team will follow you.
That's all. Everyone who wants to learn more about the course is welcome to open house
.Read the first part.