Small or big - any startup needs some processes in place to deliver good work consistently. This aspect becomes especially true when things start to fall apart, and panic starts to take over. And if you add more people to this equation - well, you have a recipe for disaster.
There is one thing that I tell all my clients about Design Sprint - that is a well-tested #process that you can follow to create great results. A recipe, if you like.
But this recipe is composed of multiple exercises that you can re-use to create a design process for your design team. And this is exactly what I did for one of my clients.
So, if you are a startup and have a design team but don't have a design process in place yet and things look a bit chaotic, check out the process we came up with below. Is it perfect? Most probably not. But at least you have a good starting point.
Like with everything, we started doing some research to see how other design teams work together. Mainly, there are 3 approaches:
Each comes with pros and cons, obviously. You can read the detailed pros - cons list here.
We will focus on the embedded design team setup.
At Airbnb, each EPD function “is involved and aligned from a product’s inception to its launch.” At least one member from each of the 3 teams is involved with working groups for new features, or in product marketing, or user feedback sessions.
The goal for the whole design process was to improve efficiency and collaboration in the design team and between the design team and other people/teams from within the company.
For this to work correctly, we set a couple of guiding principles:
Quite some of the steps from the process are based on the Design Sprint/Workshop approach, in which we tried to get the answers needed as soon as possible and reduce blockers.
You will see that there are check-ins with a product manager/product owner from time to time to make sure that everything is in line. This step is needed to make sure that if something needs to be corrected, it can happen early on, and the time wasted is at a minimum.
The task/brief should contain the following: