Design management consulting

Through the use of established methods and tools, and taking into consideration the specific context of the brand, I supports companies in improving the effectiveness of their design activities. Whether these are internal design activities that need to be better integrated within corporate processes, or it be external suppliers lacking the strategic competencies: in order to optimally and effectively align design activities to the demands within an organization, it needs deep

knowledge of ‘both sides’ – the one of design, and the one of management. During more than 20 years in design and in management of expert organizations, processes and studios, I have seen a lot – and rarely all went smooth when designers and managers collaborated! Design is a process that needs – more then others – special circumstances to run optimally: it doesn’t need much to unfold the value of design, but even less to mess up a good running design team.

„Experiences from 20 years in design“

Design is not alone the work of a specialists, but a collective undertaking. In my reports from the work field, I share insights and experiences.

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Design management consulting

Design to me is the ‘articulation’ of an undertaking, it’s about how you convey value to customers, via holistic experiences. That’s why design within organizations is not only the work of designer or specialist suppliers, but also a mindset that should be deployed by all employees and stakeholders, if the resulting experience should have a positive and lasting effect on the customer. Design is not an issue for the elite– it should be of concern to everyone! That’s why a great organization is just like your favorite restaurant: When the offer fits the entourage and the waiters act

accordingly, a coherent experience can be rendered that delights the customer and makes him return for more – and with that creating sustainable business. In this, design is the process to align all elements of a customer experience consistently to each other – irrelevant whether this is the product, the interaction or the store. If this alignment is done well, design management can orchestrate the design of various touch points and turn a patch work into a unity that stands out in the market place.

„Design isn’t elite – it’s of concern to everyone!“

Whether all take part in the creation of a holistic customer experience, can be verified using the CCScore: customer centricity is key to design consistent customer journeys.

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Can design actively be planned an steered?

To many companies, whether an SME or multi-national, design is still the work done by specialists or specialized suppliers: mostly design is just added or bought-in without a proper integration into the corporate processes. Often there is even no integration into corporate culture. Despite common knowledge that design is elementary for successful business doing, most companies lack the ability to effectively manage design. But to have design managed by designers, is like having the serving done by the cooks: highly entertaining for the customers, but not beneficiary to a

consistent customer experience – who wants a burnt soup, because the cook is having a chat at the other table? Designers can cater their work to the individual customers this way, but they cant optimally deliver on their core processes. There is a great risk their work is getting isolated from the ‘big picture’, resulting into disrupted experiences. Design management on the contrary can ensure the optimal integration of all design activities into the big picture and corporate processes, allowing the designers involved to concentrate on what they can do best: to design!

„Customer Experiences are always holistic!“

All that is designed will contribute to the customer experience. Careful orchestration of these activities is crucial to create a truly holistic experience. The Design Canvas can assist in orchestrating design related aspects.

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Core task of design management:

The goal of design management is to support organizations in such a way that they can achieve their business objectives through the optimal use of design. In this, design management caries out various tasks on all levels in the organization (from operational through tactical up to strategic levels) and in all organizational activities (from pre-development to sales and service). Design management plans, coordinates and steers the

design activities in such a way that they can optimally contribute to company goals. For design to be more than just the undertaking of some few design specialists, but to be part of a comprehensive corporate strategy, it has to be embedded into all core processes. In this case, design management is simply put the business side of design, and as such can enable the embedding in the most optimal way.

After becoming a consultant, organizations started to discover my expertise and invite me to support them in the optimization of their processes and activities and to increase the effect of their design efforts. If you want to know more about how design management can improve the effective integration of design into your organization, please get in contact – I would be delighted!