The role of design management
Design management connects the various parts of an organization to facilitate creative problem solving internally. Whenever specialists, departments and end-users work together, they need to align their interests to reach a shared goal. Here, design managers can make a key difference by ensuring that projects stay on track and processes remain constructive, effective, and efficient. Design managers can bridge not only the design and management functions, but also those in other disciplines, such as research and development, marketing, and engineering. They therefore need to be experts in communications, planning, briefing, and quality control to ensure that all aspects of the process run smoothly. Furthermore, design management can make a difference at the strategic level as a powerful differentiating tool with which to create innovative products and services and build a distinct brand.
Strong creative and entrepreneurial abilities enable design managers to:
Manage design projects. Whether working in product development, communication strategy or an entirely different field, design managers must identify and accommodate the needs of all stakeholders involved in a project.
Introduce design thinking across all levels of an organization. For this, they need to be able to use creative problem-solving approaches in order to optimize core processes and deliver sustainable results.
Design management fields
Organizations with an established design culture are likely to have effective design managers who coordinate the design team and other departments internally, including the leadership team. Beyond this, there are many other positions that call for strong design management skills in virtually all the major business sectors.
Brand manager / strategist
Design management is increasingly becoming an integral part of public and private sector organizations. At the department level, e.g. marketing or human resources, design managers are also in strong demand in the following industries:
Service industries (retail, banking, insurance)
Media and advertising