Path to Operational Excellence by Design
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Path to Operational Excellence by Design



The products and experiences we design continue to become more elaborate, and teams are often dispersed across locations; as a result, workflows and decision making are increasingly distributed. This is where DesignOps (Operations) comes in.


A benchmark for growth

Together we can help organizations cover the operational aspects of design to effectively manage

design at scale

design teams are supporting more parts of an organization

amplify design effectiveness

build awareness and iterate design processes across teams

facilitate collaboration

through better work process for decision making, governance and empowering learning 

In an agile framework, where teams need to bond around the product and user insights over time, enablers such as Iterative Design Sprints and Design System can lead to greater efficiencies, allowing the team to spend more time gathering and interpreting user insights rather than laying emphasis on design production.




Google, Facebook, IBM, Slack, Lyft and Netflix have adopted the design sprint as a way to kickstart new product ideas, redesign experiences and add new feature sets in a span of one to two weeks, rather than months.



Many industries face the challenge of unlocking the full potential of their business value as the team is not set up for success organizationally.

1. Post pandemic crisis, organizations are realizing the need for optimising digital experiences. Implementing a customer centric culture and understanding the value of the Design team.




2. User experience (UX) teams rely on ad hoc operational tools and processes, leading to inconsistent and uncertain operations for the entire digital product team.




of individuals and teams use resources, tools and processes in an adhoc manner and in an inconsistent way. Indicates lack of DesignOps efforts and activities across organizations.

Norman Nielsen Group Study


3. Addressing shifts in work trends, processes and organizational structures that fuel digital transformation requires deploying and aligning the right type or amount of skills.



4. As many organizations embrace product or project-specific team models, there is a growing lack of multidisciplinary collaboration leading to miscommunication, poorly articulated features and misguided strategic decisions.




As digital initiatives escalate into digital imperatives, it's important to note how radically and broadly digital capabilities will be needed.




QuestionsRecommendations: align design and business goals
How do we track design’s effectiveness for business?

-Create moments of truth for customers and employees directed towards desired business outcomes

-Build Pervasive CX and Employee Experience across multi-device/platforms

How do we scale our design capability?

-promote collaborative creativity

-inspire innovation by continuous discovery

What people, processes, and tools are the best fit to meet business goals?

-Create cross functional teams using fusion team model

-Facilitate optimization of people skills

-Bring standardization of tools and processes

How to get the highest value from design investment?Map against different flows and different goals to understand complexity and clarify stakeholders
How to incorporate methods of discovery & understanding?Align on a strategy for building the “right” thing based on user needs and team insights
Why is DesignOps important now?To create more meaningful customer relationships, understand the value of innovation as part of winning strategies


A Road Map to implement DesignOps

Organizations looking to have a DesignOps practice in place need to understand the impact design teams can have to take on business, people and organisational elements of the capability leading to improvements in design quality.


Three Pillars of



Define Objective and align to business goals

-Design practices to address current challenges

-Align team around the need for DesignOps investment

-Help organization understand the value of DesignOps


Assess and document team skills and structure

-Define the role of individual designers

-The role of the design department as a whole

-Create complementary, skills-complete design teams


Standardize processes, activities and tools

-Guiding principles

-Design processes

-Standardized workflows and tool sets


Facilitate ongoing innovation at product level

-Employ continuous discovery

-Test ideas in parallel with daily production activities

-Create Space for innovation


Socialize the design team’s value

-Success stories

-Rewards and recognition




Define Objective and align to business goals

Keeping a customer-centered vision at the heart of business is about creating products and services rooted in a deep understanding of people’s behaviors and motivations. Every design team within an organization has a unique blend of goals and maturity level. By helping our clients deploy DesignOps successfully, we’re helping them design for change that lasts.

1. Customer centric vision2. Deeply understand people's behaviors and motivations3. Achieve business outcome through design excellence

Five Steps for Prioritizing CX Improvement Initiatives


cx_Improvement_icon_1.svg  Evaluate present state vs competitors and best in class
cx_Improvement_icon_2.svg  Identify "persona"needs and their main challenges
cx_Improvement_icon_3.svg  Evaluate present state vs competitors and best in class
cx_Improvement_icon_4.svg  Prioritize using CX principles
cx_Improvement_icon_5.svg  Build a strategic roadmap linked to expected experience outcomes



Assess and document team skills and structure


DesignOps facilitates a positive employee experience, determines the organization’s ability to attract and grow top talent, and focuses on capabilities and behaviors aligned with the purpose. With the presence of a diverse set of creative specialists in-house, bringing our experience upfront when initiating each client engagement has consistently set us apart.

We use OKR’s (Objectives and Key Results), a highly popular goal-setting system to create alignment and engagement for the company, department, team, and individual around measurable goals. Focused on improving the maturity level of the organization, there is a documented, shared career ladder/growth pathway for the team.

1. Focus on capabilities and behaviors aligned with purpose

2. Attract and grow talent

3. Use popular performance tracking system for creating alignment and engagement around measurable goals

4. Documented, shared career pathway for team



Standardize processes, activities and tools

Product lifecycle stages starting from ideation that positions us as an innovation firm are the key linkages that ensure information flows smoothly across stakeholders, teams, management and operations. They serve as the bridges to combat silos, facilitate knowledge sharing, spearhead decisions, gather feedback, capture learning and finally define success.




Tools are the key enablers that facilitate collaboration, reviews and feedback to bring learning, inform decision making, increase efficiencies and enhance performance of geographically distributed teams.

1. Service Blueprint helps understand customer experience (CX) in its entirety and connects findings with design decisions

2. Design Critique helps empower design solutions



Socialize the design team’s value

There is a need to determine the structure that design operates within or across functional teams, such as focus on innovation and customer journey improvements, product, IT, or the organization at large.

At a strategic level, we make sure that design operates on touch point specific modalities for the problem and need. To create an organizational structure that performs while being responsive to change, we map team and individual capabilities, establish requirements aligned to business outcomes and encourage training to ensure resilience on an ever changing ecosystem.

Create an organizational structure that performs while being responsive to change

1.  map team and individual capabilities

2. establish requirements aligned to business outcomes

3. encourage training to ensure resilience on an ever changing ecosystem 



Facilitate ongoing innovation at product level

A meaningful culture empowers employees to understand the overall purpose of their contribution and gives them the requisite autonomy for contribution empowered by tools, processes and structure. At Intelligaia, we have an entrepreneurial culture driven across the organization, mapping roles and building an effective acquisition, on-boarding and retention strategies.

1.Create a set of design standards that define what effortless experience looks like.2.Drive business ROI leading to customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.


By 2023, DesignOps-enabled products will increase their revenue at twice the rate of their direct competitors.”



Operating a design team at scale

Intelligaia delivers the solutions and resources that help leaders see the potential of DesignOps and capitalize on the opportunities this approach can provide.

How we work together helps us plan how teams organize and plan around shared responsibilities, create environments for Design Critique sessions to come together and focus on the craft, open up to suggestions and work on them to empower design solutions as well as enable employee development and growth. 



Explore complete Design Critique Deck


Our design team conducts just enough customer research upfront in their process. We use a mix of Design Sprint workshops to unite engineering, product, design and business teams and help them arrive at a stack of solutions quickly, together.

The process is used to discover business objectives, iterate creative ways of solving the problem, identify winning ideas and come up with a realistic prototype that can be tested with people.




How we get our work done helps us plan for how we standardize and prioritize. Activities are configured based on the needs and wants. A systematic way of examining all the activities helps to know how digital strategy fits in the overall value chain system.



Our DesignOps strategy can help identify gaps, create standardization in design language, design process and design governance.

Establishing the use of a design system and standardized software leads to a more efficient collaboration.


Using a simple organizational principle as Atomic Design, our design teams create a single source of truth. It includes a patterns library that reduces the need for verbal designer-developer communication. Design Ops accelerates design delivery and development velocity while facilitating design reviews.

How our work creates impact DesignOps enable high quality and speed of delivery required to achieve business goals and reduce product development costs.

A Highly Varied Fusion Team Include All Elements To Achieve Expected Business Outcomes 




Findings from the 2020 Gartner Digital Friction Survey indicate that the following design principles tend to have the most impact on providing a high-quality UX (at least in employee applications)

1. Well-aligned to employee workflows

2. Easy navigation between applications

3. Minimizing unnecessary steps

4. Minimizing distractions5.Reduce errors through guidance

To know how design can empower a more effective, human‐centered implementation of AI.


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