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Design Management

With the integration of design into the business planning process of many large national and international companies and the identification of design as a major factor in competitive advantage the management of design has become a specialisation in its own right.
Role of a design manager

As with other technical professions many senior professional designers find their work role gravitates toward supervision and management.


A design manager has a broad understanding of the role that the many design specialisations can play in the growth and success of a business. A design manager is skilled at the strategic planning required to build a company's success and profitability through the application of design.


A comprehensive corporate strategy for design includes the role that design can play in every department of a company. This includes the overall presentation of the company through all aspects of media and visual presentation, the design of the work environment and the design of products.
(Design Insttute Australia, 2016)

Simply put, design management is the business side of design.


Design management encompasses the ongoing processes, business decisions, and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively-designed products, services, communications, environments, and brands that enhance our quality of life and provide organizational success.


On a deeper level, design management seeks to link design, innovation, technology, management and customers to provide competitive advantage across the triple bottom line: economic, social/cultural, and environmental factors. It is the art and science of empowering design to enhance collaboration and synergy between "design” and "business” to improve design effectiveness.


The scope of design management ranges from the tactical management of corporate design functions and design agencies, including design operations, staff, methods and processes—to the strategic advocacy of design across the organization as a key differentiator and driver of organizational success. It includes the use of design thinking—or using design processes to solve general business problems.


Some examples of professionals that are practicing design management include design department managers, brand managers, creative directors, design directors, heads of design, design strategists, and design researchers, as well as managers and executives responsible for making decisions about how design is used in the organization.

(Design Management Institute, 2015)

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