Designing Design Teams

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This is a talk not just focused on sharing data points, facts and figures, but, a discussion on changing our perspective of the world around us, the world we work within and design for. It's a conversation on merging proven models and philosophies with common sense to better allow the best of us to do our best work.

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Designing Design Teams

  1. 1. Designing Design Teams A rant, a rave and a reality check on how we build creative teams, manage collaboration and fuel the inspiration inside.
  2. 2. Peek Behind the Curtain It is imperative that we first understand the business of people, before we sympathize with the people in business.
  3. 3. Set Perspective We have to understand that everything has to do with anything, and, anything has to do with everything. It’s less about learning facts & formulas, and more about the application to both people and life.
  4. 4. Set Perspective We have to understand that everything has to do with anything, and, anything has to do with everything. It’s less about learning facts & formulas, and more about the application to both people and life.
  5. 5. Revealing the Magic The world of business often first looks past the human-element: • People are seen as “Resources” • Resources are expected to be “Productive” • Productivity produces “Profits” • Profits increase with “Efficiency”
  6. 6. Power behind the Curtain
  7. 7. We are all not Equal To begin understanding the unique dynamics of the creatives behind creativity, we must first acknowledge that the work force is inherently unfair.
  8. 8. Natural Inequality We struggle to make accommodations for specific groups, yet, we forget that accommodations already exist: • Developers are provided with higher salaries • Accountants require less ongoing training • Sales teams are given expense accounts • Some get a $600 IBM and others a $2,000 Mac
  9. 9. Accommodating Creatives We are different. We work differently, we think differently and our industry evolves at a pace that is radically different; we must embrace this difference.
  10. 10. Designing :-) Be less focused on building world class products, be more focused on building world class teams.
  11. 11. The Objective Find great talent, create an environment in which great talent can do great work. Great talent doing great work produces world class products.
  12. 12. Success is empowering great talent to do great work.“
  13. 13. = • Optimal Efficiency • Solid Deliverables • Greater Enthusiasm • Higher Individual Morale • Stronger Collaboration • Increased Retention
  14. 14. What We Do When We Do It Where We Do It Creative Fulfillment Passion is our fuel, inspiration pushes us forward and we can’t turn it off. Great talent is egoless, avoids politics and cares simply about:
  15. 15. Are You Happy? Downton Abby Season 2, Episode 8 It’s a bullshit question that almost always returns a bullshit response. We often fail to understand the question and are fearful to be truthful.
  16. 16. The Happiness Spectrum Irreversibly Unhappy There is no turning back. Happy to be “Not Unhappy” Where most of us spend our time. Unsustainably Happy Temporary love for the job. We must know when to let go and we must remember that a raise, promotion or special project is not a long-term solution to an unhappy problem.
  17. 17. Timing is Everything Let us focus on the “When We Do It”
  18. 18. ρ = λ / μ = ρ
  19. 19. Queue Theory ρ = λ / μ
  20. 20. ρ ≥ 1 The Greatest happens when
  21. 21. Then, what is λ & μ ? If = p
  22. 22. λ is our “in-take” rate
  23. 23. μ is our “out-put” rate
  24. 24. When our λ (in-take rate) over our μ (out-put rate) is greater than or equal to 1 we experience
  25. 25. μ
  26. 26. μ = Maximum Efficiency
  27. 27. Note, μ ≠ Maximum Working-Time Leisure-Time is a Loss Leader And thus, 100% efficiency is not possible nor realistic.
  28. 28. When, μ < Above-Optimal Productivity We reduce burn-out And thus, increase greater performance over a greater duration of time.
  29. 29. μ = Maximum Efficiency Maximum Efficiency = [(Maximum Working-Time) - (Leisure-Time) - (Above-Optimal Productivity)] 70% = [(100%) - (10%) - (20%)] = μ
  30. 30. • 5.5 Hours / Day • 3.5 Days / Week • 15.5 Days / Month • 8.4 Weeks / Quarters • 8.4 Months / Year μ = 70% =
  31. 31. Defining μ Ensures accountability not on the resource, but, on the maximum efficiency.
  32. 32. “The Magic” We understand λ and we know μ, but, there is more ... Above-Optimal Productivity = The All-Elusive 20% Time
  33. 33. The All-elusive 20% Time Invented It Made it popular
  34. 34. Success is based on the Math We love the idea of the concept, and we love the product of the concept. But, is it successful? And, how do we measure that?
  35. 35. What are we Doing Here? Let us focus on the “What We Do It”
  36. 36. Theory X Assumes employees are by nature lazy and avoid work and therefore need to be closely supervised and controlled. The Human Side of Enterprise by MIT professor Douglas McGregor
  37. 37. TheoryY Assumes that most people enjoy mental and physical activities, want to be creative, and want to succeed at work. Given the right conditions, employees will seek out and accept responsibility and exercise self-control, self-direction and creativity. The Human Side of Enterprise by MIT professor Douglas McGregor
  38. 38. Retain great talent, and, enable great talent to thrive.“
  39. 39. Great talent are naturally “Above Optimal” performers. Those designers to which “the bar” is not the point of delivery. But, rather the base-line starting point for the minimum expectation.
  40. 40. Above-Optimal Productivity It’s not about having 20% free time It’s about better utilizing and understanding our time
  41. 41. Above-Optimal Utilization There is a percentage of our time optimal for an opportunity to: Pool Resources maximize down-time for group benefit Inventory Management produce forward to stay ahead of schedule Self-Management Satisfaction have greater ownership over creative endeavors Collaborative Environments work with teams outside the norm Enhance Skill-sets work with skills beyond the day-to-day Supply Chain Efficiency ensure inherent organizational synergy
  42. 42. Location, Location, Location Let us focus on the “Where We Do It”
  43. 43. We’ve all been here
  44. 44. Where do our best ideas form? The answer is never “in the 5th floor conference room at 10am”. Our best ideas usually come to us elsewhere: • While jogging or in the shower • Right before bed or as soon as we wake-up • When we’re thinking about something else
  45. 45. Environment Matters The goal is to be able to walk into a space and say, “Yes, I can be creative here today”.
  46. 46. Where we work matters
  47. 47. Remove Boredom from the Board Room
  48. 48. More than a Bookshelf, it’s a Canvas!
  49. 49. Not a Kitchen, a Collaboration Opportunity
  50. 50. Your Space as a Member of the Team
  51. 51. Understanding why something was successful is fundamentally different than simply copying the steps that were taken to achieve that success. “
  52. 52. The Designer’s Dilemma The question asked most often by designers is ... Why don’t we have a seat at the table?
  53. 53. Vernacular “ The primary issue within any organization almost always comes down to communication. ”
  54. 54. Remotely Relevant Marissa Mayer: The Future of Yahoo! I’m not making this shit up, we’re in the middle of the “talent wars”. It’s about harnessing the energy created from talent and passion.
  55. 55. Managing Creatives A wrap-up with a quick rant on leadership and management in a creative field.
  56. 56. I believe that design managers should be focused more on their people than their portfolio. “
  57. 57. I believe that leaders lead designers to great solutions rather than provide their solution in front of those they lead. “ You do not lead simply because you’ve stepped in front of someone else and they followed suit.
  58. 58. I believe that creatives’ unique inspiration driven nature and passion leaves us easily susceptible to burnout and disengagement. “ A nature that is unfortunately often overlooked by ignorance and left to malnourishment
  59. 59. The pit crew pays little attention to the finish-line, their focus is on ensuring the car and the driver simply get there. “ Output is a measure for success, when it’s the focus, the crucial resources to get you there break-down.
  60. 60. We’re Different Dammit! The way we work is different, and is the way we hire, the way we communicate, the way we collaborate, as well as the way in which we learn and grow. • We must advocate to be our own HR team • We must fight for our own budgets • We must take better control of our own Comms • We must learn to run our team like a business
  61. 61. Designing :-) And, happiness is the hardest thing to design of all; it is subjective and fickle
  62. 62. Thank You.
  63. 63. http://marty.com I’m Martin Ringlein and I don’t bite. Say Hi.

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