Design management

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Design management is an approach whereby organizations make design-relevant decisions in a market and customer-oriented way as well as optimizing design-relevant (enterprise-)processes. It is a long-continuous comprehensive activity on all levels of business performance. Design management acts in the interface of management and design and functions as link between the platforms of technology, design, design thinking, management and marketing at internal and external interfaces of the enterprise.


[edit] Historical development of design management

The roots of design management go back into the 1920s with AEG[1] and the 1950s and 1940s with Olivetti[1]. For a long time design management was used as a term, but thereby not understood correctly, since it could be attributed neither directly to the design nor the management.

[edit] 1940s

Design is a function within corporations, or as independent consultancies have not always collaborated well with business. Clients and the market have traditionally viewed design as an expressive and production function, rather than a strategic asset. Designers have focused their skills and knowledge in the creation of designed artifacts, and indirectly addressed larger issues within this creative process. Designers have been uneasy about articulating their value to business in terms that business could understand. There were moves to bridge this gap. In England, the British Design Council was founded in 1944 by the British wartime government as the Council of Industrial Design, with the objective "to promote by all practicable means the improvement of design in the products of British industry".

[edit] 1950s

Chicago industrialist Walter Paepcke of the Container Corporation of America founded the Aspen Design Conference in the United States after World War II as a way of bringing business and designers together – to the benefit of both. In 1951, the first conference topic, “Design as a function of management,” was chosen to ensure the participation of the business community. After several years, however, business leaders stopped attending because the increased participation of designers changed the dialogue, focusing it not on the need for collaboration between business and design, but rather on the business community’s failure to understand the value of design. While designers were trying to make connections to the business community, there were business people that were trying to make connections to the design community. Individuals from both communities began making connections between the goals of business and how design could be a subject in the management suite. Design management's foundations are European in nature and one of the strongest early advocates was Peter Gorb, former Director of the London Business School's Centre for design management.

[edit] 1960s to 1970s

In 1966 the term design management was mentioned in the Anglo-American literature by Farr[2]. Design management focused on how to define design as a business function and provide the language and method of how to effectively manage it. In the late 1960s and into the 1970s Gorb and others began to write articles that were drafted to designers to learn about business, and to business professionals to understand the untapped potential of design as a critical business function.

"And what designers need to learn, and this is the most important thing, is the language of the business world. Only by learning that language can you effectively voice the arguments for design." (Peter Gorb)

In 1975 the Design Management Institute was founded in Boston and developed following the Harvard Business School. The DMI is an international nonprofit organization that seeks to heighten awareness of design as an essential part of business strategy and become the leading resource and international authority on design management. Economical faculties used the possibility first (after some books regarding this topic were published) of establishing economical courses of studies for design management. Slowly also design faculties followed to take up studies for design management into their academical curricula. Apart from the economical and design-oriented courses there are today also pure master courses in design management (the Westminster university was one of the first in Europe) as well as co-operation programmes, like the International Design Business Management Programme in Helsinki (co-operation programme of universities from design, technology and management). In the late 1970s design management refers to the movement in Great Britain, Europe and America, which focusses on design resources in corporate business.

[edit] 1980s to today

In the beginning, design management was seen by many only as short-lived fashion, but over time it has proved its worth (Design Council 2004[3]), supported by the increasing role of design within the development of social, economic, ecological, technological and cultural processes. And design management grew in importance "[...] through the change from a strategy of cost leadership, over the quality leadership to the strategy of performance leadership" (Koppelmann 1993[4]). Today, one has to understand design in its entire, contemporary spectrum and thereby not be reduced on linear areas (product design, communication design, industrial design, etc.). Any adjustment of design to certain fields of work would not deal fairly with the social and economic task of design in any way. Design management intervenes here, organizes, mediates and structures in an increasing more complex enterprise and economic world. 1986 saw the launch of the leading periodical devoted to design: Design week. In early 2004, AEG Power Tools announced a new overall strategy, which was based on design strategy insights. This proves how crucial a pro-active Design Management and Product Identity is for manufacturing companies.

[edit] Views on design management

[edit] Different views on design management

Design management is no model that can be projected on any enterprise, no application with linear functionalities and no specific way that leads to success. Rather design management processes are accomplished by humans with different authorities and trainings, who work in different fields of enterprises with different sizes, traditions and industries and they have very different target groups and markets to serve. Design management is multifarious and like that are their different opinions about design management[5]. The design management topics show an overview of the spectrum what design managers deal with. Many agencies are limited to subranges and supplement thereby their classical applied design range (see hand-on-design).

[edit] Design management and marketing

Design management and marketing have many common intersections. In the marketing, which was developed in the 1960s, design became ever more important. In the beginning, design was understood as a marketing instrument, it further developed itself and today it can be seen on the same level as management. Today's management theories speak of an equal partnership between marketing management, product management and design management.[3][6]

[edit] Design management versus design leadership

In the every-day-business design managers often operate in the area of design leadership. But design management and design leadership are not interchangeable. Like the differences between management and leadership they differ in their objectives, achievements of objectives, accomplishment and outcomes. Design leadership is pro-active it leads from a vision, over the communication, the convey of meaning and collaboration through motivation, enthusiasm and attaining of needs, to changes, innovations and creative solutions. Thereby it describes the futures needs and chooses a direction in order to get to that described future. In contrast, design management is re-active and is responding to a given business situation by using specific skills, tools, methods and techniques. Design management and design leadership depend on each other, design management needs design leadership to know where to go and design leadership needs design management to know how to go there.

[edit] Ranges of design management

Design management can be divided by its different fields of application into the three ranges operational design management [7] [8] [9] [10], tactical design management [9] and strategic design management [6] [7] [8] [9]. By Borja de Mozota design management was divided additionally into the levels of strategy, planning, structure, finances, human resources, information, communication and research & development.

[edit] Operational design management

The goal of operational design management is to achieve the objectives set in the strategic design management part. It deals with personal leadership, emotional intelligence and the co-operation with and management of internal communications. The following list shows what the operational design management is coping with:

function level application
operational strategy
  • Translation of visions into strategies
  • Defining the role design plays in the brand.
  • Translation of strategies into a design brief.
  • Decisions about product quality and consumer experiences.
  • Defining policies for design, products, communication and brands.
  • Selection of external design agencies/individuals
  • Creation of alliances.
  • Defining of design teams and people who are in touch with designers.
  • Creation of an atmosphere for leadership and creativity.
  • Managing of design project budgets
  • Estimating of design costs.
  • Reducing of designcosts, resp. shift of investments from cold-spots to hot-spots.
human resources
  • developing of competences
  • Creating of symbioses between universities and other companies.
  • Creating of an understanding of companies goals among designers.
research & development
  • Creation of design criteria and standards of valuation for design.

[edit] Tactical design management

The goal of tactical design management is to create a structure for design in the company. It includes the managing of design departments and fills the gap between operational and strategic design management tasks. The following list shows what the tactical design management is coping with:

function level application
tactical strategy
  • Coordination of the design strategy with the departments of marketing, communication and innovation.
  • Defining quality policy.
  • Structure of design(-management) tools and language
  • Introducing and improving general design processes.
  • Adaption of design processes to innovation processes.
  • Implementation of a design in-house service.
  • Stabilization of the role of design in the innovation process.
  • Managing to meet the budgetplans.
human resources
  • Creation of an understanding of design among the company partners.
  • Creation of marketing, design and production plans.
  • Organization of the design language across all design disciplines.
  • Creation of an understanding of and attention on conscious decisions on all levels of the enterprise.
research & development

[edit] Strategic design management

The goal of strategic design management is to support and strengthen the corporate strategy, to create a relationship between design, strategy and the identity/culture of the company. It controls the consistency of design in the company, allows design to interact with the needs of corporate management and focuses on design’s long-term capabilities. The following list shows what the strategic design management is coping with:

function level application
strategic strategy
  • Definition of a business strategy which includes design goals.
  • Definition of design strategies which are linked to the enterprise strategy.
  • Managing of design projects
  • Creation of design standards.
human resources
  • Influencing the hiring and the managing of designers
  • Informing about the design mission/vision in the company.
  • Implementing design thinking in the top management level.
  • Articulation of explicit and implicit communications, which reflect the enterprise values.
  • Planning, introduction and improvement of means of communication on all channels to the figuration of the total brandexperience towards the customer.
research & development
  • Creating links between technology-development and design.

[edit] References

  1. ^ a Wolf, B. (Hrsg.): Design Management in der Industrie. Anabas Verlag, Frankfurt 1993 ISBN 3-87038-247-3, S. 9
  2. ^ Farr, M.: Design Management; London 1966, S. 4ff.
  3. ^ Design Council: The Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance. An Analysis of UK Quoted Companies 1994-2003 Design Council February 2004 [11]
  4. ^ a Koppelmann, U.: Produktmarketing 6. Auflage, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-540-67147-1, S. 243
  5. ^ Koppelmann, U.; Spies, H.: Integriertes Design Management. Fördergesellschaft Produktmarketing, Köln 1993 ISBN 3-922292-28-3, S.65
  6. ^ Design Management Institute: 18 Views on the Definition of Design Management In: Design Management Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3, p. 14-19, 1998, Design Management Institute.
  7. ^ a Oakley, M.: Managing Product Design, London 1984, ISBN 0-471-81637-X, S. 8ff
  8. ^ a Olins, W.: The Wolff Olins Guide to Design Management, London 1985, S. 32
  9. ^ a Topalian, A.: The Management of Design Projects, S. 58
  10. ^ a b Mozota, B.d.: Design management: using design to built brand value and corporate innovation. Allworth Press, New York 2003 ISBN 1-58115-283-3

[edit] See also

[edit] Literature

  • Best, Kathryn: Design Management: Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation, AVA Publisher, 2007, ISBN13: 978-2940373123
  • Bruce, M.; Cooper, R.: Marketing and Design Management, Thomson Business Press, Boston 1997, ISBN 1-86152-173-1
  • Bruce, M.; Bessant, J.: Design in Business - Strategic Innovation through Design. Pearson Education, Essex (Gross-Britannien) 2002 ISBN 0-27364-374-6
  • Chan Kim, W.; Mauborgne, R.:Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant Harvard Business School Press, 2005, ISBN 1-59139-619-0
  • Davis, S.M.: Brand Asset Management Jossey-Bass, 2000, ISBN 0-78795-077-7
  • DMI: 18 Views on the Definition of Design Management In: Design Management Review, Vol. 9, No. 3, p. 14-19, 1998, Design Management Institute pdf
  • Farr, M.: Design Management, London 1966
  • Hammer, N. (Hrsg.): Die stillen Designer - Manager des Designs, Design Zentrum NRW, Essen 1994, ISBN 3-929227-12-6
  • Joziasse, F.: Bringing Design Management Into the Fold. In: Design Management Review, Vol. 11, No. 4, p. 36-40, 2000, Design Management Institute pdf
  • Joziasse, F.; Selders, T.; Voskuijl, W.; Woudhuysen, J.: Innovation, Branding and Organization: What International Design Managers think about their Performance, DMI eBulletin 2005, pdf
  • Kelley, T.; Littman, J.; Peters, T.: The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm Currency, 2001, ISBN 0-38549-984-1
  • Kootstra, G.;'Designmanagement, design effectief benutten om ondernemingssucces te creeren',2006, ISBN 9-04301172-X
  • Koppelmann, U.: Produktmarketing 6. Auflage, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-540-67147-1
  • Koppelmann, U.; Spies, H.: Integrated Design Management. Fördergesellschaft Produktmarketing, Cologne 1993, ISBN 3-922292-28-3
  • Meyer, D.: Design management in middlesized companies, German Design Management Institute, Hagen und German Design Council, Frankfurt a. M. 1994, ISBN 3-922885-71-3
  • Mozota, B.: Design management: using design to built brand value and corporate innovation. Allworth Press, New York 2003, ISBN 1-58115-283-3
  • Myerson, J.: IDEO: Masters of Innovation, Neues Publishing Company, 2001, ISBN 3-8238-5485-2
  • Oakley, M.: Managing Product Design, London 1984, ISBN 0-471-81637-X
  • Wolf, B.: Design Management in the German industry. Anabas Verlag, Frankfurt 1993 ISBN 3-87038-247-3

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