Cross-functional collaboration is here to stay

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Cross-functional collaboration is here to stay

As design becomes more embedded in every part of a business, the need for cross-functional collaboration becomes increasingly important. Tools can certainly help, but good communication, feedback loops, and strong leadership should be the foundation on which you build relationships.

Managing people and personalities

These days design teams touch every part of the business. Samihah Azim, Product Designer at Lyft, shares her experience as a designer on a platform team and the need to be both an expert in the tactical design work and the human aspects of the role. Looking through the responses, this seems to be a common challenge for designers these days. Recently, Ariem Anthony, Senior Design Project Manager at Disney Streaming Services shared with us that this is where folks on DesignOps teams can help.

Helping your team move mountains

As design teams get bigger and more complex, the role of design management changes too. Harrison Wheeler, User Experience Design Manager at LinkedIn, highlights the sentiment that managers often do work behind the scenes that allows their team to shine. What Harrison is describing is the difference between boss and coach. Earlier this year, we asked Harrison what design leadership advice he’d give to his younger self — read what he said.

Listen up, CEOs

Earlier this year a McKinsey study revealed that “66% of CEOs couldn’t say what their CDO (Chief Design Officer) actually did, or how that success should be measured.” While we may have a seat at the table, we’re still working to prove the impact of design on business. Scott Berkun, author and speaker, asks what you wish CEOs understood about design. Respondents listed that design is guided by strategy, that design is collaborative, that design can save on costs but also generate revenue for the business as well — and much more. What would you add?

On working better, together

It’s no secret that one of the keys to building great products is cross-functional collaboration. As designers, we have recognized the importance of working well with engineers and product managers, but the same goes for content. The UX team at Shopify recently rebranded their content discipline from Content Strategy to Content Design to clarify that shift. Randy J. Hunt, Head of Design at Grab Singapore, wants to know how content designers and product designers can better work together. What’s helped your team have a better relationship between content and design? Add your resources to the thread.

We’d love to hear what design topics have been top of mind for you lately — reach out to us at @goabstract on Twitter and use the hashtag #AbstractOverheard.

Illustration by
Daina Lightfoot
Illustration by
Daina Lightfoot
Illustration by
Daina Lightfoot
Illustration by
Published on
October 29, 2020

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