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I work at a very large organization (10k employees) that make widely distributed products. Several managers are starting a governance/oversight/steering committee to pull the org together and start a regular cadence of sharing and collaboration. We're struggling with our name. One proposal included Design Council, oppositions to this revolve around design excluding research. Another proposal was UX Council, and then there was Interaction Design Council.

Does your organization have a similar group? If so, what are they called and what was the rationale behind the name?

  • Note that the question is currently asked in such a way that it doesn't have a single right answer, so may just lead to a series of opinions and 'we do this' anecdotes - like my own answer... :( – Roger Attrill Mar 4 at 20:34
  • A recent question I asked about DesignOps might be relevant: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/126461/… – Michael Lai Jun 28 at 2:18
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One place I worked had a group called the Style Council - because of the 1980's British band! :) - but that was more related to centralizing and managing design decisions specifically.

Elsewhere we've had simply a Cross Product Team (smaller company so just one!) or a Community of Practice.

I think I remember hearing of the term 'Quality Planning Team' somewhere - it's quite a nice phrase because it reminds you that you're planning for quality, not just planning for a product.

It seems to be becoming popular to put Ops on the end of any new team structure. Design is no different - From Design Ops — A New Discipline:

Design Ops is essentially the practice of reducing operational inefficiencies in the design workflow through process and technological advancements. In short it’s about getting design improvements in the hands of your users as quickly and with as little friction as possible.

And yes, ResearchOps is a thing too now. ResDesOps and DesResOps - not yet, but you heard here first folks.

You can basically call your Cross Functional Team or Steering Group whatever you want. As a large org you might have many of them, so best to make it relevant rather than grabbing 'Delta Force' before anyone else does! But don't make it so dry that even the name sounds boring (Interaction Design Council does a bit‽).

Try and make it sound like a little like it's trying to achieve an outcome that's beneficial for users, not (just) the business or the participants. It reminds people why it exists. It's a bit like leaving a yoga mat out all the time where you'd normally work out. It reminds you to do something when you see it.

Customer Experience Strategy team?

CX Strategy?

CXOps?

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DesignOps is a term that is getting quite a lot of attention in the UX design community, and is yet another trend that has emerged on the back of the DevOps function in organizations that have large development teams or complex development projects.

Going back to the good old days where the UX designer was the judge, jury and executioner (sorry for the poor analogy) to companies that are essentially product design/development teams for hire, the need for optimization of the design function has become much more obvious than ever before.

To be honest, if we look at the things that separates a one person design operation versus a fully fledged DesignOps function, the main differences are having peers that can review processes and designs to provide a wider range of views (and also independent views if incorporating other areas of the organization) and also having a more structured process for carrying out governance types of activities. The most important aspect perhaps is the risk mitigation of design functions and activities by not relying on a single person or resource (e.g. design lead), and it also helps to bring more ideas and perspectives to the table.

So to answer the question, informally I think this is already been done in organizations that implement the concept of Agile team structures (e.g. Guilds, Chapters, Tribes and Squads) because they are thinking about the design function as an operation that needs to be planned in terms of personnel and resources, but it may be up to the person heading the Guilds or Chapters to think about the governance of these operations.

Companies that adopt the formal DesignOps path may do so because of the close integration between design and development functions, whereas ResearchOps seems to be more common where the UX research and design function is separate from the rest of the organization (or if they have a more specialized research requirement).

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