Design Ops: More Than Just Operations

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Taylor Oliva

Design Planning and Development Lead (previously Head of DesignOps)

Design Operations, once a nice to have, has quickly shifted to a core function within design organizations. The practice is maturing, and we're seeing it expand across geos, industries, levels and specializations. (See the 2022 State of Design Operations Report: designops.report)And yet, design leaders are often at a loss for when to hire their first design operator, and how to set that person up for success. The goal of this talk is to deep dive into what DesignOps is, the signals that it's time to hire someone in the role, and basics on how to establish the practice and set it up for scalability.In this talk, we'll cover: -What is Design Operations? -What does this look like in practice vs a role? -What happens when there is no DesignOps person on the team, and what are the signals that it's the right time to hire someone? -Where should DOps hire #1 start to establish the practice and how their design managers can help set them up for success?

Taylor is the Design Planning and Development Lead at Instacart, partnering with the Design and Research leadership team on identifying and operationalizing the org's highest priority programs across people, process, product, with a focus on optimizing quality and enabling great work. She previously established and scaled the Design Ops practice from 0 to 1 as the Head of Design Operations, and prior to her time at Instacart, was the first Design Program Manager at Thumbtack. She's also an instructor for the Design Ops Assembly's Learning Labs program.The running thread throughout her career has been working in roles where she can help make her teams more efficient and build a strong sense of community; DOps is the perfect function for doing both!A first gen Salvadoran originally from SoCal, Taylor has lived in San Francisco for the last 6 years, enjoying everything the Bay Area has to offer. She has a deep love for all things musical theater, eating her way through other countries, and beautifully designed, people-first programs.

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Learn from the best of design leaders and ICs we’ve hosted at our DesignX events and conferences.