Role of Design in Management:
The management of design has emerged as central to the operational and strategic options of any successful organization. It focuses on a complex of all visual manifestations of companies, brands and products as well as non-visual aspects relating to the design process, or to processes for product development, production, distribution, sales, delivery or service.
Explicit objective of design management comprises the creation of synergy between the creative realm and the business realm. These realms tend to operate with their own culture, own values and opinions, and their own dynamics. Design management aims to connect these two realms, and bases itself on the idea that companies and organisations perform better when they manage to successfully harness and exploit the potential of design.
The Design Management Staircase as described in DMI (2009) shows a range of design management aspects that can influence the way in which design is integrated and managed by a company – and therefore have to be considered when defining a company’s design management capability .
Some organisations are design-led. Design is central to all of their decision-making process. Some examples of design led companies include Apple, Philips, Dyson and Sony. Design-led organisations tend to put the user at the centre of their design processes and business offers. They identify customer need from bottom-up.
The incorporation of design management in today’s business practices: An analysis of design management practices in Europe (2009) DME Survey, CBRD, The Netherlands. pp-11-13.
The incorporation of design management in today’s business practices: An analysis of design management practices in Europe (2009) DME Survey, CBRD, The Netherlands. pp-15
Currently many business cultures do not understand the value of or investment of time and money in the design process. And many design professionals do not know how to justify the value of design. Clients do not know how to buy design and designers do not understand how to sell design (Loglisci, 2009 in Best, 2010) undervaluing the process of design by both parties, devalues the process of design .
Since there is a general move in all industry to flatter, less hierarchical structures and an emphasis on team and cross functional working, the potential to integrate design is quite real. To achieve integration it is essential to consider what we might refer to as a cooperative design structure. In this situation the absolute structure of the company is now, less influential because a commonly held design reality spans all functions. Dealing with different realities of design may be uncomfortable initially. But once integration starts, a common design reality can be rich and rewarding and interfaces that were once problematic become opportunities .
Moreover, there is a growing tendency to recognise design as a new resource of management and to introduce it actively into the company’s structure. Designers are playing an increasingly important role as valuable partners for the companies as their work contributes to increased profit, their contribution to the welfare of the society and are being involved in the core sectors of management as product/service conception, planning and branding.
 The incorporation of design management in today’s business practices: An analysis of design management practices in Europe (2009) DME Survey, CBRD, The Netherlands. pp- 11-13.
 Best, K. (2010). The Fundamentals Of Design Management, AVA Publishing, SA.
 Sebastian, R. (2005). The Interface between Design and Management. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Design Issues: Volume 21, Number 1 Winter 2005.