Design team structure

DesignOps

Mario Maruffi

I have experienced different forms of design team reporting structures during my career, across both large enterprises and startups.

The most effective design team structure I have experienced involves designers on cross-functional teams reporting to their design manager (e.g. the Head of Design). This allows designers to work on-demand across different projects while fostering team relationships outside reporting lines.

This flat organizational structure promotes individual contribution without giving the impression that there’s a “boss” (e.g. product manager = designer’s boss). Most importantly, this way of working encourages team involvement in the decision-making process so true collaboration can flourish.

That said, there’s no secret formula. The most successful organizations I have collaborated with share the common trait of being flexible—the structure of the design team changed in response to evolving business needs. In fact, team structure should be continually re-evaluated based on evidence, product goals, and employee insights 😊


I hope you enjoyed this post. 
Let me know if there’s one you’d like me to do next: hello@maruffi.co
See you next week,
@mariomaruffi