Book: Org Design for Design Orgs

org-design-for-design.jpgI read Org Design for Design Orgs: Building and Managing In-House Design Teams (Amazon) on the recommendation of my team mate, Matt Miklic.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 18 months working with Matt on how engineering teams can work better with designers, and I wish I’d read this book earlier! It was really helpful for understanding the different kinds of designers and how designers can work together. It was also really helpful to understand how design can work in larger scale organizations and gave some helpful context for some changes we’ve been making internally.

One of the things I found really interesting about the model of the centralized design team is how it mirrors the centralized mobile team (which is what we have at Automattic), with similar pros and cons. I’ve been thinking for a while that for a centralized mobile team to work, the mobile team has to be great at collaborating with other teams. This book inspired some thinking around what that looks like.

As I read the book, however, I was wondering how this model worked with the way engineering teams are typically structured, so I was disappointed to see no practical suggestions there – but that being left as an open question.

I’d definitely say the book is worth reading though, if you have any interest in design at scale and organisational design in general (but particularly for design).