Design Management and level flight

One of my favourite books is Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, admittedly I haven’t read it for a while, but I go back to it every so often, like several other books I have (mainly science fiction but thats another story).

Jon travels through several levels of seagull consciousness, and eventually younger gulls start to follow him and want to learn. He talks to them about advanced acrobatics and the embodiment of the Great Gull. They look puzzled, they just want to fly. So “lets begin with level flight”.

For me DM has been and still is a journey of exploration and development..

Working with the CIOB the last few years has been very rewarding, and after a period of discussions we are now making good progress. Currently working on a CIOB DM Handbook and hopefully next year we will hold a UK conference for DM.

But it all comes back to basics – how do we manage design? Who does it? Why do they do it? What tools do we use? Who is the Design Manager? What standards and systems are out there?

We had a workshop this week with a broad mix of people from across the industry. There was no shortage of discussion or ideas and opinions! It’s amazing how DM connects so many strands of our industry. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised!

What I’ve been doing for the last few years mainly through the CIOB and LinkedIn is to get DMers talking about Design Management. I’m hoping that something cohesive will eventually emerge from this as people discuss things, but I think we need to establish and agree the basics – level flight. The acrobatics can come later!

So I guess this means looking at definitions, roles, processes and tools, and other stuff, which strangely is what the Handbook is all about.




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