Raven Moore: “What are some effective ways to steer an organization into creating and aligning on a vision for design and research operations?”
Alison Rand: Oh boy, I hear you!
The good news is that this struggle is not uncommon, you are not alone! Often the value of Design and/or Research Ops needs to start in these places in order to gain momentum. In Change Management theories this can be called “small victories.” Meaning, sometimes you need to prove the small changes have broader impact in order to build you case for scaling. Often, these small fixes may seem reactive, a symptom of a more systemic issue. It’s in those moments that it’s important to see both the forest and the trees as most organizations won’t be interested in strategy and scale if they can’t see proof of success in the everyday. Those small fixes can become small victories.
It’s definitely frustrating when Design/Research Ops gets relegated to what is essentially glorified project management and administrative tasks. But this can be an opportunity to discover where the value will be seen for your organization. There are actually phases of building out a Design/Research Ops team – the first one generally being triage as a start in order to right the ship and get to a place when you have buy in, a seat at the table, and are able to plan more effectively for the future of your team and in turn your organization. Since you sound like you are capable of seeing the benefits of both the tactical and the strategic, I would find ways to prove efficiencies in the tactical while building out a broader roadmap as to how that could serve a bigger purpose aligned to whatever goal/desired outcome.
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