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When Rachel pivoted from content design to design operations, it turned out that she had a different understanding of what this meant than her VP, who envisioned a conventional program manager. Rachel brought a very different perspective and set of skills to the role — which was a learning experience for both of them.

In becoming involved with the various design ops communities, and later, when she was interviewing to hire three new team members, Rachel was fascinated by the variety of backgrounds of people both already practicing and looking to enter the field. Some are more like what her VP expected, focused on milestone planning and tracking, resource allocation and budgeting. Others design and implement processes and manage shared toolsets. Some serve as chiefs of staff (which can also mean many different things). Some plan and host team meetings, ceremonies, and retreats. Others focus on research ops. And many — especially teams of one — do a little bit of everything.

More and more leaders are beginning to understand the value of design operations — but some think the function should look or behave a certain way. DesignOps pros, though, know that every team and organization is different, and the only way they and their teams can succeed is by tailoring their approach to address those specific needs. This facilitated conversation will explore what brings people to DesignOps, how their backgrounds inform their practice, and how design ops practitioners can give themselves the permission and fuel they need to make this argument and structure things the way they believe will have the most impact.