Every designer has a shape.
Fellow designer Samrudhii Palshetkar and I teamed up to create and facilitate a virtual skills map workshop for 30+ designers across 4 countries worldwide in May 2020.
Fellow designer Samrudhii Palshetkar and I teamed up to create and facilitate a virtual skills map workshop for 30+ designers across 4 countries worldwide.
At the beginning of 2020, our team consolidated 5 previously siloed teams into a single organization comprised of designers, managers, researchers, and content writers across 4 countries. However, this exciting milestone came with a slew of new challenges – amidst the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Understanding team skills
Our new organization streamlined interaction, visual, and user experience designers into a single “Product Designer” designation. What skills do we consider core to the Product Designer role?
Designers who haven’t previously collaborated were merging together on the same projects. How do we form teams with appropriate skill sets to solve the problem at hand? Do any skill gaps exist that will influence our hiring decisions?
Measuring personal growth
Our team lacked structured tools that helped individual contributors define their development plans with managers. How do we help designers nurture their strengths and develop new skills over time?
We planned and facilitated a 90 min virtual workshop with over 30 team members from the United States, Canada, India, and Korea. The workshop focused on creating personalized development plans for each member of our team. First, we asked participants to fill their maps with 12 skills they consider core and supplementary to their individual roles. Using their skills map, we then had each member assess their current ability across each skill. Finally, we asked our team to define the skills they would like to improve in the next year.
A post-workshop survey completed by the team demonstrated promising results: 100% rated the workshop excellent or very good, while 85% found the workshop content extremely/very helpful. Following the workshop, design leadership endorsed the skills map as a key input into formal corporate development plans submitted by all members of our team.