How to measure the success of a DesignOps team

How to measure the success of a DesignOps team

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Good news, the value provided by the DesignOps team is measurable. If we use a strict business lens to measure the success of DesignOps, we can look at DesignOps KPI. 

Here are some definitions of KPI.

KPI is only good if it inspires actions. Once the objective is defined, we can measure against the objective and the appropriate time frame.

Here are some examples of how we will measure the success of our product design operations. 

Provide better candidate experience to attract the best talents in the industry and position Cloudflare product design as an industry thought leader.
Measurable Metric:
Time (days) hiring a new designer 
Time (hours) designers spent in hiring a new designer
Time frame: 1 year

Work-life balance for our designers, so that our designers can bring the best self to work and have opportunities to grow.
Measurable Metric:
Number of programs each designer is overseeing
Number of projects that designers are involved in creating program strategy and define the scope
Time frame: 1 quarter

Designers are able to share research findings across multiple product lines to guide product development.
Measurable Metric:
Number of research efforts that are shared across the team
Time to recruit research candidates
Time to conduct research and synthesize finding
Time frame: 2 quarters 

These are just some examples of measuring DesignOps KPI by measuring how DesignOps is improving organizational efficiency.
What truly excites me is the success of DesignOps can be measured by Team health.

DesignOps’ impact on the business is more than just the time and money we saved. A healthier design team impacts the end-to-end customer experience. Translate into business language means higher revenue, better adoption, conversion, and retention. 

Tools like Officevibe and Lattice do a great job in visualizing team health. The challenge of measuring team health is that it takes time. Tracking the trajectory of the team health is to follow attitude. Subtle changes mean a great deal in measuring team health. The benefit of using tools is to utilize the collective knowledge, research, and automated process to monitor team health. These tools typically offer a pool of questions based on your desired monitoring area, automatically send out short, easy to answer questions to the team. Based on the answers, you will get a report. Many of these tools also send out tips for people managers to follow up, address problems earlier. 

If you can not use these tools, designing your survey to monitor team health is an alternative approach. Here is an example design research lead and DesignOps worked together to follow up with the design team on team health issues. The original company-wide pulse survey set the baseline.

The benefit of crafting a team survey yourself is that you can target the areas more specifically. However, this approach takes a lot of time and expertise. It is also hard to run repetitively. 


The DesignOps success is measurable. Looking into increasing organizational efficiency is an important KPI. More importantly, it is the job of the DesignOps to ensure the happiness of the design team. 

Moving the team towards a healthier, happier direction translates into business means excellent end-to-end experience for our customers, higher revenues, better adoption, conversion, and retention rate. 

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