In the spotlight or staying behind the scenes.
What energize you? In the spotlight or staying behind the scenes. Your answer will determine if transitioning from practice-lead to designops-lead is the correct career change.
I want to do both as I love both. But practice-lead and designops-lead are two different job functions. I have to choose one over the other. For designops people coming from a design background, it is a hard choice.
When we measure the performance level for a practice-lead, we evaluate their “technical” ability, likability, and drive. When we measure the performance level of a designops-lead, we assess their “facilitation, organization” skills, effectiveness, and leadership ability. Very similar to the difference between an IC and a people manager, these two skill sets explain why sometimes great athletes often end up being mediocre coaches. Having exceptional technical skills, domain knowledge, discipline, and abilities to roll up the sleeves to do the job are very different from getting a group of people to ignore their selfish agendas and cooperate effectively as a team. Being a designOps-lead requires the person to spot team strength, individual strength and amplify the power for the team. Taking on the challenge to run designops requires us to curb the desire to roll up the sleeves DO the job. Instead, the right thing to do is to step back, build an infrastructure for the team to figure things out. It might take longer, and it is harder to achieve. However, the result is the team gain alignment and the ability to move together as one unit.
For designers who want to explore a career path as a designops lead, consider what you are passionate about: do the work, or help others do the job. What energizes you, being in the spotlight, showcase the achievement, or staying behind the scenes cheering up for your teammates. There is a career path for both.