Change Management Plan for Introducing a Growth Design team
I recently got to take a deeper look at Growth design. All the while learning about it, the one question I had in my mind was how would I go about instituting this at my company.
In this article, I have tried to come up with a change management plan to advocate for having a growth design team.
Planning helps you to determine timelines, ascertain that you are moving in the right direction, avoid unexpected interactions/interruptions, and make sure the whole process goes smoothly.
For this plan, I have looked at the vision, the reason for the change, main stakeholders and the impact on them, metrics and timelines, communication plan, and planning for obstacles.
If you haven’t read my article on What is Growth design, read it first. Otherwise, allow me to give you a brief intro.
Growth design is the idea of growth applied to design. Here you use design experimentation, data, and learnings from them to improve business metrics. The growth team focuses on ambitious targets and designs experiments around them to get results.
Vision and Outcome
My vision with this change is to have a growth design team at my company. Successful implementation of this plan would lead to a more direct impact of design on business revenue. It will bring a more objective approach to understanding why something works/ doesn’t work. And it will bring a growth mindset to the entire team where they start to think of failure as empowering.
Reason for suggesting this change
Currently, at my workplace, design is not viewed as a strategic partner to achieve a company’s long term objectives. But rather a function whose job is to implement those already taken strategic decisions. The idea of experimentation to stretch your boundaries is reserved for R&D teams.
If this change is not implemented, I see a few repercussions that’d impact the company in a bad way:
- Since the growth design teams focus on ambitious targets, if the competitors install such a team, they may zoom past us and take a bigger market share.
- Due to its subjective nature, people in design tend to get frustrated over time and may end up changing fields.
- But the biggest of them all is setting targets that are too small and then achieving them, instilling a false sense of confidence.
Objectives along with a timeline
- Start by pitching the idea to the executive team this month (Dec 2020) and get a buy-in from them as early as possible but try for at most the end of Jan 2021. This step tends to take the longest in big companies and the entire timeline would shift depending on this.
- Have a company-wide workshop(s) on how to read and understand data at the beginning of Feb 2021.
- Introduce a product analytics tool like Amplitude/Mixpanel and plug it into the product for people to play around with by the end of Feb 2021.
- Have a growth practitioner come and talk about the methodologies for growth by the end of Mar 2021.
- Have a trial run with a growth team for 2 months and show the impact of at least 1% on an important business metric. (Apr-May 2021)
- If successful, decide on how to scale the growth team to fit in in the current structure of the design team.
Size, scope, and timeline
This would be a substantially big project since it involves getting buy-in from top-level executives, moving essential resources around, and setting up a data practice which could be more or less effort depending on the existing state of data collection.
I envision a trial run for 2 months that would give us ample time to show the impact. The whole process of identifying whether this is a direction we want to take should take about 6 months.
A business metric through which we can show the highest impact in revenue like checkout conversions or the number of subscriptions.
Impact on stakeholders
There are a lot of key stakeholders involved but the biggest impact would be on the managers of the design, product, and engineering team who would’ve to move resources around for a trial run and be open to the idea of failing to learn.
Other stakeholders involved: Business team, copywriting team, design directors.
To make sure that the change goes smoothly and everybody is clear and aware of what is happening, regular communication needs to happen.
- They need to know about the value of what we are trying to achieve and by when, how this affects them, and the current status of the project.
- Through this communication, I hope the designers will start adopting a growth mindset and start looking into data to measure the impact of their work.
- The audience would either be resistant to this change or feel empowered that the company is taking an exciting direction.
- Communication would happen regularly either on a weekly or biweekly basis.
- Since everything is virtual due to COVID, online channels like email, Slack, or virtual meetings would be used.
- Milestones in the messages would state progress on our 6-month timeline.
Planning for obstacles
There could be many problems that come up during our conversations about this change such as:
1. The management is not able to see the value in developing this area.
- A growth consultant coming in and giving a talk would be very helpful here.
- Try to make a case with a short trial run to see the impact.
2. Competing priorities: We already have a lot of existing projects underway and this is not a priority.
Make a case of what happens if we don’t focus on this now.
3. Financial concerns: Not enough budget to try this out.
- Figure out existing data resources that could be used until more budget could be allocated to this.
- Organize educational workshops internally around growth design and data analytics.
4. Ownership concerns- Product teams not willing to share the ownership with another team.
Paint a picture of how the growth team’s work is separate and will help the product team in reaching their goals as well.
5. Resource concerns: Not enough people to take up this initiative
Call out a group of volunteers who would like to help set up this team.
If there is still some resistance towards this change, address them by talking to people individually and face to face. See if you are able to get them on board, otherwise, negotiate for the best possible outcome.
Changes happen in our life constantly and some can be big while others small. Planning for changes like this makes sure that the process goes smoothly, people support your objectives, and it builds trust that the movement is in a positive direction.
I hope this plan could serve as a starting point in your journey to advocate for a growth design team at your company.
Thanks for reading.
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