Plan

As a designer, I was taught color theory, space and breadth; as a user experience expert I was taught empathy and cognitive understanding but I also wish I was taught business acumen. In my experience I have found simple things like timelines, organization, to-do lists, breaking down of key milestones and articulating progress and process are not taught to designers and it puts us at a disadvantage when entering the corporate world.

I wholeheartedly believe designers, who want to design for money, should be taught at least minimal business skills. Some designers are happy to just design but the truth is if you work on your own or within a small agency or large corporation you need some fundamental skills in managing your own time, working towards milestones and goals of the larger organization. As you continue to grow beyond an individual contributor it becomes even more imperative to understand how to work across different teams and how you and your team's part of the world integrates within the larger cog of a digital deliverable.

I will say, I often get pushback on this notion especially from younger designers, "I am not a project manager!" is often exclaimed as an impassioned rebuttal. I absolutely agree with that. We're not project managers. But a designer that can manage their deliverables is a designer that can get things done.

Done.

What a powerful 4-letter word. So vital to accomplish everything we want in and out of life. Getting things done is an amazing skill and it is, a skill.

I was lucky to work with extremely driven individuals early in my career. One of my first bosses, an amazingly strong, larger-than-life woman in a miniature stature with determination that radiated through every pore on her body, said this to me that grounds me to this day. "Anyone can be creative. Anyone can have ideas. But can you make things happen?" Can you get things done.

Your idea or strategy is only as good as your ability to make it come to life.

But managing yourself and others is not typically a skill taught to designers so I am going to share my tidbits, tools, and ideas learned through every bump throughout my career. With intent is to provide you with skills and tools to help me make things happen.