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Design Project Advisory: how deep expertise can accelerate project potential

~ by Alan W

We often talk about moving from good design to great design. As in any field of design, those best at their craft can see beyond the immediately obvious. They take time to explore alternatives as it’s the exploration (and failure) that leads to greatness. So how do we foster this way of work? How do we facilitate our design teams on project work that delivers results safely and to a high standard, AND design that has real impact. Better still, how do we contribute to designers' growth while on project work so that their learning contributes to elevated designs project by project.

Open the door for Design Project Advisory services.

A Design Project Advisor is a high-end design professional brought in to support the design process and quality delivery with their deep expertise in both design and mentorship.

Important: they are not a full time project resource. They dip in and out of the project at key times to safeguard the project's integrity. They should be viewed as a cost saving as they circumvent projects under delivery and/or failure. They ADD value by heightening project success, growing designers in the process, and applying their strategic minds on how to grow business outside of project scope.

When assigning a Design Project Advisor, be sure they are clear of their role and have the experience to perform it (an ill-equipped or misit can be most destructive) .

You are looking for an experienced mentor and specialist in the field of design with a repertoire of project experience and designer mentorship to draw on. Skilled Design Project Advisors are able to:

  • Perform as a facilitator who does not act as a lead on a project but instead helps to guide designers through the project, particularly in areas where they may lack knowledge or understanding of how to proceed.

  • Build trust and empathy with experience in design coaching and mentorship.

  • Take responsibility for providing advice, guidance, assistance in decision making, keeping the bigger picture in mind, so that the project reaches its outcomes successfully.

  • Perform support activities that contribute to the development and delivery of project goals and outcomes.

  • Contribute meaningful ideas and advice on blockers, red flags, gaps, opportunities, a true soundboard with authorisation to respond with the best advice in the interests of the project and designer.

  • Provide strategic advice and thought leadership on how to navigate through the project.

Design Project Advisory is a much needed contribution to fully realize project benefits and achieve the planned outcomes. As we begin to understand the implications of mediocre design, we start to find the value in adopting Design Project Advisory into our key and valuable design projects.

Work with Alan W

“Solving niche challenges founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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