The cover of Org Design for Design Orgs

Org Design for Design Orgs

Building and Managing In-House Design Teams

by Peter Merholz and Kristin Skinner

I read this after my design team at Bitly was re-organized into a decentralized structure. I personally preferred being in a centralized org, so I thought I’d try and read a bit to understand why a decentralized org might make sense.

The biggest takeaway from this book is its articulation of the Centralized Partnership model (you can read the chapter on this model on O’Reilly’s Website). It’s exactly what I think most design orgs should be: centralized to provide designers with a sense of community and career development, but always partnered with other parts of the organization to deliver business outcomes. Essentially: there is no design in a vacuum.