Setting Your Team Up for Success: A Guide to Your First 90 Days as Design Manager
Embark on your journey as a design manager with these tips and tricks to set yourself up for success.

Congratulations on your new role as a design manager! You’re about to embark on a journey that will require focus, adaptability, and excellent communication skills. As you start your new role, you’ll need to be proactive about learning the company culture, getting to know your team, and setting up processes for operational efficiency.

In your first 30 days, it’s essential to establish a professional connection with your new team team and understand the product you’ll be working on. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your team. 

I always encourage open and honest communication by setting up regular 1:1 meetings. It’s also essential to understand the company’s strategy and the product you’ll be working on. Use this time to get up to speed on the team’s current project status and goals.

In your first 60 days, focus on setting up the team for operational efficiency. If it doesn’t already exist, prioritize to establish a framework for successful internal and external communication, you will need it! 

Set up regular meetings with team members and other relevant stakeholders, such as key product managers and developers. Define roles and responsibilities for the design team. This will help avoid confusion and ensure that everyone knows what they are responsible for and know what you expect from them.

By your 90-day mark, you should be a leader and contribute to future plans. Contribute to the vision and strategy by creating a UX strategy for your product(s). Familiarize yourself with the design process and make sure there is a common ground for future success with your team and relevant stakeholders. At this point you should also have a plan for hiring, retaining, and mentoring team members.

It’s essential to remember that as a new design manager, you will face challenges. However, by setting up processes for operational efficiency and leading the team towards the company’s vision and strategy, you can overcome these challenges. 

Being a design manager is not just about making decisions. It’s about being a good listener, empowering your team, and guiding them towards success. 

Good luck on your journey!