Led projects for 200+ member design team in areas of process, culture, hiring, and research.
Introduced design thinking with an End-to-End Design Story framework focused on
enterprise stakeholder goals, the learn-try-buy-use-grow journey, and
business results. Rebuilt broken design process by integrating design with
PM, UI, and BE dev teams, improving collaboration, productivity, and
continuous delivery. Improved hiring and design research practices.
Led dozens of designers from multiple business units to design cloud
solutions integrating the entire VMware portfolio.
The solutions enabled customer cloud migrations, remote desktops,
self-service applications, and other modernization efforts
that saved money and accelerated new application development.
The adjacent video shows how I summarized our research and designs into
an end-to-end customer journey adopted by the executive
team as the guiding vision for VMware product experience.
Due to popular demand from execs, PMs, and technical architects,
I formalized the E2E Experience Design format as a framework for product concepts.
I developed training, workshops, presentations, and templates to teach E2E Experience Design
practice to designers and product teams.
I convinced design leadership team to make the E2E Experience Design practice “The One Thing” focus for teams in 2019 and 2020.
Hired and mentored a Design Practice Lead to accelerate collaboration on E2E Experience with cross-functional product teams.
VMC on AWS combined multiple existing products which required us to work with
hundreds of collaborators from across 5 business units.
Communication was a problem across PM, UX, UI, and engineering disciplines.
Prioritization was a problem across business unit PM & Eng teams.
SaaS delivery and operations was new to the company.
To address these problems, I led creation of a “four-in-a-box” model of collaboration.
This process was adopted across BUs and published as a model internally.
4. Design Process and Operations
When I started at VMware, the design team had no formal or documented design process.
Each designer followed their own ad hoc methods.
PM and Engineering were frustrated by the lack of structure.
I created and documented a design process in collaboration with our PM, UI, BE partners.
I used Jira to create a design backlog and boards with criteria for staged progress.
I led adoption by teams across VMware to make this our standard for process and operations.
When I started at VMware, the design team was struggling to consistently practice design research.
I initiated the VMware Design Studio research program starting at our VMworld conference,
negotiated investment and visibility with executive staff,
and facilitated design research across dozens of projects and ten business units.
The program was hugely popular with customers, with thousands of participants / year.
6. Design Team Culture
As the VMware design team grew, we needed a way to ensure a healthy, growth mindset culture.
Introduced the design leadership team to “psychological safety”.
Initiated a survey across the design team to measure current psych safety and culture.
While scores were positive, we set a goal to increase highly positive responses.
Communicated survey results to the entire team, along with what they can expect from leadership.
We continued quarterly surveys to measure and improve.
7. Design Management Practice
As part of our focus on psychological safety, I led a follow-up survey of the broad design team
to identify ways that the leadership team could better support psychological safety.
I analyzed the written comments and identified themes that led to a general framework for
how our design managers would practice psychological safety within their teams.
We worked through this practice and made the commitments shown in the adjacent slide and video to
the entire design team.
8. Design Hiring Practice
Throughout my time at VMware, I was defining our design hiring practice. From identifying
key candidates, to training our recruiters on what to look for in applicants, to defining
our interviewing process, I was leading the way and setting our standards.
I outlined our interviewing criteria for screening of product designers, architects, and
managers. I defined sketching exercises, our portfolio review methodology (see Medium article),
and our process for running onsite and remote interviews.
9. Design Career Framework
As our design team grew, it was important to define career levels for designers
and design managers. This was important for hiring at the right level and for
giving designers clear guidance on how to advance their careers. I was not the
primary author of our design career framework, but contributed as a reviewer and
tied the framework to our hiring and interviewing practices. I also produced the
adjacent diagram showing the expected level of product impact for designers
as they advance in career levels.
10. Executive Team Influence
Regularly briefed CEO Pat Gelsinger and his executive staff on design strategy.
After first briefing, Pat asked how we can do more to make VMware a world-class design company
and funded a big increase in design hiring, growing design from 30 designers to over 150.
At 2018 briefing, I presented an end-to-end design story for VMware Cloud that received
applause and set the company strategy for integrated solutions.
The end-to-end design story format became the gold standard for
presenting product concepts at VMware.