October 18, 2018

Week 1

It’s been all about the reorg this week, following up on the announcement to the business and spending time talking to everyone about the changes to the team and its structure. The big changes to how we work have been:

  • Stopping talking about a design team with its own vision and goals for Farfetch, we’re not an internal agency we’re designers who share common practice and work within multidisciplinary teams.
  • Clarifying the role of design leadership into two different domains, product design and design practice. Product design is responsible for what we do as designers in teams, and design practice is responsible for how we do it.
  • Getting as far away from the idea of projects and briefs as we can - these are loaded terms that set a mindset around deliverables and hand-overs. Our teams work together on missions.

I’ve lost count of the number of times this week that I’ve reminded everyone that reorganising the team is the easy part, now we have to support the team to move forward, working differently. So I’m now going to start pushing on how we work. Spoke to some of the other Directors and Heads about the importance of getting our teams’ missions clearly defined, and making sure there’s total clarity in them - the Practice Manager and I are picking that up and will be going out to the area teams next week with a proposal for how we can do this.

Team wise, I’m grumpy about the lack of ability to hire the people I need to support our designers in their teams, but I understand the context and can work within it for the time being. We just don’t have enough people managers, so that’s a huge worry. We also have a glaring hole in one of the area’s leadership team, which needs a design leader.

I’ve spoken with the HR Director and been totally frank about needing her help with some longstanding morale problems - we’re turning this around but it’s slow going. She’s also going to bring forward the promotions cycle with our team so we can make sure that we’re recognising our talent and fending off Facebook’s fairly aggressive courting.

I finished the week off with a couple of draft ideas about the process for building out our next quarter’s roadmap of missions, and a template for describing those candidate missions.

Missions team structures

Next post
Week 2 Great week. Lots of fun stuff happening now we’ve moved past the initial reorg and are now starting to get into the real challenge: how do we want