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Kristin Skinner

Kristin Skinner is a design executive and recognized thought leader in design management and operations. She is co-author of Org Design for Design Orgs: Building and Managing In-House Design Teams, the first book dedicated to the organization, management, and operations of in-house design teams. A frequent conference keynoter and workshop leader, Kristin co-created and co-curates the DesignOps Summit series—the foremost design operations event—and has curated the Leading Experience conference. Her executive experience includes senior design leadership roles at Chase, Capital One, Adaptive Path, and Microsoft.

Kristin Skinner

About the talk

Leading through change

As companies of all sizes continue to accelerate building design capabilities, there is still very little common wisdom on what makes for a successful design organisation. While a focus on process, methods, tools, and outcomes is essential for credibility and traction, there is still a significant gap of knowledge when it comes to organisational and operational matters. So what are the most common issues - limited time and resources, involving the right people and teams, lack of proven value - which often have an impact on designer happiness and design team success. If we are to truly focus on the pillars of People, Practice and Platform, essentials for design orgs, then we need to champion the programs that support the desired outcomes for each pillar: happier designers, better designers, and more effective teams.

About the workshop

Design Management and Operations: Enabling the health and effectiveness of your design organization

Design has become the key link between customers and today’s complex and rapidly evolving digital experiences. As a result, companies are building in-house digital/experience design teams at unprecedented rates yet many don’t understand how to get the most out of their investment. Further, as companies move quickly to establish in-house design teams, it turns out there’s very little common wisdom on what makes for a successful design organization. This workshop focuses on the key elements of people, practice, and platforms to enable happier designers, better designers, and more effective teams.
Who is this workshop for:This workshop is for design, research, content, and design program management (designops) leaders who are establishing or re-imagining their practices in their organisations, and best suited for in-house design teams. Structured as a facilitated conversation, the session will be light on presentation, with activities to foster discussion.
Takeaways:We'll focus on creating a playbook to address the operational and managerial challenges of running a design team and organization using the pillars


  • Why design’s role has evolved in the digital age
  • The 12 qualities of effective design organisations
  • How to structure your design team through a Centralized Partnership
  • Design team roles and evolution
  • When and how to establish a Design Management (DesignOps) practice in your organization
  • A framework for measurement

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