Recently, I was speaking to my client who was evaluating options for design services -he was planning their annual report. During the conversation, he mentioned the words ‘selection process’ several times and alluded to the difficulty in making all design houses and agencies to agree to a common method of evaluation. He thought that designers’ individuality and ego were the culprits.
I asked him some questions (his answers in brackets)
-how often do you need to use this method? (once a year; I am doing it for the first time)
-when was this process established?(I decided on this process last week) how many times has it been used? (never)
-do you expect repeatable output (design) of the process ? (how can design be repeatable? -he was sensible!)
-is the process of actual design defined? standardized? (no, no)
I told him that the word ‘process’ is causing confusion. In the strictest sense of the word a process and other processes connected with it must be standardized to produce repeatable outcome.
For something like ‘design’, you may have a general sequence of steps with workarounds or iterations. That can hardly be called a process with strict norms. Such kind of work often requires that someone takes a call without waiting for all information and standardization.
Indeed, such situations can also arise in deciding on features of a new product.
A leader’s role is to take a call and not hide behind questionable processes.