Design management encompasses the ongoing processes, business decisions, and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively-designed products, services, communications, environments, and brands that enhance our quality of life and provide organizational success.
Design management is a business discipline that uses project management, design, strategy, and supply chain techniques to control a creative process, support a culture of creativity, and build a structure and organization for design. The objective of design management is to develop and maintain a business environment in which an organization can achieve its strategic and mission goals through design, and by establishing and managing an efficient and effective system. Design management is a comprehensive activity at all levels of business (operational to strategic), from the discovery phase to the execution phase. "Simply put, design management is the business side of design. Design management encompasses the ongoing processes, business decisions, and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively-designed products, services, communications, environments, and brands that enhance our quality of life and provide organizational success." The discipline of design management overlaps with marketing management, operations management, and strategic management
Traditionally, design management was seen as limited to the management of design projects, but over time, it evolved to include other aspects of an organization at the functional and strategic level. A more recent debate concerns the integration of design thinking into strategic management as a cross-disciplinary and human-centered approach to management. This paradigm also focuses on a collaborative and iterative style of work and an abductive mode of inference, compared to practices associated with the more traditional management paradigm.
Over recent years, design has become a strategic asset in brand equity, differentiation, and product quality for many companies. More and more organizations apply design management to improve design-relevant activities and to better connect design with corporate strategy.
Design management is the effective deployment by line managers of the design resources available to an organization in the pursuance of its corporate objectives. It is therefore directly concerned with the organizational place of design, with the identification with specific design disciplines which are relevant to the resolution of key management issues, and with the training of managers to use design effectively.