What is the role of design management in Sri Lanka’s design market?1. IntroductionDesign management is not a very easy term to define just like it is hard to define design or management as separate entities. We can define design at its most simple definition that of a practical way to solve problems. This has a scope from industrial design to service design – designers build products and/or services to solve user and customer problems.Management, in any activity, is the behavior of working with people and processes to achieve specific tasks in the best possible way. It also has a scope from planning, organizing, controlling, staffing and to directing people and processes.According to the SASD Design Management brochure: “Design represents a valuable asset. It represents the tools to solve problems and innovate. The ability to understand, optimize, and steer that asset is vital to an organization’s success… Design management is profitable. Designers are becoming crucial members of the business landscape. The field of Design Management encompasses every discipline of design.1.1. These are the main facets of design and management:2. Leadership Working; with teams and directing design towards a winning idea.3. Strategy Developing; concepts and design factors that line up with an organization’s focus plan of action.4. Marketing Understanding; product and package design, promotion, and branding and media handling.5. Operations identifying; understanding, and shaping best possible operational practices.6. Finance envisioning annual reports, cash flow statements, and balance sheets.7. Legal protecting an organization’s intellectual property like trademarks, copyrights, and patents.Design management plays a big role when linking innovations, technology and management with customers to provide the unique selling propositions in design and to provide a competitive advantage across the market.1.2. Expectations of design management2. Design management is profitable3. To enhance combination and synergy between design and business to improve design effectiveness.4. To be the driver of organizational success.5. To consolidate thinking and services.6. Sustainability in the production and management of design services.7. Give the best experience with social responsibility.2. Design management as a careerEntry-level design management professionals have the opportunity to work as marketing assistants, production assistants and project management assistants. More experienced design management professionals have the opportunity to seek employment as brand strategists, advertising executives, product developers, project managers, marketing managers and business directors.2.1. Required EducationEducational requirements depend according to the direction of job; anyway, most job offers prefer design management professionals to have bachelor’s degrees in design management or a related field, like business, management or design. In addition to that, there are various other degree options in design management like strategic marketing, intellectual property law and financial reporting, and analysis.2.2. Skills RequiredExceptional leadership and communication skills should be the main skill for the professional design mangers. The individual should be results-driven and adept at problem solving; negotiation skills may also be helpful. Computer skills are a necessity in the design management industry. Additionally, the ability to communicate in more than one language would be an advantage. 3. Design management in practiceThe remit of design managers is evolving constantly. Conventionally, design management was restricted to the design activities mainly related to the products and services, and the applied side primarily focused on work within the design department and other units, and on managing its design suppliers. The current perspective of design management encompasses a wide range of goals across range of purposes and organizational units. Increasingly, design management is being practiced also outside the design domain itself, such as in marketing, product, brand, and innovation management, and there is new demand for it from fields that lie beyond the traditional corporate world, such as specialized consulting or strategy agencies and Public-sector organizations.3.1. Need of Practice Design managers aren’t just involved with the needs of design – they’re also involved with the larger needs of the business as this cartoon shows.Reference; Author/Copyright holder: Wiki4des. Copyright terms and license: CC BY-SA 3.0 3.2. Why Does Design Management Matter?Design management matters because, most of the companies not committed in simple reselling business, design overtures the best possible unique selling for a company to launch and differentiate itself from other competitor brands.Design management gives the opportunity to organizations to develop and manage their design process and enhance:Their internal business processes – reducing the waste and carelessness in processes may not be visible to the organization’s clients but it will be definitely good to the organization in terms of reduced expenses.Organization’s understanding and growth arch – design knowledge can be applied to learning and development too, thus spotlight is brought to strategic assimilation and the nature of employees on the ground.Customer and brand link – design as applied to brand assures strategic positioning and market differentiation in customer’s eyes.Finances – design attempts should either boost sales or cut costs to show strategic value and measurable value for the business and its organization.4. Design management in Sri Lanka4.1. Design marketWhen considering the Sri Lankan design market there are few ups and downs regarding its design value but still have a good growth in fashion design industry, graphic and communication design industry and mainly the craft based product design industries.Sri Lanka has a sounding long history that relates to sustainable designs especially in fields like craft based design and fashion like weaving, leather, beeralu and gem and jewelry. With its award-winning fashion manufacturing industry and craft industries, that pioneered green factories and campaigned under ‘Garments without guilt’ free of child labor and adverse working conditions, Sri Lanka is now waited to become part of the design Revolution in the country. The design educators provide a generation of international standard fashion and graphic design graduates for Sri Lanka, to uphold the new design ventures in Sri Lanka. In the communication design industry it is being more oriented towards global agencies like TBW, Leo Burnett and etc. but there are some local creative agencies as well in the competitive level. 4.2. Current role4.2.1. Operational level design management Most of the Sri Lankan design companies are engage with the Operational level design management, this is the “doing” of design and is attached with managing projects and design teams that deliver on the organizational strategy. Good managers will be able to adjudge performance in terms of project outcomes. Common job titles for design managers are: operations design manager, design team lead, creative head, art director, senior designer, etc.Ex; in most of the advertising agencies in Sri Lanka, there are creative heads for design project management as operational managers; Leo Burnett, TBWA, JWT 4.2.2. Tactical level design management When considering the fashion design industry; they use the tactical design management methods. This is the “planning” of design inside a business – dominating how tasks and design projects are regulated to achieve higher goals and aims, managing the talents and competency frameworks for design in a big company, creating high-level structures for cooperation or support of design, etc. Common job titles at this level include: brand design manager, tactical design manager, design director, etc.Ex; in most of the garment production companies, there are brand design managers to manage the core design and management elements within the company; MAS, Brandix, Hela Clothing… 4.2.3. Strategic level Design management This Strategic method more overly use in the design studios and design firms in Sri Lanka. This is the “direction” of design within a mainly design focused studio or a business – the ideation of how design will meet corporate tactics and the growth of the individual design strategy. Common job titles at this level include: design director, vice-president for design, chief design officer, etc.Ex; Colombo Design Studio, 3D concept Studio… 4.3. comparison between local and foreign design management rolesDesign Management is the management of design projects, team and processes and is an intricate subject area. Currently, companies and design business all over the world are increasingly looking for ways to employ the power of design in product innovation, in every day management processes, and in the creative development of their companies. When design effectively and creatively engages with business agendas, the results are of benefit to people, products, processes and organisational cultures as a whole.5. Conclusion Design management is both necessary and complex. Designers who want to enter design management will need to think about their objectives and where they want to direct their career long-term. It is not always easy to move from one type of management to another (whether sideways or up the ladder) and it’s better to position yourself early to be where you want to be. However, that doesn’t mean that a manager stuck in a role that they no longer enjoy should not pursue a change even if there are obstacles to achieving that change.