Alchemy was an internal product agency within P&G which strove to build better brand experiences through innovate technology, design, and development. I was hired in 2018 as the Head Of Design to build and improve processes, procedures, and practices while expanding the expertise and skill of the design team.
Promoting the Practice
Within a very large and very old corporation adaptation is a slow process. The task of educating and promoting the news ways of researching, creating, and building design solutions was one of my duties. Traditional approaches within the company focused on outsourcing to agencies, with oversight or direction assigned to brand managers (who usually had no specific training or understanding of either brands or design, let alone art direction). When the decision to experiment with an internal solutions group in Alchemy was made, so too was the difficult task of transforming the existing processes.
I wrote two articles which accompanied internal team "Lunch And Learns" to help educate and promote the practices of a product design team — from design to user research and testing, covering their purpose and execution.
Organizing A Team
Most product teams test, research, design, and develop around a singular product or entity. There might be many variations, features, or focuses of that product, but there is still a unified brand which everything rests. Within P&G this product is divided up between categories and brands. Each brand is a product (both the physically and digitally). Whereas any other digital product with millions of dollars in revenue would have huge teams devoted to maintaining, building, and growing, these islands rely on teams of no more than 5-10 people.
The goal of Alchemy was to act as an accelerant and collaborator to enhance and expand these brands. In order to that effectively we had to create pods of brand teams consisting of (at least) one Product Manager, a Frontend and Backend Developer, as well as a UX and UI Designer. My intended goal was to create a group — not just supporting brands, but effectively acting as an entity with access to all the resources and expertise of the individuals — at the disposal of any engaged brands.
I created a scalable process of promotions, communications, management, and methodologies to support a robust and collaborate team. Modernizing and efficiently distributing the roles and tasks to deliver the best possible solutions.