Courses · · 2 min read

Prioritizing at Scale for Design Leaders

A design leadership course to make and prioritize decisions that impact not just one product or service, but raise the quality bar for your products, people, and practice.

Prioritizing at Scale for Design Directors and Executives • Design Leadership Course


As a design leader, your goal is to scale the impact of design across the portfolio of work. You also know how difficult this work is.

You need a new approach.

Learn what it means to think and make decisions that impact not just one product or service but many, so you can set up your priorities and place your bets accordingly.

In this course, you’ll learn how to connect the long-term ambitions of your design team to prioritized, short-term tactics across the portfolio of products.

  • Prioritize Across Products
  • Use Single Actions for Multiple Benefits
  • Connect Tactics to Strategy
  • Develop People While Raising Quality

Who is this for?

All levels

Program goal

Use a multi-solving approach to deliberately (and quickly) look at the big picture to address multiple problems simultaneously with individual decisions or actions. Create a backlog of the things you’re expected or hoping to influence. Prioritize your next steps with four key actions. Connect your short and long-term priorities with Now-Next-Later strategy maps.

Topics Covered

The Four Focus Areas of a Team

The secret to prioritizing successfully as a leader lies in identifying the pain points only design and designers can address. Before you can prioritize, you must capture everything you’re trying to prioritize. This means looking across the span of work you’re expected to do and considering that work together; Partnerships, Production, People, and Practice.

Targets, Bets, and Initiatives

The whole point of measuring is to set targets, bets, and initiatives. When you have a measure, you can set a target (goal). Targets can be broken down into strategic bets, hypotheses that the organization believes can help achieve the goal. Once you have bets, you can determine which initiatives are best suited to help test your strategic bets.

The Four Actions Framework

Refashion your backlog by concentrating on four distinct actions—reduce, eliminate, raise, and create. Developed by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, these categories help you to challenge industry "best practices" to arrive at the best decisions for you and your teams.

Now, Next, Later Horizons

Created by Janna Bastow, Now-Next-Later roadmaps exist because timeline roadmaps aren’t effective, simple as that. Based on the actions you need to take, you’ll decide what you'll focus on now and explain how those priorities connect to what you’ll work on next and later.

Meet your Instructor

Ryan Rumsey

For 20+ years, Ryan worked as a designer and executive at Apple, Electronic Arts, USAA, Nestlé, and Comcast. He is also the author of Business Thinking for Designers.

Ryan spent 10+ years as the senior design leader charged with building and scaling design organizations.

For the last four years, Ryan has been teaching design executives, leaders, and teams as CEO of Second Wave Dive and lead instructor of CDO School.

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