Design plan and design brief of British Telecom

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Design plan and design brief of British Telecom

Group Assignment: Write a Design plan and design brief of British Telecom (according to Case Study 3).

 My part: Background and Design Plan. Don’t do design briefs at all.

 Write Background: around 200 words – Write Design Plan: around 400 words

Read this file – Jerrard, R., Hands, D., & Ingram, J. (2002). Design management case studies. London: Routledge. – CASE STUDY 3- The effectiveness of Design Management communication in British TelecomPages 57-94. Highlighted points and conclusion must be reviewed.


Background: According to the research and analysis performed in the past weeks on the management and integration of design within an organisation, and according to the theory studied in this unit (Case Study 3), identify design related interventions/improvements that the company could need.

For example:

  • is there a specific aspect that needs to be audited for the organisation to learn more about possible improvements regarding design management? (you may refer to the audit proposed in the Group Video 1).
  • are the company’s touchpoints evidencing shortcomings for adequate integration of design?
  • Is there a lack of specific design management and leadership processes?

more specific info about BT’s handling of design management/design leadership

What then would you say the company needs to work on to improve its strategic use of design?

Activity (only 1st):

  1. Write a design plan for the actions you think the company should take to address the identified voids.
  2. Select two of the actions in the design plan and write briefs for them, as if your team were proposing to do the work as consultants. (Don’t write on it)

Use as a guide the theory in these weeks’ readings and lectures. no word limit. Be sensible.

See some good examples from previous years’ design audit & strategy documents (just to understand, not exact format like any of these):

Pages from AHPRA 2018.pdf

Pages from DIXON APPOINTMENTS design management 2017.pdf

Pages from LIQUORICE design management 2017.pdf

Pages from MYOB 2018.

Some Notes:


Investigating design in British Telecom

Using Turner’s Milestones in Design Management audit, we assessed BT’s process for design management and leadership, what might be done to maximize its design potential.

Turner suggests some great ideas for how an organisation might move beyond Design in Place. BT should:

  • Give their design management function a central position in the company
  • Get commitment from the top of the food chain that design is important
  • Get someone to lead design as a standalone but integrated part of the org, separate from any one function.
  • Sufficient budget and supporting policy might also help!
  • So BT had some good and some not so good Design Management processes in place, but were completely missing anything we could call Design Leadership.
  • Get visual Training for design awareness

20 years later, it looks like BT has now achieved a more sophisticated and integrated approach to design management and leadership.

While BT have achieved some of the criteria to meet Design in Place, such as design management structures, roles and responsibilities in their Corporate Design Unit  they remain stuck there because they have not yet addressed: Designer selection processes, Design Strategy and, eventually, Design Plan stages

  1. It would be interesting to audit Design Management at BT now to gain a deeper understanding of the role design management and leadership play at the company in present days.
  2. how BT’s strategy is aligned with design now

Communication with users

Lack of design leadership

Lack of precise decision making,

Lack of understanding the value of design

Design strategy (?)

Our recommendations aim to achieve:

  • Embed design governance throughout BT.
  • Sharpened competitiveness and increased differentiation of BT in wider market place as the ultimate design-centric organisation.

Creating an Effective Action Plan

  • Choose an appropriate goal and clearly define your objective. …
  • Use a team to create your action plan. …
  • Choose action steps that are concrete, measurable and attainable. …
  • Identify who is responsible for each action step and who will be supporting them.