Confession of a Design Team Leader at Tokopedia
Growing Design Team at Tokopedia is not about Passion and Patience. Then, what is it about?
Being a design leader doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing in mind – UI, UX, and anything you can ever think of sums up my day. Under the supervision of an awesome Head of Design Monika Halim, I will share my secrets to scale the team.
You couldn’t build a skyscraper before building a solid foundation.
1. Empathy is a must
Understanding problem, strong empathy and ability to connect with my team are indeed the keys to improve their personal development. I use SCARF model checklist by Dave Gray (Liminal Thinking) for evaluating trust among my team members and help them to feel safe and respected:
- Status: Does this person feel important, recognized, needed by others?
- Certainty: Does this person feel confident that they know what’s ahead, that they can predict the future with reasonable certainty?
- Autonomy: Does this person feel like they have control of their life, their work, their destiny?
- Relatedness: Does this person feel like they belong? Do they feel a sense of relatedness; do they trust the group to look after them?
- Fairness: Does this person feel like they are being treated fairly? Do they feel that the “rules of the game” give them a fair chance?
And during my journey, let me tell you the truth 😊
Tokopedia’s design team is very well-bonded, highly eager to learn and take up new challenges. The healthy and nurturing culture surprised me realizing that they strongly believe in the growth mentality. Overall, I am flattered to be surrounded by a bunch of smart beings.
But we will never be perfect & satisfied. Of course everyone has parts that need to be improved. Including me 😊.
2. G.R.O.W Characteristics
As a father of two, I notice that the experience of nurturing and growing the team is similar to parenting including its responsibility level.
From my experience in handling an ever growing team, I created a personal interpretation of the word “G.R.O.W” as an abbreviation and breakdown each meaning and characteristics as such:
- G (Genial): Cheerful and friendly; characterized by genius; agreeable; conductive to comfort; generative; productive.
- R (Rational): Exercising or having the ability to reason; sane; logically sound.
- O (Ownership): The mentality of people who want to see their company & team thrive, ensuring stability, profits and growth.
- W (Weighty): Having great influence or power; important; authoritative; persuasive.
The G.R.O.W characteristic is not about changing who we are, it’s about being impactful 🚀.
3. More Impactful
Although it requires passion and patience, building a product is indeed fun. However, building an impactful product requires good teamwork and a preliminary game plan.
As a product designer, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to be overly invested in the visuals and pixel perfection per se – we should constantly encourage ourselves to learn and build user-centered products. Business problems, user data and research should all be reasonable and validated because at the end of the day, it’s all about finding the sweet spot between them all.
In the end, the mindset and mentality of the team who want to see Tokopedia thrive, ensuring stability, profits and growth should be injected and implemented, regardless of the technologies, methods, techniques, and processes that we are using. In the end, who cares if we don’t make a good impact.
4. Collaborative Mindset
Collaboration is crucial. I prefer working with people who strive to be the best for the team, instead of being the best in the team. Since you are not the only one in your team, be a listener, open to feedback, work collaboratively, be smart FOR the team, and get the support of the stakeholders and other people involved in our project.
Let me share my tips and tricks to build a collaborative mindset:
- Shared Understanding: It consist of language, vision, project goals, understanding of our users, user journey and flow, other findings and deliverable.
- Inclusion: include everyone in the project as early as possible. Give them opportunities to contribute, share ideas, and own the project.
- Trust: it’s the most important thing. Respect everyone, trust everyone’s decisions, responsibilities, feedback, and their dreams.
The key is not only YOU or ME, but it’s US 💪 – please keep in mind that collaboration is the key to achieving better product & organisation.
5. Challenge the limits
For my beloved team 😘
Don’t be discouraged, let’s learn faster and move faster to deliver effectively!
And again, it’s not my challenge, it’s our challenge – let’s strive to become an impactful design team! 💪.
If you would like to read more insights from our Product Design Team, You can go ahead to medium.com/tokopedia-design