What and who is a Fractional Design Leader?
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A Fraction Design Leader (FDL) is a professional who provides leadership and management for design teams on a part-time or project basis. They typically have a strong background in design and a deep experience of the design process, as well as experience leading and managing teams.

Other topics we’ll briefly cover in this article:
— What you might expect from a leader?
— Whats the value and how can it help a company achieve its goals?
— Should they be more than a talking head?

What type of experience and credentials should they have?

Fractional design leadership (FDL) is on its way to becoming an increasingly desired option for companies of all sizes to add senior-level (part-time) support to accelerate their business and design function, without the overhead and long-term commitment of a full-time hire. You may have heard the term "fractional" used across other job roles specifically at the C-Suite level, we explain this further in our article Why does "fractional roles" sound familiar? But what exactly is fractional design leadership?

What You Might Expect From A Design Leader?

A fractional design leader will bring expertise in product strategy, UX/UI design, user research, design thinking and other design disciplines. The experienced practitioner will also have a proven track record of bringing multiple disciplines together to create an aligned team with a shared vision. They will be able to provide guidance on how to create a product strategy, develop feature sets that align with business objectives and user needs, establish and manage budget parameters, and ensure timely delivery of projects.

These leaders often come from backgrounds in both creative fields such as UX/UI design or branding as well as technical fields such as software engineering or product management. This combination of skills allows them to bridge gaps between disciplines, set clear expectations for deliverables, hold teams accountable for progress against milestones, and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

What value a Fractional Design Leader can bring to your organisation? (link article)

A suitable candidate offers startups and scale-up several unique benefits that are not available with other approaches. It provides senior-level experience and insight without requiring a long-term commitment or large overhead expenses. It also allows companies to bring on an experienced professional who can quickly identify weaknesses in process or team dynamics while offering advice on how they can be addressed efficiently and effectively.

Going beyond a talking head

These professionals should be considered beyond face value and a talking head; they have years of hands-on tacit experience in delivering high quality results in various settings and know how their respective disciplines come together for successful product and design development efforts. A quality that can be easily overlooked is if they are practitioners who understand the complexities of today’s modern products from both a creative and technical perspective.

What should I take away from this?

Fractional design leadership provides businesses with access to experienced professionals who have the expertise needed to drive innovation while also providing guidance on achieving business objectives within budget constraints.  If you’re looking for ways to make your brand, product and culture  stand out from the competition without breaking your budget or making long-term commitments, then consider hiring a fractional design leader. In our next article we talk about ‘What are the benefits of a fractional leader” and how they provide a vast array of visible and invisible value.

What and who is a Fractional Design Leader?
Fractional Design Leader