How would you build internal design capabilities?

I got this quote from another thread on here and I didn’t want to hijack it with my question. I was hired on a few years ago as the only industrial designer in the company. With a few wins under my belt and some lengthy work on design strategy, we’re at that stage of considering what’s next? So, how would you setup your department from a staffing perspective but also a capabilities (software/hardware) standpoint?

Like Yo’s comment above,I believe a balanced team is most successful as there’s a transfer of knowledge but also allows the senior individual to gain management experience. I’ve seen the intangible benefits as well with a team comprised of mixed backgrounds and experience. But is it the right mix for a large CPG with little history of industrial design?

One of the first things i would do is based on your experience before, created an outline of the following

  1. of the all the responsibilities and task that you accomplish on a day to day basis along.

  2. What functions do you see your dept perhaps able to preform in the future that you cant currently

  3. The tasks that you feel the department excels at with its current staffing (you)

  4. The tasks that you feel the department struggles with

  5. What tools you have that work great

  6. What tools that don’t work so well or you don’t have at all

This will help you to preform a gap analysis and determine what tools and skill sets you need. if you share this info with the group we may also be able to provide you better direction… i.e sr lvl designer with a strong focus on human factors vs a stylist…

Also I would also put together 3 plans. (ask if you have a budget to work with and see if expectations can be met.) I was at 1 company where they said they wanted me to hire 2 sr. (8years exp) and 1 staff(3yeaars experiance) they gave me a budget of 60,000 and thought that would also cover all the cost for caid tools as well…

  1. give me everything now and to hell with budget
  2. short term 6 months this is what we need now
  3. long term a goal to work towards