Stefanus Sunarja is the Design Operations Lead at N26, Europe's first mobile bank, headquartered in Berlin. He is introducing a relatively young design discipline known as Design Operations in a fast-growing fintech scale-up, which can be quite challenging. Design Operations is instrumental in scaling design teams with more efficiency. As companies like N26 mature fast and highly invest in design, they need to operationalise workflow, hiring, alignment between teams, and more, so designers can focus on design work while someone else takes care of the rest. Creating these centralised services and systems helps grow integrated, high-functioning teams at N26. Therefore, some of Stefanus' areas of responsibilities include infrastructure management, process improvement, community engagement, and knowledge distribution.
Before joining N26, Stefanus supported product teams through UX architecture and design operations for a renowned market insights platform, helping some of the world's biggest consumer brands run insights-driven business. He also worked as an independent designer, helping organisations in Germany and Indonesia build user-centred solutions that meet their business goals.
Stefanus hails from the Indonesian island famous for its coffee beans and programming language; Java. Plying his trade as a software engineer before turning to product design and, subsequently, design operations, he spent the past 8 years building digital products for users in various industries such as automotive and consumer goods. He holds an M.Sc. in Communication and Media Engineering from Offenburg University of Applied Sciences and a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham.
'Building a support system that helps and delivers'
Have you ever felt lonely at work? The kind of loneliness that might be amplified by the suffocating imposter syndrome or the overwhelming feeling of being stretched too thin. We all would benefit from having a group of people - peers, team members, colleagues, and others - to help share the load and deliver the results within our role as design professionals. But how to find and build the right allies around you? The restrictions that we've seen this past pandemic year might have made it even more challenging to find and maintain that group of people. How might we stay aligned and support each other in the best way possible?
As a DesignOps practitioner, Stefanus shares his story about being in a newly-formed team of one at a fast-paced start-up. He shares some learnings on how he identifies and connects with people from different parts of the organisation, building a network that offers him emotional and professional support. From running better meetings to setting up structured onboarding programs, you will learn how to map individual shortcomings to collective opportunity areas.