Professional Practice Core Competencies


In 2017 SEGD surveyed 220 firm leaders to understand the importance of Core Competences in their studios. The full Skills Survey can be viewed here.81% said that understanding core EGD competences was important or extremely important to them. What the survey also revealed was that the firm leaders considered knowledge of professional practice competences as even more important than design competences as a professional moves from junior to mid to senior levels in their firms.

The following are the Professional Practice Core Competencies that designers need to learn in order to progress in their careers.

  1. Business and Project Management Skills

  2. Marketing and Business Development Skills

  3. Communication Skills

Business and project management skills are the number one priority for mid level and senior staff to develop. They are the most important skills leaders feel the studio as a whole must develop and they are the number one skill studio leaders think need to be learned to improve profitability and even for junior designers, they are the third most important skill set firm leaders are looking to develop!

For the Core Competence Design Skills please refer to the EGD Core Competencies and XGD Core Comptencies documents.

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1. Business and Project Management Skills


1.1 People Skills/Collaboration

  • Collaborative skills and tools
  • People management
  • Negotiation

1.2 Leadership Skills (among team, with clients and partners)

  • Motivating teams
  • Direction setting
  • Strategic thinking skills

1.3 Managing Contracts and Scope


> SEGD Podcasts covering contracts and scope


1.4 Managing Profitability and Fees


> SEGD Podcasts covering profitability and fees


1.5 Budgets and Estimates


> SEGD Podcasts covering budgets and estimates


1.6 Time Efficiency and Quality Control


> SEGD Podcasts covering time efficiency and quality control


1.7 Managing the Finances


> SEGD Podcasts covering managing the finances


2. Marketing and Business Development


2.1 Developing Client Relationships


2.2 Developing Opportunities


2.3 Consultative Selling


3. Communicating


3.1 Negotiating


3.2 Writing Proposals


3.3 Writing Content


3.4 Creating Client Presentations

Read more content about professional practice and connect with experts on the SEGD Business of Design page.

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