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vol 7 no 2 | august 2015

In-house Service Design

10 ENABLING A CULTURE OF INNOVATION by Carolina Garzon Mrad, Matthew Vandertuyn, Katy

Mahraj 46 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Jamin Hegeman, Patrick Quattlebaum 56 SO WHAT DID YOU SAY SERVICE DESIGN IS? by Paula Bello

the journal of service design

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Touchpoint Volume 7 No. 2 August 2015 The Journal of Service Design ISSN 1868-6052

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Published by Service Design Network

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Editor-in-Chief Jesse Grimes

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Editorial Board Geke van Dijk Jesse Grimes Ulrik Hogrebe Christina Lindeberg Birgit Mager David Ruiz Project Management Hanka Meves-Fricke Cristine Lanzoni Art Direction Miriam Becker Jeannette Weber Cover Picture James Godman/LuckyPix/ Corbis Picture p. 14 – p. 15 MPower. / Picture p. 70 – p. 71 mosaiko. / Illustration p. 40 and p. 76 Irina Polubesov

Service Design Network gGmbH Mülheimer Freiheit 56 D-51063 Köln Germany Contact & Advertising Sales Cristine Lanzoni For ordering Touchpoint, please visit read/touchpoint


In-house Service Design

Shortly before the SDN’s Global Conference in late 2014, news broke that Capital One was to acquire Adaptive Path. It was a hot topic during coffee breaks in our Stockholm venue, and within the wider worlds of service design and UX design. How could a pioneering and long-established agency be taken over by a client? What did this portend for the future of agencies as a whole? The Adaptive Path takeover was not a one-off; both Fjord and Lunar found themselves under the umbrellas of much larger consultancies - Accenture and McKinsey respectively. On one hand, the desire by clients and larger consultancies to bring in design expertise can be seen as a positive: It demonstrates the value they place on good design. Yet on the other hand, it’s a risk. What happens to creativity and innovation once an agency stops functioning independently? And will independent agencies suffer if their work starts being done in-house by clients themselves? In this issue of Touchpoint, we examine this issue closely, with fascinating insights from all fronts. Adaptive Path’s Jamin Hegeman and Patrick Quattlebaum give their view on what it’s like to work on the inside after that famous takeover (page 46). And both Paula Bello (page 56) and Reka Barath (page 62) share their learnings on building in-house service design capabilities organically. The theme of this issue also resonates with me personally. Despite being employed by an agency for the past seven years, I’m currently 18 months into a long-term client engagement with one of Holland’s largest banks. In that time, the in-house service design department in which I work has grown from nothing to nine people. For me, it’s clear evidence of the demand for service design. Is in-house work as challenging and fast-paced as my traditional agency projects? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And do I think the world of service design will continue to see more takeovers, and more growth of in-house capabilities on the client side? That’s an easy answer: Certainly.

Jesse Grimes for the editorial board

Geke van Dijk is the strategy director of STBY in London and Amsterdam. She is co-initiator of the REACH network for Global Design Research, and also chair of the Service Design Network Netherlands. Jesse Grimes, Editor-in-Chief for Touchpoint, has fourteen years experience as an interaction designer and consultant, specialising in service design. He has worked in London, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf and Sydney and is now based in Amsterdam with Dutch agency Informaat. Ulrik Hogrebe is a creative director for BBC News and World Service. Ulrik and his team work closely with colleagues in product development and editorial to deliver new news experiences across BBC News' responsive web portfolio. Christina Lindeberg has worked within a variety of organisations using design thinking and service design methods to help public- and private-sector clients achieve their objectives. Christina is also one of the founders of the SDN UK chapter. Birgit Mager, publisher of Touchpoint, is professor for service design at Köln International School of Design (KISD), Cologne, Germany. She is founder and director of sedes research at KISD and is cofounder and president of the Service Design Network. David Ruiz is lead designer at Orange tasked with designing innovative services for the B2B and B2B2C markets. He has a wide international experience in regulatory affairs, large customer account management & innovative project leadership.

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16 2








Long Live The Service Design Agency Kerry Bodine


10 Enabling a Culture

of Innovation Carolina Garzon Mrad, Matthew Vandertuyn, Katy Mahraj 4

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Breaking the Ice with In-house Service Design Teresa Mang, Werner Fischl, Stefan Marlovits

20 Seven Stages to a Design-

Based Innovation Culture Aviv Katz 26 The Bridge between

In-house and Consultancy Victor Stelmasuk, Elizabeth LeBlanc 30 Finding New Growth

Opportunities via Customer Centricity Taina Mäkijärvi

34 Embedding Service Design

for Social Innovation Paola Pierri, Jake Garber 40 Both Sides of the Story

Rit Mishra 42 Innovating from the

Inside Out Simon Penny 46 Through the Looking Glass

Jamin Hegeman, Patrick Quattlebaum


76 56 52 Making Sense of Service

Design with Internal Stakeholders Alisan Atvur, Katrine Rau, Byron Wilson 56 So What Did You Say Service

Design Is? Paula Bello PROFILES

62 How Do You Make a Tie

from Post-its? Reka Barath


76 Interview with

Haruo Oba

72 Understanding the Jobs that 64 Co-Creating the Future as

Partners, Not Competitors Kristin Pardue 66 From Zero to Hero

Daniela Bayerle, Michael Wend

Your Service is Hired for Hannes Jentsch, Martin Jordan 74 Introducing the

Engagement Toolkit Ritika Mathur, Terri Haswell


78 New Chapter in Taiwan 78 Businesses Getting Active:

A New Business Meet-up in Service Design Touchpoint 7-2



Register for SDCG2015 on the conference website:


Starting this year, service design consultancies and companies carrying out service design activities inhouse will have the opportunity to submit their work to win a Service Design Award. The Service Design Award aims to provide a clear benchmark for clients and consultants to better understand, judge and value service design projects and the competence and quality of people and organisations working in the field of service design. The Service Design Award is organised by the Service Design Network and consists of three main categories: Commercial; Non-profit/ Public sector; and Methodology. A jury of internationally recognised service design professionals and client company representatives will


This year, the Service Design Global Conference will welcome 550+ service designers, innovators, academic representatives, students and business leaders from across the globe to convene in the heart of New York City. The 8th Service Design Global Conference will be hosted by Parsons – The New School and will offer the perfect place for professionals, corporations and students to engage, contribute and build up professional networks in the evolving field of service design. The conference will take place on 2-3 October 2015 and, over those two intense days, a line-up of 40 renowned speakers will take the stage to share their findings and experiences from service design work across a wide range of sectors and international brands.

SDGC15 attendees can also take part in many workshops and break-out sessions, as well as the conference reception at The Wooly and the Student Day, whose topic will be Financial Services. SDN members receive a discount on the Service Design Global Conference ticket (to access the Member’s code, log into the SDN account) and will enjoy exclusive activities on Members’ Day, 1st October 2015, which includes the Members’ Reception hosted by Fjord in their lovely new office. Conference partners and sponsors are: Parsons – The New School as host, Citibank, Diagonal, Fjord and Smart. We invite the service design community to join us in taking the next step on our journey to value.


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judge the work entered according to key judging criteria: Cause and effect; Clarity of results; Scale of effect; and Clarity of presentation. The call for entries for this year Award started in May and was closed in July 2015. Winners will be announced and showcased at the 2015 Service Design Global Conference (SDGC15), in New York City. Winning work will also receive special coverage within Touchpoint.


The Service Design Network is thrilled to announce that Taiwan SDN National Chapter will host their first Service Design National Conference in October. Make a note of the date and be part of this unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and to connect with the service design community at a national level.

Learn more at:


The Service Design Network’s UK Chapter now offers small grant funding to support motivated individuals and groups in conducting activities that advance the field of service design within the UK. The new scheme was launched in London at the first SDN UK event of 2015. The SDN UK Micro-fund is there to enable events, toolkits or publications: in fact, any activity that helps to facilitate, curate and create the service design sector any where in the United Kingdom. First round applications have closed in late July 2015. Applications that have met the criteria are being submitted for assessment by a panel of respected industry professionals. Activities funded in the current round

should be likely to reach completion by February 2016. For news when the selected applications are announced, and for information on further rounds of the funding scheme, visit:

Taiwan Service Design National Conference 2015 With the theme ‘Service Design for Social Impact in Asia’, the Taiwanese SDNC will take place in Taipei on the 23rd of October 2015. The call for contributions will open in August. Visit our website to keep updated about Chapter’s Events: category/chapters-events sdn-uk-micro-fund or follow

@sdn_uk on Twitter.

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Long Live the Service Design Agency Get ready for change – not extinction

For decades, designers have lamented that the business world didn’t understand or respect design. We howled didn’t have ‘a seat at the table’. We wondered when – or if – the tide would turn. We needn’t wonder any longer. Business-focused media outlets like Business Week, Forbes, Harvard Business Review and even The Wall Street Journal regularly publish articles about design thinking. IBM has built the largest internal design team on the planet and, of course, we’ve seen tech giants, management consulting firms and even financial services companies gobbling up UX and service design firms. Now, in the wake of businesses catching on to the power of design, we’ve moved on to lamenting the resulting – and inevitable – shift in the design industry landscape. Over the past several years, designers and reporters have produced panicstricken headlines like ‘The Rapidly Disappearing Business of Design’, ‘The Timely Death of the Imperious Global Design Agency’, and ‘Silicon Valley Killed the Design Agency’. But thinking that we’ve seen the last of service design agencies is like thinking that we’d seen the last 8

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of startups when the first dot-com market collapsed in 2001. Service design agencies are here to stay. Here’s why: Money isn’t everything It’s true that in certain markets (like Silicon Valley), service design agencies have a tough time competing for talent. Tech companies like Facebook and Google can pay salaries that are multiples of what a services-based company can afford, and that’s before you throw in stock options and perks like free meals and gym memberships. For many job candidates, that kind of money is tough to turn down. But, believe it or not, there are service designers that simply don’t want to work for Google or Facebook because – gasp! – they don’t find those services particularly interesting. Others just prefer to work for smaller organisations. Not everyone wants to sell Don’t think for a minute that today’s

independent service design agencies are still independent because they haven’t had a line of suitors a mile long. Rather, they’ve stayed independent because they want to have control of the type of work they do, the way they operate, the way they spend money and the physical and cultural environment in which they work. Acquisitions don’t trap employees Here’s a dirty little secret of Silicon Valley: many seemingly high profile acquisitions have very little financial upside for employees of the company being acquired. Tech Giant Corp, for example, might purchase Famous Little Startup because the startup is (secretly) about to go broke and the Valley’s high-profile investors want to help each other save face. So Tech Giant Corp absorbs the start up’s employees without any equity payout and quietly kills the product or service they’ve been working on for years. Service design agency acquisitions can happen in a similar way: rewarding a few top agency leaders while leaving the bulk of employees hanging high and dry. Over the past few years, several newly acquired agency employees have told me that they have no significant financial


motivation to stay and work for their new employers. So what’s stopping these employees from leaving and then joining or starting another independent agency? Not much at all. Cross-industry pollination drives service innovation Many designers love working in agencies because they just don’t want to work in one industry or on one type of problem for years on end. But such project variety benefits clients as well as agency employees. Sure, there are still some clients who say, “Oh, you don’t have previous experience designing motorcycles for dogs? Then I don’t think you can help us”. But as companies catch on to value of design, more and more have started to realise that ideas and emerging practices from other industries can actually help them leapfrog their competitors. Outside agencies are naturally positioned to provide this cross-industry viewpoint. Outsiders seem smarter The design industry alarmists argue that growing internal design teams will obviate the need (and budgets) for external agencies. I disagree. The field of consulting was born because companies either couldn’t perform a certain task in-house or didn’t trust that their employees could do the best work. Today, the perception that outside consultants have better/smarter/cooler ideas still holds strong at organisations around the globe, and these companies will continue to turn to outside agencies

for some percentage of their overall design work. There will always be laggards. The list of companies taking leadership positions by tapping into the power of design is growing, but it’s still minuscule compared to the number of companies that exist in the world. In the decades to come, we’ll see additional waves of companies waking up and seeking to hire, acquire or outsource service design. This will create abundant work for in-house designers and agencies alike. Kerry’s take: we need to design the service design firm of the future It’s naïve to assume that design agencies can only be on the receiving end of acquisitions. Just as tech companies, management consultancies and big brands have begun to rethink their business strategies within the context of design, service design firms that want to remain essential to clients must rethink their offerings. For example, the brand strategy and design agency Prophet recently acquired analyst firm Altimeter Research, founded by my former Forrester colleague, Charlene Li, in order to better help senior executives “… understand and act on digital as a transformative force in their business”. Service design agencies need to follow suit. Let’s turn our collective talents on ourselves and design a service design agency platform that will remain viable – and profitable – for decades to come.

Kerry Bodine is a customer experience expert and the co-author of Outside In. Her research, analysis and opinions appear frequently on sites such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company. Follow Kerry on Twitter at @kerrybodine.

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Enabling a Culture of Innovation Designers must share the design process Traditionally, design consultants have been viewed as experts who meet needs beyond their clients’ skill set. Time, budget, and predefined deliverables drive the designer-client relationship. In the end, the designer presents a recommendation and the job is complete. When a new need arises, the consultant returns. This approach results in design dependence.

Carolina Garzon Mrad is an experience designer at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. Matthew Vandertuyn is an experience designer at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. Katy Mahraj is an innovation manager at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation.

What a savvy business model, right? The answer depends on how designers view their role and the opportunity they have to impact some of society’s most ‘wicked’ problems. Such problems are not easily solved through short-term, expert-driven engagements, but instead require longterm organisational and cultural change. Embedded design groups such as ours at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation1 are positioned to transform the way organisations deliver services and capture value. Founded in 2012, the centre facilitates the rapid, disciplined development, testing and implementation of new strategies to reimagine health care delivery for dramatically better value and patient outcomes. We define innovation as the ability to capture value from an idea and 1 ”Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation.“ Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. Web. 13 May 2015.

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believe that the best way to make big improvements to health and health care delivery is to experiment quickly at low cost, only scaling once we find high impact solutions. Our multidisciplinary team consists of 20 people: four designers and 16 clinicians, researchers, developers, data analysts and project managers. Through our work, we have identified three key value adds an embedded design group can provide. First, testing ideas through rapid experimentation; second, shifting the paradigm from ownership to enablement; and third, building capacity for innovation. We believe these benefits can be realised across industries. Move fast and learn by doing Embedded design groups are uniquely positioned to define problems, test interventions, and identify and build support for effective solutions. As members of an organisation, embedded design groups possess a deeper understanding of the

C RO S S - D I S C I P L I N E

We use and teach the ‘double diamond’ approach on projects with partners across the organisation.

context in which problems occur and an ability to identify and engage key stakeholders more rapidly. As members of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), we already have, or can gain access more quickly, to tools such as clinical information systems and data and certification on policies such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) required to begin a project. After that, we are on the ground talking to end users in a matter of days or sometimes hours. Working closely with our stakeholders, we rapidly design and implement experiments to determine whether a solution is feasible and effective. On the whole, the level of access we possess as members of our organisation makes it possible for us to test different approaches to a problem and to pivot early and often based on our learnings. A project that showcases this benefit is our concierge referral service that provides one-stop support to doctors who are referring patients to Penn Medicine and to the patients who are traveling to Philadelphia for care. We were able to prototype this service in less than two weeks, not only as a resource for patients and doctors, but also as a learning tool that allows us to capture and explore the needs of patients and doctors. In six weeks,

we will iterate on the service based on our findings as we craft a sustainable, scalable solution. From ownership to enablement Approaching projects through a traditional framework of ownership means that the designer controls the knowledge, decision-making and direction within the engagement. The client provides inputs and is consulted during the project, often in creative and collaborative ways. However, the client and the designer are separate and distinct. Through an ownership-driven model, we limit our potential to the particular goal that the engagement is targeted to achieve. In other words, we limit our impact as designers. A model of enablement means blurring the lines between client and designer and sharing ownership of knowledge and direction with other stakeholders. It means building stakeholders’ design skills and engaging with them as fellow designers. An embedded design group, as a member of an organisation tied to its success, has the right incentive structure to motivate this paradigm shift. In practical terms, we have initiated this paradigm shift through our Innovation Grant Program that awards funding of up to $75,000 and dedicated time from our Touchpoint 7-2


staff for six months to employees across the health system. Applicants who are awarded a grant work sideby-side with us to transform ideas into action using an approach based on the ‘double diamond’2, which combines divergent and convergent thinking in both defining the problem and testing solutions. Designers serve as expert guides for the process, but do not own the process. Recently, we partnered with an attending physician, fellow and nurse to develop and test a remote blood pressure-monitoring program. Through numerous working sessions, we co-developed a problem statement, metric and initial solution to test. In just a few months, we tested seven versions of the solution, coming together regularly to reflect on findings and develop the next iteration. Through this collaboration, our team dramatically improved the data available to physicians, allowing them to catch problems early and reduce negative outcomes for patients. Prior to the intervention, 0% of new mothers monitored for high blood pressure postpartum had known blood pressures on five of seven days in the first week post-discharge. In our intervention of 32 women, 69% of participants had this data known by a doctor. Among our intervention group, we had no readmissions in the first seven days post-discharge versus an average readmission rate of 5% among monitored women pre-intervention.

For the post-partum blood pressure monitoring pilot, doctors and patients communicated about blood pressure management via text message. New mothers were given electronic blood pressure cuffs before they left the hospital and texted their blood pressure results to a doctor twice a day.

Enable a culture of innovation Getting people to think differently about how they work does not happen overnight. It does not happen because the CEO tells everyone to do things in a new way. It does not happen when a lone nurse tries to change health care practice, nor does it happen when a design consultant speaks at an event – no matter how novel or inspiring their talk may be. Organisational transformation is about culture. And, cultural change is influenced by many factors over time. From top to bottom, employees need the knowledge, skills and motivation to change. 2 ”The Design Process: What Is the Double Diamond?“ Design Council. Web. 13 May 2015.

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C RO S S - D I S C I P L I N E

Each project team can have members with different backgrounds working in and outside the centre.

One of the ways we support cultural change at Penn Medicine is through our Innovation Fellows Program. The Fellows Program engages managers, physicians, nurses, administrative and other staff across the organisation in project-based training where participants learn and apply design principles to real life problems. In the past year, we have engaged 31 participants from eight different departments working on 13 different projects. Participants have access to resources and on-going advisement from centre staff to accelerate their work and to build skills. Most importantly, participants are celebrated publicly, receiving recognition from senior leadership for their efforts and for their approach to problem solving, as well as outcomes. This recognition is just as important as the training because it sets a standard and changes social norms. Each cohort of participants also serves a larger strategic goal of the centre. By working with the fellows to apply design methods, we are able to identify barriers that slow, frustrate or altogether halt the progress of health care redesign. Barriers such as access to data, information technology (IT) support, and even dedicated time to do the work become targets for the centre and we try to remove them not just for the fellows but for the organisation as a whole.

Position for value Complex organisations such as hospitals and health care systems, as well as organisations in many other industries, can benefit greatly from embedded design groups. Designers can also benefit from this model, having a chance to make sustainable, systematic change in how organisations work and the services they deliver. Embedded design groups increase an organisation’s capacity for innovation, as they are often not responsible for daily operational tasks. By rapidly testing and iterating on solutions, enabling teams to be agents of change and creating the skills and infrastructure for systematic change, internal teams such as ours at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation can successfully transform both designers and their organisations into producers of greater value for today’s society.

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In-house Service Design

Breaking the Ice with In-house Service Design Reflections on building one of the first permanent in-house service design units

Austrian healthcare provider PremiQaMed decided to sharpen its competitive edge by providing an outstanding patient experience on top of reliable medical quality. In 2008, the company decided to invest in a permanent service design unit within the head office of its five private clinics. The service design team built up a radar system that allows them to continuously collect customer comments along the various service chains. It helps the team to Teresa Mang, MBA, is service designer at PremiQaMed Management in Vienna, Austria and lecturer for Health & Wellbeing Tourism. Werner Fischl is Managing Director of PremiQaMed Privatkliniken and Managing Director, Ambulatorien Betriebsgesellschaft in Vienna, Austria. Stefan Marlovits, MD, is Head of the Department for Medicine & Quality at the PremiQMed Management and of the Department of Traumatology at the Medical University of Vienna.

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detect weaknesses at an early stage and acts as a starting point for improvement. During the last seven years, the permanent team has built up a valuable pool of customer insights and implementation skills. The implementation phase for prototypes has been shortened due to existing know-how of internal structures whilst setbacks at later stages have been reduced. A decisive element in the success of an in-house service design team is to keep the focus on the customers’ mind-set and, at the same time, to establish a longterm relationship with employees that facilitates implementation. The private healthcare company PremiQaMed operates outpatient clinics, private hospitals and rehabilitation centres, providing medical services to

more than 55,000 national and international patients per year. The service design unit is integrated into the central department for medicine and quality, and acts as an internal consultant for PremiQaMed’s clinics. The team consists of a service designer with a background in tourism at the central department and one to two feedback managers per clinic with various backgrounds such as sociology, healthcare management or customer service. The service design unit triggers and monitors patient feedback from all organisational entities. It collects more than 12,000 patient comments per year and places them on an internal radar system allowing the unit to detect weaknesses


in the various customer journeys. The radar system comprises feedback from patients who spend several weeks within a rehabilitation centre, as well as feedback from outpatients, whose stay lasts only for a few hours.


— „

„ —

The sometimes time-consuming ice-breaking process with decision-makers and internal co-creators could be reduced. The time from starting an initiative to a first prototype can therefore be as short as two weeks.


Insights gained from a patient experience radar system The first insight gained from the process was that the patients were more than willing to comment extensively on their hotel service experiences in the hospital. This willingness to comment is probably due to the highly emotional nature of the hospital stay, be it treatment after an accident, planned surgery or the birth of a child. The efforts to trigger patient comments also led to the second insight that, during their stay, patients tend to feel dependent upon the goodwill of staff. This feeling of dependency prevents many patients from giving negative feedback on their treatment by staff during their stay. They feel that it might have a negative effect on their current or any future treatment. So a final touchpoint was added to the customer journey: after being discharged, patients are sent an invitation card to their home address, allowing them to give anonymous feedback via a webpage. The third insight was that patients’ willingness to comment depends a lot on their length of stay. Whilst the proportion of patients who comment rose to 62% in the groups’ rehab centres, the rate was as low as 0.05% in the outpatient centres. Therefore, an easy-to-use feedback terminal named ‘Oscar’ was installed for the outpatients, where they can rate their experience via a touchscreen terminal at the various service points (see ‘Oscar’ image). The results act as an indicator for the service design unit to conduct direct customer interviews if customer satisfaction levels drop at a particular service point. Installing the feedback terminals for outpatients right at the point of service increased the willingness to respond by 9.95% to 10%. The fourth insight was that it is crucial to get the frontline staff’s commitment to the feedback chain in order to prevent misuse. Therefore, they were Touchpoint 7-2 17

integrated into the development phase of the feedback terminals by defining contents, locations and design. The name for the feedback system, ‘Oscar’ (an acronym for Outpatient Services Continuous Anonymous Response), was chosen from more than 50 suggestions submitted by frontline staff team members.

An internal service design unit has to keep thinking like an external agency in order to be effective. It has to be distant enough from everyday procedures to avoid organisational blindness and to keep focusing on the customer’s viewpoint.

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From numbers to emotions The radar system acts like the echo sounder on an icebreaker that detects the small yet growing ice peaks below the surface, whereas the quantitative key performance indicators monitor the visible waters. Every single one of the more than 12,000 guests’ comments per year is reviewed immediately after it gets back to the organisation. Outstandingly positive feedback is forwarded to the relevant teams and acts as a motivational boost. Negative comments are being dealt with by the feedback managers who seek personal contact with the patient to learn from the negative experience. The feedback managers, together with the central service design unit, form the action team that initiates change in the customer journey. Permanent customer contact allows the team to develop an in-depth understanding of customer emotions and needs. Consequently, the research process of redesigning touchpoints can be based on existing team’s know-how and does not require them to start from scratch. However, in order to not be misled by an internal view of the customer experience, methods like shadowing and in-depth customer interviews are used to sharpen the understanding of the customer perspective. The time from starting an initiative to a first prototype can therefore be as short as two weeks. For example, a customer once mentioned in a conversation that he wanted to enjoy the first rays of spring sunshine in the clinic’s garden but hesitated to leave the room because he feared he would miss his attending physician’s ward round. The solution was found within a week. A bed-tag was developed that allows patients to indicate their location and leave their mobile phone number, when they feel like a change of scene. A first prototype was tested on one ward and then rolled out


across the other clinics within the group. The stages within the service design process from insight to implementation took a month in total. Another customer was irritated that the patient service staff were changing soiled bed linen and, shortly thereafter, coming back into the room to serve lunch. The customer was concerned about the hygiene aspect. Although the staff disinfect their hands and change potentially contaminated uniforms right after use, this was not visible to the patient. The ward team and the service design unit therefore came up with the idea of adding an additional element to the uniform when serving food that would act as a visible sign of hygienic handling. Various garments were tested by the patient service team, and they finally opted for a comfortableto-wear and attractive-looking apron that is worn only when serving food. The whole process of identifying the patient’s unease, developing ideas, testing products and implementing the solution took only eight weeks in total.

„— The implementation phase is made easier thanks to the team’s understanding of internal structures and informal opinion leaders. — „ Projects rarely get stuck after the concept development phase, as the service design team is also there to implement them. They are still there if the new service needs amendments after implementation. Challenges — „ In order to be effective, it seems to be appropriate for the service design unit to be integrated into a structure that is distant enough from everyday procedures in order to avoid organisational blindness and to keep focusing on the customers’ viewpoint. „ It is important for the team to not be pushed predomi— nately by employee and decision-makers’ interests. In summary, an internal service design unit has to keep thinking like an external agency in order to be effective.

A reflection on the benefits and challenges of building up an in-house service design unit Benefits „— A permanent service design structure allows the organisation to build up a pool of customer insights that grows within the service design unit and does not have to be started from scratch for every project. — „ The sometimes time-consuming ice-breaking process with internal co-creators, such as employees, as well as with decision-makers or other departments involved, can be reduced. People know each other from previous projects. „ The service designers can build a pool of knowledge— able allies from among the staff that have been involved in several service design projects. As these allies are familiar with service design methods and service design team members, they make valuable contributions in a short time. „ In a highly regulated market, the service design team — is able to gain knowledge on restrictions and is able to bypass them at an early stage of concept development. Touchpoint 7-2 19

Seven Stages to a DesignBased Innovation Culture A guide for in-house design teams After graduating from university, I got a job as an intern in a product design consultancy. This was, after all, what I had trained for and I was grateful for the opportunity to do some real work with a team of experienced designers. We worked in a small studio that was really more of an office with a plotter, a library Aviv Katz is a partner and head of service design at Innovation Unit, specialising in service design, research and creative facilitation. He designs and leads service redesign projects across health, social care, justice and local government, coaching leaders and teams through complex change and development processes. Prior to this, he worked for Engine Service Design and the Design Council.

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of design books, a few quirky artefacts and some hand-drawn sketches in Moleskine notebooks. In front of screens showing CAD models were designers, informally dressed, working in silence most of the time, occasionally asking mundane questions about the whereabouts of files or exchanging constructive advice about materials, technologies and the like.

I had visited a number of architecture and product design studios by this time, and I was often struck by the lack of creative buzz in these places. There was a disappointing dissonance between what we read about and widely perceive as cultures of creativity and design, and the sober reality in such studios, which are responsible for designing so much of our material world. I later worked in a much larger organisation that had an in-house design team. In fact it had two: a ‘design and innovation team’, comprising people from different disciplines and backgrounds, including myself, who were working on a range of projects and programmes;

and a ‘design studio’ that was part of the marketing team, responsible for the organisation’s visual communications. The latter was a pretty typical in-house design team for a service organisation that was mainly responsible for crafting visual touchpoints, such as publications and exhibits. It was staffed entirely with designers and had a similar culture to the one I described above: studious, compliant and insular. Curiously, the ‘design and innovation team’ was characterised by team working and higher energy levels: a closer resemblance to what I like to term as a ‘design culture’, but which I will refer to as design-based innovation culture.


A design-based innovation culture Culture, particularly organisational culture, is hard to define but easy to sense. It is made up of values, norms, rituals, language, social structures, material objects and environments. It is important because it is often the enabler or barrier to achieving greatness as an organisation, across a number of metrics such as efficiency, staff satisfaction and outcomes for users. Design culture in organisations is often synonymous with innovation culture or a culture of creativity. In a recent article in the New Yorker, Apple’s design team was described as having an exponential influence on the company’s culture and direction. One ex-employee described the feeling of a designer joining an engineers’ meeting as though the priest had joined the congregation. Commonly cited principles of design-led organisations include working in diverse, multidisciplinary teams, championing a user-centred approach, experimenting and reiterating, visualising and making tangible. Innovation cultures overlap to some degree with design culture and include things like risk-taking and entrepreneurship. I have yet to see any public service leaders embrace design the way Steve Jobs did at Apple. Public services are, more often than not, governed by a culture of compliance: they tend to be provider-oriented, rather than customer-oriented and they draw legitimacy and status through their links to government and fulfilment of its targets. Design-based innovation in the public sector Public service organisations that are embracing design and innovation culture do not end up looking like Apple. They do not employ design gurus and do not revere their designers as sources of wisdom. Rather, designers in the public sector invert the sources of authority, culture and legitimacy to become user-centred and orientated around learning, experimentation and evidence-based practice. For the past decade, I have been working as a service designer with a range of public- and ‘third’-sector organisations. Unlike commercial companies, where growth of in-house service design capacity has been

Many public sector organisations are shifting from traditional, paternalistic administrators of public service towards more agile and creative hubs for coproduction.

evident for a number of years, here this trend is lagging. Nevertheless, there are now more service designers, and social designers working in local authorities, central government departments, health organisations and large providers of public services than ever before. In many cases, these are small teams that focus on specific tasks such as participatory design, user research or facilitation. In most cases, these are small teams (under five people) that are marginalised from strategic decision-making, with their value measured by output rather than impact. But, in the best examples, these teams transcend their status as delivery agents and become recognised as strategic change agents bringing about the type of culture described above. What is exciting about the emergence of service design teams in public- and third-sector organisations is their potential to fundamentally alter the relationship between these organisations and the public. Organisations that embrace this potential, and that are not threatened by it, will grow their design teams as hubs of expertise in facilitating collaborative research and design activity across departments, involving and empowering staff and service users alongside technical experts. Touchpoint 7-2 21

The seven stages of growing and diffusing design-based innovation culture

The following table is drawn from years of experience working with organisations that are consciously building their service design capacity and moving towards a design-based innovation culture. It describes the seven stages at which organisations will typically find themselves along this journey, and suggests the activities that in-house agents or teams can do to support it.

New language

New methods

New projects

New competencies

New team

New culture








Status quo

22 Touchpoint 7-2

Old values

Old practice

Old guard

Old structures





Stage 1: Skepticism Service design is seen as ‘fluffy’ and peripheral, there

Build awareness and confidence by introducing key

is no in-house design capacity, no understanding of the

concepts and sharing stories and evidence of the

value that designers can add to current organisational

impact of human-centred, design-led processes by other

activity and a limited understanding of user-centred

organisations. Measure your success by building senior

service development processes.

managers’ curiosity to invest resources in a limited and safe way to test new ways of working. Stage 2: Tokenism

People use terms such as ‘design thinking’ and ‘co-

Reinforce the importance of adopting new ways of

design’ and use Post-it notes liberally (but not always

thinking and working to tackle complex, persistent

effectively). Design thinking is more of a fashionable

challenges. Build awareness of the mismatch between

veneer used by managers wishing to display a level of

the organisation’s design-devoid practice, and its use of

sophistication than a new practice.

the language of design-based innovation. Help leaders to identify ways of bridging this gap in a way that adds integrity to the organisation’s mission and strategy. Measure your success through senior leaders’ desire to invest resource in testing new ways of tackling organisational challenges using service design methods. Stage 3: Curiosity

There is curiosity among senior leadership about the

It is important to invite external design professionals that

value that service design methods and processes can

have the experience and confidence to confront internal

deliver and some resource has been allocated to test

skeptics and introduce new, evidence-based practices

its viability.

that are demonstrably different to existing ones.

Often, during this stage, we find growing opposition by some members of staff to spending precious resources on non-conventional practice. Adopting

Make sure that any new project has clear objectives and success criteria that were agreed by senior leadership. Use your resource to run a demonstration project

a user-centred design process and prototyping new

that involves colleagues alongside service designers,

solutions can be profoundly threatening to professional

to tackle a real, live challenge. As a minimum, you could

orthodoxies and existing power structures.

organise a service design ‘sprint’ for colleagues who want to learn and experience a new way of working. This could range from a 48-hour hackathon-type event to a week-long residential course, during which colleagues’ time is fully dedicated to this project. Measure your success through a growing desire by colleagues to adopt service design practices in their work, as well as an appreciation of the value that professional, expert service designers and innovation facilitators bring to this type of work.

Touchpoint 7-2 23



Stage 4: Experimentation There is growing curiosity and acceptance of the value

Build legitimacy for a small group of internal change-

of service design practice among staff at all levels.

agents to grow their knowledge and skill in facilitat-

Managers and leaders would like to see more capacity

ing design-based innovation projects. Do this by

in-house, rather than develop a dependency on external

identifying and inviting internal change agents, who


are open-minded and respected professionally to join a new community of practice that is focused on achieving significantly better outcomes through innovative practice. Invite them to participate in service development projects alongside external service design partners. Measure your success through the enthusiasm and capability of internal design ‘intrapraneurs’ to facilitate research and co-design projects and advocate for designers’ involvement in future work. Stage 5: Commitment

There is a recognised team of internal ‘service design

Connect the innovation team with service design

champions’ who spend some or all of their time on

and other relevant communities of practice through

design-based innovation projects. However, there are

conferences and knowledge sharing activities. Help team

barriers to this team working effectively:

members to adopt and disseminate a shared language

„ There is no clear leadership or boundary that defines —

around design and innovation, such as those developed

who can or cannot lead an innovation project. „ There is no adequate physical space for innovation —

in the UK by the Design Council, Nesta or Policy Lab. Work with your human resource team to develop an

projects, and insufficient design skills, software and

organisational competence framework for innovation


that will align skills and knowledge with recruitment and

„ Few members of the team are experienced service — designers or have any design training, and they pull

promotion of staff. Measure your success through the growth of

the practice in different directions, leading to a

in-house service design capacity that has a clear vision

generalist and non-distinct practice.

and strategy, and whose skills are aligned to broader organisational needs. Stage 6: Pushing boundaries

The organisation has an in-house design-based

Keep the size of your team small, and build a diffuse

innovation team and a senior design leader who sets

network of advocates across the organisation. Do not

direction and advocates on their behalf. There is a

be afraid to involve external consultants and experts, as

pipeline of projects and there are attempts to measure

well as internal colleagues from different departments,

the value and impact of the team in order to sustain

even if it is easier and cheaper to do things yourselves.

their activity.

Promote the role of the team as an inclusive hub of design-based innovation activity, not an exclusive one.

24 Touchpoint 7-2




However, the success of the team becomes its own

Measure your success by building the sustainability

enemy: as it grows and becomes more expensive it

of your team, ensuring that project budgets significantly

increasingly focuses on justifying its existence rather

outweigh your staff budget. Refine the success metrics

than the impact it seeks to create.

of your team to ensure it focuses on outcomes and experiences of users, as well as economic and social sustainability. Stage 7: New normal

Leaders, managers and staff from across the organi-

Organisations that have embedded design culture

sation see themselves as instrumental in a design

laterally and have an in-house team of design experts

process. Designing with users and communities is the

that support a range of innovation processes are

norm, and there are known roles within the organi-

energy-rich and closely attuned to their users and

sation that include a range of design specialists,

communities. Sustaining this culture is difficult and rests

researchers and facilitators. Internal indicators are

on leadership that honours the principles and culture

used to monitor areas such as collaboration, creativity,

of human-centred, design-based innovation.

distributed leadership as well as performance and outcomes.

Why this matters My perception of how designers should work and why design matters has changed over the years. I was trained in a 20th century school of design that celebrated ‘good design’ through form and function rather than experiences and impact. But I have always believed in design’s social impact potential, or at least its moral intent as advocated by a long tradition of thinkers (and doers), from Ruskin and Morris, through Gropius and Eames, to Papanek and Manzini. Today, I find a growing number of designers working in public service and social innovation are building an authentic, 21st-century interpretation of this tradition. Whether these designers are employed in-house or otherwise matters less than whether design is embraced as a culture, as well as a set of skills and competencies across organisations. I believe the coming years will see a growing correlation between impact, efficiency and design-based innovation culture across all public services.

Touchpoint 7-2 25

The Bridge between In-house and Consultancy Adapting teams for the good of the work Design agencies and in-house design teams can do more together than either can do on its own. How they do this exactly, depends on the type of organisation and project. Though individual designers may prefer working for one or the other, our industry should focus on spreading and evolving service design as a whole, Victor Stelmasuk is a senior designer at EGGS Design. He has worked for many years between service and interface design and specialises in the oil, maritime, and technology industries.

as we are still a relatively new field. We believe that these two teams have different skills and strengths that work best together.

Elizabeth LeBlanc is a service designer at EGGS Design. She specialises in visualising and communicating complex systems. She works primarily in strategy for a variety of fields including healthcare and telecoms.



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EXTERNAL EXTERNAL 26 Touchpoint 7-2

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Let’s start with a parallel, a lawyer/client relationship. If you represent yourself, you know your case, though it’s hard to see it objectively. For the lawyer, it’s unhelpful to have a client who doesn’t understand the court proceedings or who phrases their testimony ambiguously. It’s better to leverage the strengths of both. Agencies struggle to navigate complex organisational structures and gain trust quickly enough to implement big changes. An outside designer does, however, bring a different perspective and exposure to different industries and ways of working. This adds context to the depth of brand knowledge and history that can only be found with in-house designers, where the mentality that ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ can be difficult to resist. Of course, as two designers working in a consultancy, we have our biases. However, we’ve previously worked in other environments, such as corporate designers in a company that used contractors for user testing phases as well as at a large organisation that had its own internal consultancy as a separate bubble of design.

A very simplified range of the ways a company can build its design competence.

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Many ways of working There’s a range of ways that companies can work with designers and grow their own design competency. On one end there is the occasional freelancer consulting on a particular project. These projects are usually small and more about executing a specific brief. On the other side, a company can either build an internal design team from scratch or acquire an agency, both of which demonstrate a long-term commitment to design. While working at EGGS, our comfort zone is in the lightest portion of this range. Essentially, we love working with clients who have experience working with designers or design methods. That can mean everything from one or two design advocates, all the way to working alongside internal design departments. For example, some colleagues work with Cisco as part of their extensive in-house design team. They sit at the client’s office for a few days each week in order to gain access to the people and information they need, while still remaining an external element. This type of set up benefits from the in-house designers knowing the brand history, the ins and outs of the organisation and, for certain other clients, a knowledge base about a particularly technical industry. We are hired either because of a specific competency (service designers to

Touchpoint 7-2 27

work with the digital in-house team) or because it’s a simple way to increase capacity. A growing commitment Sometimes there is only one design advocate within a client’s company. This person can have many roles, like an innovation coordinator who can easily navigate organisational structures or someone at the executive level working with design in the long term. When working on our first project with DNB, Norway’s largest bank, we used service design methods to shape the experience of their flagship branch. What started as a purely digital design project evolved into something of much wider scope. The success that came from using a customer journey and visualising the experience generated a buzz and interest in this approach, which led to the creation of a new role in DNB. The project manager (with a business background) has become responsible for service design projects within DNB. By increasing the internal understanding and appreciation for design methods, they have been encouraged in their shift from a sales- and productoriented company, to focusing on the important events in customer’s lives such as moving, starting a family, changing jobs, etc. Their growing commitment to design methods has led to us working on other user journeys focusing on these life events. Proving the validity of service design in the first project led to a better acceptance for this approach for other projects. Their employee measurements have also transitioned from mostly quantitative measures to more qualitative. The project we did related to moving and mortgages and included a training program for all 3,000 of their advisers so that they could better understand the emotional needs of the customer during the mortgage process. Transferring trust Large companies or organisations often turn to our expertise through an influential internal designer or design advocate. In DNB, we saw this role grow from its beginning. In other cases, a larger influence is needed. In many cases, service design projects involve orga­ nisational changes. This can be a delicate topic to approach without enough neutrality or trust in us from the client. They have to see that we’re an impartial outsider making a good judgment. This is what we experienced with NAV, the Norwegian public welfare 28 Touchpoint 7-2

service, with over 19,000 employees. We worked as sub­ contractors for strategy consultants who were trusted by the client. The advantage in coming from the outside is that we could dare to challenge NAV in a way they hadn’t been challenged before and focus on creating good, usercentred, creative work. Though it is quite an exceptional case, the strategy consultants had worked with them on numerous projects previously and acted as our ‘internal’ ambassadors. The trust transferred to us by them helped the client trust our methods too. This was crucial to get endorsement for important changes. Having an external view alone could make it difficult for the client to feel that we really understood them. Technical expertise Some more technical industries require designers to have in-depth knowledge about a particular field, so in-house design talent is a natural choice. But building the correct design environment from scratch inside a big company is not a quick process, and it becomes even harder if this environment is isolated from the perspective of outside professionals. The oil, gas, and chemical division of ABB in Norway started making this move over a year ago. At that time, Marianne Askheim was a designer at EGGS working 100% of the time in their offices with their in-house team. In December 2014, after a year working there, she decided to take on a full time design position at ABB. This was a natural decision for someone who loved working in this particular field. Their growing in-house design team has the technical knowledge to be able to add incredible value to their business. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for an agency anymore. Today, Marianne believes that: “there is always great value in working with consultants, because there is a need for the outside perspective.” Combining these efforts, ABB is able to tackle more design projects since her arrival and she has become an important advocate for design. As we have seen with DNB, an internal increase in design competence leads to an increase in projects. We often joke that we didn’t lose a colleague, but gained a client. Learning from each other In-house designers will always know better how to avoid the dead ends on the road to implementation and they can also provide expert knowledge about best


practices in specialised industries. But the benefits of blending external and internal teams go beyond the project at hand. Consultants hold the advantage of being exposed to a broader range of perspectives from different markets. For us, these markets may vary from health to maritime, from banking to telecom. The exposure to such contrasting sectors creates a dynamic environment that is hard, if not impossible, to replicate when constantly working for only one field. Small in-house teams (say, two or three designers) only have each other to bounce ideas off. Everyone benefits from having new faces and methods to work with. This inspires our work and helps us grow as individuals.

Conclusion We may be witnessing an unprecedented age for this business: an age where the user experience is at the core of every new service and design is driving the innovation in many young companies. There has been a growing trend of larger companies acquiring service design teams to address this need. This trend doesn’t have to be a threat to consultancies. In-house design teams and agencies should work together to increase the market value of service design, not compete with each other to lose it.

Our final deliverables included backstage tools, such as training materials for financial advisors.

Touchpoint 7-2 29

Finding New Growth Opportunities via Customer Centricity Experiences of in-house service design Despite the growing interest in service design within companies, managers often question what difference it makes and how to measure the results. Is it worth investing in? This article shares Nordea’s Savings and Wealth Offerings practical experiences. Taina Mäkijärvi is a lead specialist at Nordea Savings and Wealth Offerings. She has long leadership experience and an MA degree from the University of Helsinki, as well as an Executive MBA (2013) from Aalto University. She works on developing and implementing private banking service concepts and business models.

Why service design? Current turmoil and coming regulatory changes within the financial sector challenge decision makers to think how to secure future success and growth. The wealth management and private banking business is highly dependent on customers’ trust. Hence, thorough understanding of customer needs and being able to provide unique and valuable services to different kinds of target customers is our key concern. We want to learn how service design can help us to a new level in customer centricity. Small in-house trials produce positive results Creating great customer experiences is one of Nordea’s values. Hence everybody in our organisation shares the need to become more customer-centric. However, we often lack the competencies on how to do it in practice. Service design seemed to offer us concrete tools. Our first in-house trial was to design a new value proposition to a specific private banking customer target group. We relied

30 Touchpoint 7-2

on our own internal idea of these target customer needs. Our second case started by exploring with real target customers before the actual creation work. Results from these two different approaches were clear: we can create a more appealing offering by starting the design based on real customer needs and pain points. These trials also provided evidence that service design methods are more efficient and give project participants positive energy, as well as engaging them in a totally new way. One of the participants said: “Talking to customers brings us a lot of knowledge and combining that with our professional competence will be a great platform for the business development.” In addition, we decided to follow up the financial outcome of the newly designed services: number of new customers in the pilot units and the number of new assets they brought in. By reporting clear growth figures we started to raise interest towards service design. The next step was to figure out how to expand the new approach and gain more positive results by having more people on board.


Training change agents The most crucial step on our way ahead was the decision to invest in increasing the service design competence among our development employees. We asked Professor Birgit Mager from KISD to help us to design and provide training in the basics of service design. During 2014, we trained over 80 employees and managers. Our target was to introduce service design and, at the same time, to get internal change agents, who, in their own teams and projects, can further promote the new working methods. Feedback from these five-day training sessions was extremely positive. One of the key elements was to combine theory with practice by using our development projects as part of the training materials. Trainees were given the opportunity to practice their new findings in real work situations.

Practicing and networking In order to secure the implementation of the new skills into practice we established a Nordic Service Design Network within our organisation. We appointed country drivers to promote the new ways of working and to make sure that local projects receive relevant support. We created a Service Design SharePoint site on our intranet to store our materials. Building support Management support and our internal ‘ambassadors’ have played a key role in our success. We make sure that service design methods are used in our development projects and have provided funding to support this, as well as further learning. Right now, we are testing how we can benefit from an external service design coach supporting our people while running development projects. We have actively joined the local SDN networks and provide people access to the latest knowledge. It is beneficial to create contacts within academia, as well as to know the local service design agencies and their specific competencies. It is also useful to connect with people from other industries who are implementing service design. What does it take? Our frontrunners point out some challenges in the following areas:

Practising with real development cases.

It requires a lot of individual courage to take the first step and to start to try out new working methods not knowing the outcome in advance. The hesitance to connect with customers is also quite typical. People who start creative work within a traditionally non-creative environment need a lot of solid support from their line managers. They need to get access to relevant tools and to be able to assimilate the new finding even among the day-to-day chaos. We experienced a large group of early adopters, who were immediately ready to start implementing. Some showed interest, but let the chaos take over and a small minority was sceptical from the beginning. Touchpoint 7-2 31

Practical benefits from using a service design methodology.

Organisational structures seldom support customercentric working. Implementing project-based service design activities and involving people from relevant units is a practical and efficient way of uniting people to design and to produce better services across silos. There has to be proper physical working spaces available for people working together and using a lot of visuals. There is a need for areas where creativity and mutual collaboration is both physically and virtually possible. The most important thing is how well the individual/ team level follow-up has been designed to support and encourage the new way of working. Do line managers allow employees enough time to try out new approaches and openly celebrate the results achieved? As a manager, you have to be inspired yourself, provide funding and support, as well as following up the outcomes and learning from the results. What is it worth? Based on our findings so far, we have gained the following concrete results for customers, employees and our business: „ Taking the time to explore with real customers makes — it easier to recognise different customer target groups and design matching services/offerings. 32 Touchpoint 7-2

„ Customers are more satisfied with the new services, — as they match better with customers’ true needs. „— Customers enjoy co-creating with us. „— Service design has given us a common customercentric language to use with our colleagues from different business areas and countries: internal co-operation improves. „— Getting closer to customers and active, efficient co-creative working methods spark inspiration and joy among our employees, leading to higher employee satisfaction. — „ It is possible to design a new service that differentiates us from competitors in areas where we have a competitive advantage and where there is a true customer’s need. „ New services that are co-created with pilot customers — sell better. „ The design process is clear and development projects — move ahead faster. „— Financial outcomes improve: we gain more new customers and they bring in more new assets under management. This all leads to increasing income and business growth.


Read Touchpoint Archive Online Looking ahead Based on our trials so far, we see clear advantages in implementing the service design way of working. What is then the optimal approach? The combination of growing in-house competencies, using professional service designers in specific projects, as well as in a coaching role and building up an external network has, so far, given us very positive results. It would be costly and time-consuming to send our people on external training courses and we would miss the real-time practice. Hiring in external service design teams on a project basis brings a short-term solution, but there is seldom someone to keep up the implementation after the project is delivered. Recruiting entire service design teams would provide fast solutions to some business areas, however it would not give our own employees the opportunity to grow and experience the true customer centricity themselves. There has to be someone to drive the process and have a clear mandate from the top management. We look forward to learning even more about how to optimise our way of using service design. Our management and people are very engaged, people talk about positive results and there is a strong wish to continue. We feel that using service design already in these few projects has opened significant growth opportunities for us. We are ready to capture them and to move ahead!

290+ articles free access

Touchpoint, the Journal of Service Design, was launched in May 2009 and is the first and only journal dedicated to the theory and practice of service design. Published by SDN three times per year, it provides a written record of the ongoing discussions within the service design community. To improve the reach of this unique resource, Touchpoint has opened its Archive (all back issues except the three most recent) to everyone. More than 290 articles related to service design are now freely available on our website. Enjoy the opportunity to search online articles from our Archive by volume and issue, by authors or keywords. Full issues of Touchpoint may be also read on-screen and on mobile devices via the Issuu website and app. Visit the SDN website and dive into the Touchpoint Archive! Touchpoint 7-2 33

Embedding Service Design for Social Innovation A blended model to build service design capabilities This article describes the stages and outcomes of a programme to embed service design capabilities within Mind, the mental health charity, and its federated network of over 140 local organisations. The article outlines the Service Design in Mind programme and its Paola Pierri is Service Design in Mind programme manager at Mind. She has more than 10 years’ experience in social innovation, using innovative approaches to support community organisations’ growth and development.

bold vision of embedding service design tools and culture within the organisation. It introduces the eight-step organisational change model (based on Kotter’s Eight-step process for Leading Change) as a storytelling structure to describe how design culture is being grown in Mind. Finally, it concludes that a ‘blended’ model is a unique and effective way of embedding service design in a complex organisation, as it combines building skills internally while making best use of external expert help.

Jake Garber is a senior service designer at Innovation Unit specialised in using ethnographic research and leading projects across various sectors including mental health, end of life and children's social care.

34 Touchpoint 7-2

Service Design in Mind Mind is a mental-health charity that operates in England and Wales, with a net work of over 140 local Minds that provide mental-health services. A significant proportion of their funding comes from delivering local NHS and local authority contracts, which have been under considerable and growing pressure over the last few years. Voluntary sector service providers have had to respond by radically rethinking the way they design and deliver services, providing the same high-quality services on a smaller budget.

In 2013, Mind started looking into design-led approaches as a way to provide new answers to these unprecedented changes. Service Design in Mind is an ambitious programme, developed in collaboration with local Minds and the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit social enterprise that supports charities and public services to find innovative ways of meeting social challenges. The aim is to create a ‘diffused design culture’, by embedding service design methods and techniques throughout our work.


By creating a design culture in-house, we knew we could trigger a wider organisational change process where service design was both the objective and the catalyst, maximising the impact of service design in the longer term. In order to do this, we followed a bespoke version of the Kotter Eight-step process for leading change. The account that follows gives a good perspective of what happened during the project development, though we should clarify that events were at times less linear than they might appear. Our organisational change journey

Why embed service design? When we began this journey, there were several options for how to go about it. We could have commissioned a service design agency to run an exemplar project or we could have trained staff to become service designers themselves. Both options presented serious limitations for us: the former raised issues around authenticity and accountability and we felt the latter could take a long time when we needed to respond quickly to the changing external landscape. Instead, we made the strategic decision to build on the ‘diffused design expertise’ of our staff, drawing on years of experience and knowledge designing and delivering mental health services, while working with expert service designers to build and develop in-house design capabilities, skills and tools.

Step 1: Generate motivation by building a shared vision In January 2014, we began by assessing how Mind approached the design of new services. By comparing current service development practices to external models, which were design-led or innovation-focused, it became immediately obvious where the gaps were. We realised that we didn’t have a common structure and a clear process to help us communicate our design process internally and with external partners and service users. In addition, although we had significant experience of service-user engagement, we were not using more sophisticated methods (e.g. ethnography) for researching unmet needs, or specific tools or methods to test our ideas before scaling them up. Based on the internal experience of designing services and our vision for how we wanted things to change, we came up with ten design principles that we felt should underpin our design methodology. After the first workshop, everyone held a clear sense of where and how things had to change and were inspired to do things differently. Touchpoint 7-2 35

Step 2: Find and enrol the pioneers of change The vision for Service Design in Mind was clear and bold from the outset: we were looking for pioneers who were ready to embrace a new challenge and to work collaboratively to test and develop something new together. We developed a business case showing the impact of service design in the commercial sector, voluntary sector and public services across the UK and abroad, with inspirational case studies to motivate staff and local Minds to engage with the programme. We recruited five local Minds and five design partners from staff at the national team to act as design champions, who worked together to test the methodology and the design tools. Step 3: Run a disciplined experiment to generate learning We developed our own five-stage service design methodology (Set Up, Explore, Generate, Make and Grow), and a structured programme to support the five local Mind pioneers through the process. This included a series of full-day workshops, one for each stage of the methodology. Each workshop followed the same format: in the morning, the local Minds would learn the theory then, in the afternoon, they used what they had learned 36 Touchpoint 7-2

and applied it to the real-life challenge they had each identified as the focus of their service design journey. The challenges were diverse, from one local Mind redesigning a decommissioned day service to make it more recovery-focused, to another trying to develop a new income stream by designing a product to improve wellbeing in local workplaces. In between and following the workshops, we offered ongoing support through coaching calls, project sites visits, an online community and a peer-to-peer support scheme. Step 4: Actively grow a community of practice The local Minds and design partners became the first nucleus of a broader community of practice that Mind is still growing. The prototype projects have generated lots of interests across the Mind network and those involved have become champions of this new approach. This step allowed us to answer questions about how we would make service design sustainable within Mind, as we knew we wouldn’t be able to provide the same intensive support we provided to the five prototypes to future local Mind projects or internal programmes. The vision we developed was that of a community of support, with the five local Minds and staff pioneers at the centre, to help the knowledge and value of service design to grow


and to be visible and tangible across the organisation. A mix of online and offline activities, such as service design practitioners’ meetings, is helping us nurture the community and encourage others to join in. Step 5: Codify the practice and approach To make the design practice familiar and to help build confidence in non-expert designers, the learning and practice developed through Service Design in Mind was made into a set of design resources. These resources are also a way to ensure consistent application of the design methodology across Mind. A handbook introduces the concept and basics of service design and includes the five pioneer local Minds as case studies. This is used alongside our service design toolkit, a bespoke deck of method cards and an ethnography handbook. So far, more than twenty local Minds and seven internal teams at Mind nationally are using the resources in different ways, from running individual workshops with service users to looking more strategically at how service design can be used to inform organisational and strategy development. Step 6: Diffuse our learning through stories Service design is brand new to Mind, so we used storytelling to generate interest among other local Minds and encourage them to use a design-led approach for their own services. This covered how the Service Design in Mind methodology was co-designed, how it was used in the five initial prototypes and, most importantly, the impact it had on the life of people living with mental health problems. The case studies were also presented as learning histories, telling the story of the process, experience and learning that the

project and team went through, not just what happened and when. We told the stories in different ways and through different channels, including short videos of local Minds’ staff sharing what they did and how they found the service design approach useful. This was a powerful way of communicating our message: having a local Mind telling the story to their peers made it instantly more clear and relevant. Step 7: Make it part of our organisation’s vision, values and strategy Service Design in Mind speaks directly to our identity, vision and mission supporting and working with people with experience of mental health problems. We are now using design principles to shape our next 2016-21 strategy and these will be integrated into key performance indicators (KPIs) within the programme planning process. Tying the service design approach with our more traditional organisational governance processes and priorities is a challenge, as traditional KPIs struggle to capture the more qualitative changes and outcomes that service design can bring, such as people’s experience of the service. The open and iterative process that is key to service design doesn’t always fit well with programme planning cycles and more traditional monitoring and evaluation processes or project management approaches. But, in our experience, tying service design with existing organisational practice is necessary for organisations wanting to embed design capabilities in-house, as these practices are the ones shaping how the organisation perceives itself and wants to be perceived externally.

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Step 8: Nurture our cultural movement toward its transformative potential Mind has always designed services for and with people with lived experience. Design is not new to what we do, but the Service Design in Mind methodology and the resources we have produced give us a structured way to do it better, allowing us to be more creative but in a rigorous way. Service design has also allowed us a much more flexible approach to understanding people’s needs and gaps in service provision, in engaging with people with lived experience more meaningfully and in allowing staff to grow and strengthen the organisation. What worked and what didn’t? We have evaluated the project during its development and are now looking at the experience of service users engaged in the design process, to understand whether the quality of their involvement has improved as a result of using a design-led approach. So far we have found a number of positive outcomes from the programme. It is clear that it was a welldesigned programme that was ambitious and visionary from the outset, which tied the work directly to existing projects. The tools and techniques of service design work have allowed us to engage people with lived experience more meaningfully during the process and we have seen an impact beyond income, from better relationships with communities to shaping the organisation and supporting innovative new approaches to the challenges facing the network. Although the project has been truly successful, to the point that it now has its own budget, the process of embedding a new approach within existing organisational structures and practices is not over. 38 Touchpoint 7-2

While everyone could see quite quickly the value of using service design for innovation and for designing better services, the impact of service design on the wider organisation has been sometimes more difficult to grasp and to support effectively. Service design projects take longer than more traditional ways of designing services and costs are more difficult to predict and we have found that senior managers have, at times, struggled to allow time, space and resources for new working practices and behaviours to develop accordingly. We have found that it is essential to have strong champions in place to keep up motivation and focus and buy-in from senior managers at every stage. What next? The emergence of a blended model For Mind, delivering in-house design capacity was the only way of introducing design that could be truly transformative. It has the authenticity, the accountability and the authority to be radical and achieve long-term change in our wider network. We are now in what we call the ‘perform’ phase, which is the step needed before truly embedding service design in Mind. This phase is about scaling up the new approach and demonstrating excellent service design so we can capture its value and grow the practice. We will also be growing new skills and capabilities within the network to ensure the right support and processes are in place for staff to be recruited and supported appropriately. Central to the perform phase is maximising the impact of in-house design while minimising the associated risks. There is a danger than in-house programmes are mis­ appropriated or lost in other internal processes. In-house resources and expertise also risk becoming quickly outdated as the field of design evolves and develops.


Mind SD Resources include: a Service Design Handbook that introduces what service design is and how it can be used, an Ethnographic Handbook, Service Design Toolkit and Method Cards, which illustrate more than 40 service design methods, a series of video case studies and top tips.

In this context, it becomes critical to work with external designers again, this time as ‘critical friends’ who advocate for excellent service design. To this end, we have changed the nature of our relationship with the Innovation Unit and we are looking into models of partnership working, where we benefit from their expertise while they get the opportunity, through Mind, to gain valuable experience within the field of social innovation. We have also launched a Design Mentorship programme where expert service designers deliver effective mentoring support that is tailored to each individual and project context. Mentors are not bystanders to projects and activities but instead work in collaboration with those they are mentoring to deliver work together. Mentors encourage teams to keep going even when things are tough and provide a trusting, safe context in which people can step out of their comfort zone. In conclusion, we argue that this could be considered a ‘blended’ model of embedding service design and an approach that can maximise the impact and authenticity of design in social sector organisations, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of design for social innovation. Touchpoint 7-2 39

Both Sides of the Story Working in different environments as a service designer

Rit Mishra is service design director at global design firm Idean. Previously he held the role of service design director at Fjord (part of Accenture Interactive). He is based in San Francisco, California and has over 12 years experience in the service and interaction design field working with companies such as adidas, Telefonica and Samsung.

What does it mean for a service designer to work for an independent, mid-size design agency or an in-house design agency that is part of a large management consultancy? Having worked in both environments, here is my perspective.

The value of design is attracting significant attention, as big businesses continue to realise the enormous impact it can have on an organisation. Design-driven companies are uniquely placed and have a strategic advantage over their competitors to remain relevant in today’s rapidly changing world. With this realisation, companies only have a few options. Two such options are: gobble up design studios that will give 40 Touchpoint 7-2

a shot in the arm with a talented workforce, or embark on a long journey of building an in-house design team. In this article I’ll focus on topics of culture, creative work and process and share what it might mean for a service designer to work in different agency environments, either independent agencies or acquired agencies that are now part of large management consulting firms.


Culture Culture plays a very crucial role in design business. It creates an environment conducive to innovation and creative work. Good culture also helps attract, nurture and retain employees as well as clients and other partners. In my experience, cultivating creative culture in smaller teams is much easier and it becomes a daunting and tricky task to scale up. Independent design agencies have successfully proven the ability to create cultures that support fun, creativity and innovation. In recent times, it has made them very attractive for large consulting firms looking to acquire and ‘acqui-hire’ (acquiring a company to recruit its talented employees) design studios with the motivation of bringing that culture in-house. With the continuing trend of management consultancies acquiring independent design outfits, as recently occurred when McKinsey bought Lunar, we are seeing the agencies being kept as independent as possible, allowing them to retain their culture and to not be absorbed into the wider business. It remains to be seen if these management consultancies can integrate the acquired design agencies’ cultures and scale them up to have positive impact across their wider businesses.

Approach and process Management consulting firms acquiring digital design agencies thrive on process efficiency, both internally and externally. These companies innovate and sell (welltested) processes to their clients and also have processes to manage and monitor their internal productivity and people. However, these very same internal processes can alienate designers, who are likely to push back against procedures that detract from their employee experience. When it comes to selling design thinking to prospective clients, I feel that management consulting firms are still at a learning stage. It will be interesting to see how these companies can truly integrate design thinking with their existing business and technology processes. If they can do it successfully, it will truly impact the business internally, as well as externally for the clients. There is no doubt with the changing business dynamics, these firms do realise the importance of design and are hungry to learn and adapt. On the other hand, independent design agencies also have just enough processes to support creative endeavours. They also significantly value the construction of the design thinking process itself, which is a critical driver of innovation and creativity.

Creative work Independent design agencies (generally speaking) tend to work on a variety of small- to mid-size projects, which keeps design teams creatively stimulated. In addition, by periodically pitching for new work, agencies find opportunities to harness the passion and vision of the creative team. On the other side, management consulting firms are very competent in spotting future trends, which may allow them to get exciting, challenging and impactful work for the team. For a designer, such work gives the opportunity to work closely with multidisciplinary teams (Strategy, Technology, Business) from elsewhere within the management consulting firm, as well as to have access to high-level contacts on the client side who have key decision-making responsibilities. While working on such a large-scale project may offer different and positive experiences for a designer, they may also lose a sense of project ownership, resulting in a diluted sense of pride and passion. In my experience, these projects are often focussed on business, technology and design (mostly in that order), meaning that skills, craft and emotion-based design often take a back seat.

My findings Through my experiences working both in an independent design agency and in an acquired design agency, I feel that both have something very unique to offer to a service designer. Working in an independent mid-size design agency will definitely keep you creatively charged and offer you enough opportunities to broaden your design skillsets by allowing you to work on small- to mid-size projects where you can juggle many balls at the same time. It will give you opportunities to hone your skills and allow you to learn from your mistakes. Working in acquired agencies has its own charm: these agencies can offer exposure on strategic and business level that can compliment your design thinking. Projects in these agencies can offer you opportunities to work in multidisciplinary teams (Strategy, Technology, Business) allowing you to learn from other disciplines and help you grow as a designer. Depending on your career focus and interest one might seem more interesting than other, but, all in all, both setups can have amazing opportunities to offer as well as challenges. Touchpoint 7-2 41

Innovating from the Inside Out From in-house service design team to external consultancy Five years ago, Shropshire Council in the UK took its first steps towards creating an in-house service design team to help them think differently about the challenges they faced. Those five years have been an exciting and challenging journey, which includes mainstreaming design and creating a business design consultancy Simon Penny is the iLab development lead at ip&e Ltd and is passionate about service design. He believes that the public sector can no longer afford to deliver one-size-fits-all services that address perceived need, and have to design new services that develop communities by understanding citizens, treating them as customers and by building upon their collective capabilities.

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within the council’s wholly owned company ip&e Ltd (inspiring partnerships and enterprise).

Back in June 2010, the council recognised that it needed to find a better way of transforming its services. With a desire to do this from a customer’s perspective they commissioned service design agency Think Public to work with them through a specific challenge: ‘understanding the barriers to physical activity’. Arren Roberts, managing business design consultant at ip&e Ltd explains “I wanted to take the council from a position of thinking they knew what their customers wanted to a position of knowing. The best way to do this was to get out and talk to them”. The decision to approach the challenge in this way was a pivotal point in the history of what would become the ip&e Ltd business design team. For the first time, the council was able to take a truly usercentred approach to service development. Using ethnography, which comprised workbooks and cameras, cultural probes,

vox-pops, customer interviews and chalkboard sketching to answer the question: ‘What is being active for you?’, they were able to design solutions that put citizens at the heart. This successful first step got the attention of the council’s senior management team who saw the value that service design could bring. The challenge for the council was how they could make service design an integral part of the business. The sustainable answer was to create an in-house service design team and employ a service designer to work alongside six council staff, brought together from across the organisation, each with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Supported by their service designer in residence, the team immersed themselves in design thinking. One of the design challenges they worked on inspired them to apply for,


We asked the people of Oswestry ‘what is being active for you?’ and win, funding from the Design Council and Innovate UK, as part of the Independence Matters programme – Keeping Connected Business Challenge. The resulting service, called Gusto1, turned the notion of preventative social care on its head by encouraging older adults to do more of the things they love, try new experiences and meet new people, enabling more adults to thrive in later life and reducing the burden on social care and health. The success of Gusto in those early months gave the team the skills and confidence they needed to win external business and cemented prevention- and assetbased capability models into their DNA. The director of adult social care became a key sponsor for the work, as did both the chief executive and leader of the council. Being involved in the Independence Matters programme also contributed to the team winning their first external contract. In 2012 Shropshire Council’s service design team became partners in the Mi Liverpool 1

More Independent programme, where they worked alongside health practitioners and commissioners to improve the outcomes for people living with life-limiting conditions. It was whilst working in Liverpool that the team noticed that they felt more confident when working externally. Working as an in-house team sometimes proved difficult as many people at the council didn’t really understand the role of a service designer and what they did: they were used to Lean, management consultants and organisational reviews. New clients weren’t hung up on this and simply saw what the team had to offer. Early in their development, the team had seen the potential to work with external clients. Now they had proof that they could develop innovative solutions to social challenges and that their approach to consultancy – that of rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck into work alongside clients rather than simply directing them – made their offer an attractive one: clients valued this different type of consultancy along with the public sector heritage the team brought with them. This lead in 2014 to the move into the council’s wholly owned company ip&e Ltd. Nicki Beardmore, Touchpoint 7-2 43

Health professionals in Liverpool told us what was ‘tops’ and what was ‘pants’ about their job.

chief operations officer at ip&e Ltd explains: “ip&e is a socially motivated company with big aspirations, so it felt like it was the perfect place to enable the team to expand.” The largest client at the point of transfer remained Shropshire Council, but moving into a new company gave the team greater autonomy to choose the direction in which they wanted to take the business, and greater flexibility to win new work. Working externally changed the relationship dynamic between the team and what was now a client choosing to buy in their services: the team felt more confident to work as consultants. The service design team expanded to become a team of multi-skilled business design consultants that includes service designers, business analysts and project managers. However, the move provided a key challenge for the new business design team. Shropshire Council, along with other local authorities in the UK, were now facing critical funding shortfalls. The challenge that they gave ip&e Ltd was to help them achieve an £80m reduction in spending. The team had

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previously reflected upon their own work and realised that service design had, to that point, worked really well when used to create bespoke services that disrupted existing markets, but they had struggled to find evidence to show how service design could be used successfully to change an entire organisation and make multi millionpound savings. Simon Penny, service designer and iLab development lead at ip&e Ltd explains: “We knew that to work at a strategic level and maintain our key principle of keeping people at the heart of what we do, we needed to evolve our approach – we needed to take service design from ‘haute couture’ to high street, from only creating bespoke services like Gusto which serve a lucky few, to services which serve entire populations and quickly achieve huge savings.” This kind of evolution is perhaps fitting for a company born in the same town as Charles Darwin. The citizen-centred, whole-systems approach that the team developed has already achieved positive results, with savings made across a range of council services from adult social care to waste. With the support of ip&e Ltd Business Design, Shropshire Council has reduced the per-head cost of adult social care for the over 65’s by 31% 2 and was highlighted in a resent CQC (Care Quality Commission) report as the best-performing council.3 The team knew that evolving an approach to service design was essential in helping their biggest client, and also in providing them with the tools necessary to help other large organisations. However, they also recognised the benefits that innovation at a grass-roots level can bring to their work: after all, without Gusto, the team would not have had the key insights to feed into their consultancy work that resulted in such positive outcomes for adult social care in Shropshire. Simon Penny explains: “Disruptive innovation really has the power to reshape the mould of public services, transform the face of the Public Sector and improve lives. Alongside our evolved approach we have created an innovation platform, which gives us the space and

autonomy to work on disruptive design challenges with partners from the public sector, private sector, voluntary sector and our local university, and allows us to experiment in a live environment”. In turn, as the iLab is an innovation platform for the whole of the company (which includes communications and frontline services such as environmental health and planning), the learning derived from iLab helps cement design thinking across the entire organisation and strengthen our consultancy offer. The business design team are confident in their craft and their ability to apply it across a range of public sector departments, and have grown from just six members to thirteen. The evolved approach to service design, together with the two-way relationship between consultancy and the iLab, is already helping the business to grow and develop. Shropshire Council’s internal service design team would not have been able to evolve into the external business design consultancy it is today without the positive backing of the council’s senior politicians and management team and without the early success they achieved with Gusto. It’s been an exciting and challenging time for those working within the team and, as they move into their second year within ip&e Ltd, they continue to be inspired about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

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Through the Looking Glass Adaptive Path moves in-house at Capital One

When Capital One acquired Adaptive Path in October 2014, the service design community took notice. Was this the end of service design as we know it? Or the beginning of a new era? After 13 years as an outside agency, we at Adaptive Path are on an exciting new journey to adapt our practice and to pave the way Jamin Hegeman is design director at Adaptive Path, where he leads the service design practice and is working to scale it enterprise-wide at Capital One. He is also a principal of the Service Design Network.

Patrick Quattlebaum is managing director at Adaptive Path. For the last 15 years, he has worked as an experience design consultant while also building and leading multidisciplinary design teams.

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for scaling service design enterprise-wide with our new partners. On this side of the looking glass, many new opportunities and adventures await us. But does this signal the end of the external agency? Read on and find out. A new beginning In October 2014, Capital One acquired Adaptive Path and now has one of the strongest internal service design teams in the world at its disposal. As designers at Adaptive Path, we find ourselves in a curious situation and in the dead centre of the question of what this means for service design going forward. Before we go there, let’s provide a little context. Adaptive Path was founded in 2001 as one of the first user experience design companies in the United States. Over the past 13 years, the focus of our work has evolved from web experiences to multichannel digital experiences to service experiences across channels and touchpoints. For the past few years, we have been explicitly building a

service design practice. Our practice has successfully delivered multiple projects across many industries and attracted some of the top talent in service design in North America. We launched the Service Experience Conference in 2013, which supports our mission to advance the practice of design and promote great experiences at the service and organisational level. At the time of this writing, we are seven months into our journey with Capital One. During this time, we have been working on projects and developing a perspective on the opportunities our new situation affords. As we move forward, we will apply the lessons learned during this period to inform both our service design projects, as well as how we shape the service design function for the enterprise.

Photo: Iran Narges


New opportunities As an outside agency, we faced many challenges in helping our clients achieve effective results. At the top of the list was not actually being a part of the organisation. While we were successful in many respects, the nature of service design – complex, collaborative, systemic – meant there were certain limitations to our effectiveness. Our best service design relationships were long term, allowing us to gain deep knowledge of an organisation and to stay connected to projects that took time to develop and evolve. Here are a few characteristics that have changed for the positive now that we’re on the inside.

While the acquisition may have been a shock, we had fun with it during a welcome party hosted at Adaptive Path’s office.

Build stronger (and longer) relationships For service design to be successful within an organisation, whether it is driven by outside agencies or internally, you need to have strong leadership support and engagement: participation by a multi-disciplinary team that includes business, operations, design, marketing Touchpoint 7-2 47

Adaptive Path designers review a combination of service blueprints, architecture blueprints, and storyboards for Capital One 360 Cafes.

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and technology. And you need a team to build, adapt and sustain the service vision over time. Service design is not just ‘one and done’. It’s a long game in which people and relationships are arguably more important than methods and tools. And that’s the real challenge for external agencies, as well as for organisations that focus on short-term projects in silos. To create differentiated, sustainable service experiences, you need consistent focus on the big picture and collaboration across the enterprise. Business and design can no longer work separately. For this reason, it will be hugely beneficial to have service design teams in-house with deep business relationships, working side-by-side to define strategy and execute visions and features. Designers don’t need to do the work of their business counterparts, nor do non-designers need to become designers. But we must participate in each other’s worlds with mutual respect and trust to truly achieve the potential of our combined expertise. Drive culture change If, as Peter Drucker put it, culture eats strategy for breakfast, being able to affect organisational culture is a great leap toward creating a service design culture. Many organisations are striving to be more design-led. For established organisations that were not founded with design and human centricity as part of their DNA, this is an uphill battle. From the outside, agencies can influence organisations by demonstrating different ways of working, new tools and new approaches that service design brings. However, it’s all-too easy for an organisation to fall back on its previous muscle memory. To truly change, the organisation needs to establish new behaviours and organise itself differently. Being on the inside, Adaptive Path has the opportunity to foster a plan for this transformation, to train the organisation to act differently and to collaborate on creating the mindset, the processes and the structures for service design to thrive. As a small external agency, we worked in dedicated teams made up of different design disciplines. To do service design work, we had to lean on our clients for

Creating service storyboards with our new Capital One colleagues.

representation from operations, business and technology. Now that we are internal, our partners are now our colleagues. As part of reshaping our service design practice to work within this new environment, we are examining engagement models that allow us to build cross disciplinary teams that focus on service design challenges separate from business as usual activities. Everyone needs to participate. But designers need to lead the design process. This is often a threat to existing business practices, where ‘product’ owns the process and designers execute. To take advantage of what designers bring to the table, we are working to facilitate new practices. This means building strong partnerships with the business and ensuring design plays a role in strategic decision making. Build organisational capability Even given the progress that the design community has achieved in the past 20 years, the full nature of design is not yet clearly understood by the business community. Touchpoint 7-2 49

The advantage Adaptive Path had as an outside design consultancy was that of prestige (and sometimes mystique), as well as expertise separate from the organi­ sation’s design teams. But our position, employing our design capabilities and working with executive leader­ ship, did not translate or necessarily have an impact on the rest of the organisation’s designers. Now that we’re on the inside, our focus is not just on doing project work suitable to our expertise, but also on lifting design up to become a strategic capability that impacts every nook and cranny of the organisation. The spotlight on our acquisition has created a unique opportunity for our service design practice. Being internal has provided us with a captive audience, receptive to understand how our capabilities can be used. Service design, in particular, has resonated in various parts of the business, from the experience and value of Capital One’s retail environments to the mortgage process, where there is a great need to evaluate, to design for and to plan multi-channel service interactions that are feasible and sustainable. Service design is ideal for this. Based on the need, we see great opportunity for service design at scale. Accomplishing this will involve teaching designers to be more service-minded and to constructively challenge short-term, business-centric thinking. Through training and mentoring, we will help designers build new hard and soft skills required to facilitate the design process and to create strategies and solutions that bridge digital and analog, front and back stage and near- and long-term. Achieving scale will also require working with brand, product, technology, operations and other disciplines to build the kind of cross disciplinary relation­ships and practices that make service design possible. Sustain the work Adaptive Path typically leads strategic design work: defining customer needs, opportunities, the service vision and the experience roadmap. As an external agency, these engagements didn’t come cheap. They also gave birth to a plethora of execution projects that required additional investment. Therefore, organisations had a strong in­ 50 Touchpoint 7-2

centive to internalise our role in initiatives as quickly as possible. This is a familiar pattern to agencies; there are many stories of amazing solutions that the client never implemented. The handoff from strategy to execution is fraught with risk. When outside engagements end, the drive to pursue the vision often loses steam. Competing agendas and interests constantly challenge the alignment around a vision. Building and managing a program of work across functions or business units meet resistance and funding issues. Execution of touchpoints and features get divvied up across multiple work groups who don’t communicate or collaborate. Of course, this is why service design methods and tools are so important. Journeys visualise and articulate experiences that facilitate ideation and decision-making. Storyboards communicate visions of new experiences that are easy to understand and drive toward. A visual representation of the end experience is key to ensure that ideas don’t get lost and everyone stays on target. Blueprints ensure everyone understands what it will take to actually achieve the vision. But in the absence of strong service design leaders sustaining the work, the value of previous strategic activities and artefacts can quickly go to waste. Businesses love to chase squirrels. As an outside agency, Adaptive Path attempted to mitigate this tendency by empowering our internal partners to own the work, as many service design agencies do. However, our efforts were met with varying degrees of success. To ensure ideas don’t get lost along the way and that the initial service vision stays true, organisations need the same multidisciplinary team to remain involved and to guide the work, sometimes for years, from initial quick wins to reaching the intended vision. Be the glue Given new avenues to build relationships, change culture, create new capabilities, and sustain work from strategy through to execution (and beyond), we see the opportunity to provide organisational glue that we could never do from the outside. We can help identify service


gaps and bring together the right people to bring cohesion to the experience. We can bridge the typical divides between thinking and making, digital and non-digital and business and operations. We can use our design skills to help the organisation communicate what it is currently doing and what it wants to do. And we can help create a shared mindset that places human needs at the centre of our collective work.

to build strong relationships across the organisation, to drive culture change, to build service design capabilities, to sustain the work over time and to be the glue that holds the experience together. We believe this will have a lasting and profound impact on Capital One that no external agency could achieve.

The end of agencies? While some might say that being in-house exposes designers to the lethargy of large organisations and that internal politics get in the way of providing good design work, these are precisely the challenges that outside agencies face in having their work fully realised. Great service design work must engage the organisation at all levels, from the customer experience to culture, structure and politics. Our opportunity is to challenge the entirety of the Capital One organisation through our design work. Being on the inside, we will have a much greater chance of facilitating change, helping the organisation transform towards having a creative culture, structuring itself to support the customer experience and towards engaging in internal politics in ways that are not possible as an outside partner. That said, we do not think this is the end of agencies. One of the biggest hurdles to the proliferation of service design is that most organisations have no experience engaging in service design and hence do not understand it. If Capital One’s acquisition of Adaptive Path is a signal that we will see more in-house service design teams in the future, this is good news for agencies. More service design teams in-house will increase the understanding of what service design is and why it is valuable. This will increase demand, which will help grow the market for external agencies. So while our acquisition may have been a shock to the service design community, we predict the more in-house service design teams there are, the more opportunities there will be to practice service design in the future, no matter which side of the looking glass you’re on. But there will be limitations in what you can accomplish from the outside. On the inside, we expect the opportunity Touchpoint 7-2 51

Making Sense of Service Design with Internal Stakeholders Three international perspectives on conducting design projects within organisations What happens when three designers share their mistakes, stories and insights from their different industry experiences? During an extended conversation, three design professionals explore what they’ve learned from their award-winning products and services in healthcare, energy, consumer electronics, telecommunications and retail. In this interview format, Alisan Atvur, Katrine Rau and Byron Wilson reveal their experiences. Alisan Atvur is a senior R&D usability researcher and innovation facilitator for Novo Nordisk. His former employers include Frog, Apple, and award-winning design strategy consultancies. Katrine Rau is a senior user experience researcher for General Electric. Her current work affects some of the world’s largest energy companies. She has facilitated teams in various industries, including healthcare, retail and telecommunications. Byron Wilson is a design consultant who has led large innovation efforts from early concept and research to implementation for some of the world’s leading healthcare organisations and R&D labs.

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What roles are most frequently overlooked when designing a new service? A L I S A N AT V U R :

The people who are execut ing the services are often overlooked. In retail services, the ground-level employees can make or break an exceptional experience. In the product design industry, the relationship between marketing and design isn’t always clear, so one party gets left out from the conversation at various times. K AT R I N E R A U :

I’ve noticed some companies can accidentally prevent great minds from collaborating with each other in their organisation: this segregation is often due to how teams are organised.

The bigger the organisation, the harder it can be to reach across the teams. It’s critical to know how to cross silos when the organisation is designed to protect those silos. B Y RO N W I L S O N : If a team intends to create a new service, make sure the people who market your company are ready for the impact of presenting something new to the public. These professionals have numerous methods to accomplish this, but their ability is impaired if they haven’t had a chance to adjust to changes brought about by this new service. More importantly, branding teams and marketing teams can often help the new service avoid adoption obstacles if those teams are integrated early.


What is the biggest difference you’ve noticed between working in-house versus working as a design consultant?

benefit. I feel that in-house designers may be more aware of how the organisation and its leader identify this risk. I don’t find this problematic as long as identifying risk doesn’t turn into fear of risk.


As a consultant, it can be challenging to get invited to many of the more strategic meetings because as an ‘outsider’ you aren’t necessarily offered a seat at the table. However, as an in-house designer you have more power to actually invite yourself to these meetings, but that is a skill that the service designer must master when working in-house. You cannot be too shy to ask or to have an opinion. I’ve encouraged my fellow in-house designers to creatively and respectfully invite themselves to meetings when possible. That’s sometimes the only way to get design inserted at the higher levels in an organisation. A A:

I’ve noticed a difference in work styles. My life as a consultant was often very intense and focused on delivering exceptional work at a speed that would not be sustainable for an in-house team. In contrast, as an in-house ethnographer, I find myself capable of building momentum on a project that can often lead to more success. I think the two types of designers can and should co-exist.


I’ve noticed the team structure has been different. As a design consultant, I’ve had the luxury to surround myself with fellow designers who operate at very high levels of professional skill because the job that needed doing was much more specific and contained. It has made the task of execution, as well as the task of gaining a shared clarity of mission, more approachable because the team has a tendency to speak in similar terms and is generally smaller and has a tighter focus. The challenge of in-house design is the converse. The projects are usually larger in scope, the teams often sprawl and the diversity of professionals who have a vested interest in the outcome have a much greater involvement in the processes associated with design. I think both scenarios bring with them unique and necessary challenges for the effective designer to master. What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve observed as an in-house designer? A A:

The idea of risk is (and should be) something that concerns people. Identifying a risk is extremely critical for the survival of an organism or an organisation. At any given moment, we are all balancing risk with potential


The location of the design-minded employee can be an obstacle or an opportunity. As service designers, we are evangelising a business strategy that positions the user’s experience as our primary metric. This strategy can sometimes be at odds with other business philosophies. It is also harder to spread if the dominant leader higher within the organisation has starkly dif ferent values than the designer. Furthermore, all designers face the challenge of collaborating across organisational silos in order to create a holistic experience. For some companies it can be challenging to figure out what to do with those ‘odd ones’ that don’t want to stay in their silo and just work with stakeholders from that silo. We designers often tend to take that role and, in my opinion, we just need to embrace the role and influence others to want to do the same.

A A:

And this is where I personally feel that silos are good. Silos in an organisation are like silos in real life: they provide a necessary efficiency for the business owner. If an organisation completely lacked this internal organisation and separation, it would potentially suffer immensely expensive inefficiency.

K R : Perhaps, but would you prefer efficiency to a poor customer experience brought about by a lack of holistic thinking by the employees? B W : I’m not sure fear of risk is totally bad. I do believe it should have boundaries and I think that’s what [Alisan is] alluding to. However, to take your metaphor further, the fear is an instinctive trigger that keeps us as humans and organisations alive. The more interesting question for me is whether or not I, as an organisation or as an individual, will embrace that fear. I’m not a proponent of fearless behaviour: I much prefer courageous action and decisionmaking. So, acknowledging the risk is a necessary first step. If that comes in the form of fear, so be it. The biggest obstacle I see for in-house design is speed. It’s so difficult to creatively get into all the strategy meetings and execute while also preserving the original idea as you prove it to yourself and your colleagues.

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What has been the most effective for you in inspiring teams within organisations? A A:

I try to help teams accomplish quick wins while pointing to more aspirational victories. In other words, I pick the low-hanging fruit while pointing to a higher place on the tree. It helps teams feel respected and immediately gratified. Hopefully, it energises them to continue further. I used to naively point to big challenges, assuming I had the oratorical power to inspire a client’s team to tackle something big. I think that is still possible, but realism is what allows the team to actually have the confidence to know what can and can’t be accomplished (and in what amount of time).

K R : My approach is a little more simple: I believe in relentless positivity. There are already enough people in an organisation saying no. BW:

I make it personal. Although we’re all at work … we’re all people. I try to make it abundantly clear that I buy into the individual talent and beauty that is resident in all the team members. If the team can agree, stick together and focus all the respective talents, then success will be a consequence that follows close behind. The realist in me challenges the team to keep an open mind about what that success may look like. What is the single most important word an inhouse designer should know and understand? K R : “Transparency”. If you are in a meeting with me, you will likely hear me say “I’m all about transparency” at some point in the conversation. Without it, we can’t accomplish anything together. Transparency doesn’t mean vulnerability: it means being open about reality and accepting that it can only be changed by working together. A A:

“Thanks”. I believe that the only way to get to Katrine’s transparency is through gratitude for the work and energy of your colleagues. Nothing demoralises your peers like being unappreciated. The fastest and most sincere way of accomplishing that is an authentic “thank you”.


“Grit”. Being in-house is difficult. Embrace the complexity and be committed to follow through on the

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challenges that matter. That means knowing who you are as a design professional and staying true to that, while still serving the organisation. For me, that takes a lot of grit. What is your secret to designing a great service? K R : A great service consists of smaller instances over time. The glue and the importance is how these parts are linked and come together to weave the bigger story. Each instance affects another. The service user shouldn’t ever need to think about how they are being moved from one instance to the next: that’s a part of the magic behind a great service. Without an awareness of those relationships, design is almost certainly going to be lost.


A A:

I think it’s understanding how all actions have a reaction. In other words, satisfied employees yield satisfied customers because an employee’s good work has a direct relationship on the quality of the employee’s output, which has a direct impact on the user experience. Every feeling and effort has a reflection somewhere else. It may not always be seen, but it is there. BW:


What is the best attribute you can have as an in-house service designer? KR:

Designers must feel grounded in the values that make them who they are. I’m not suggesting designers should be immovable evangelists: I’m suggesting that designers know what they aren’t willing to sacrifice in their design process in order to satisfactorily complete their work. This activity is as much about self-reflection as it is about understanding your professional identity and role within the organisation. We should be able to see how decisions and ideas within an organisation are linked. Therefore, I believe you should also understand how your decisions and actions influence others, who then influence others, and so on. Understanding this cause and effect is critical.

Often designers want a seat at the table where decisions are made. Whether you are consultant or CEO, each seat has value, but each seat has it´s own unique advantages and limitations. If you can recognise both, you can be influential no matter where you sit.

A A:

My answer is a little silly. I remember inflatable punching bags from my childhood that weebled and wobbled but always returned to a standing state. They often had a smiling face that would never change. I think the in-house designer needs to be able to weeble and wobble based on how stakeholders interact with him. However, he can stay grounded in the values of user-centrism. Whether it is a good day or a bad day, the designer returns to a state of balance. I think maintaining a sustainable creative energy comes not from staying perfectly balanced, but being able to return to balance quickly when you get knocked off.


Resourcefulness. You’ll never have enough time, budget or creative latitude. And that’s largely because you’re more than likely a piece of a larger puzzle. And that’s OK. The best thing you can do for yourself and the organisation is to be really good at doing more with less. It keeps you relevant, sustainable and I’ve noticed that it tends to get you included earlier and more often. Touchpoint 7-2 55

So What Did You Say Service Design Is? Some lessons learned from our experience at KONE Does it really make sense to build an internal service design competence? Will the effort, time and money invested bring a genuine benefit for the company? Is it a better solution building it in-house instead of buying it from a consultancy? These are all questions faced when the idea of using service design at KONE started, more D.A. Paula Bello was the first service design manager at KONE Corporation, with the responsibility for building the internal competence and team, as well as for establishing external networks. She is currently a consultant on design strategy for KONE and others and an entrepreneur in the fields of hospitality, real estate and digital services.

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than two years ago. And after going through quite a journey, I can convincingly answer: Yes. Yes. And yes. This is our journey.

The role of design at KONE KONE – founded in 1910 – has more than 47,000 employees and net sales of ¤7.3 billion in 2014. Its vision is to deliver the best people-flow experience: enabling a smooth, optimised and enjoyable flow of people and goods within a building through solutions such as elevators, escalators, automatic doors and access control. While products are the most tangible and fast-growing business of KONE, services are the most stable part of the industry and provide the largest pool of opportunities. Design at KONE has grown from within. In a span of about seven years, a competence was built and design became one of the three key strategic R&D focus areas, together with eco-efficiency and ride comfort. Our new products – heavily invested in to create a KONE ‘look & feel’, as well as to bring end-users to the core

of the development – have won several awards, including those from Red Dot, Good Design and Fennia. Our new range of products has been slowly but strongly revitalising our identity. The natural next step is to think of designing services. But how do we do that? Is it about improving our services or creating completely new ones? Actually, what does service design means for us? These are tricky questions, especially at the beginning when we were lacking the experience to answer them honestly and concretely. We still don’t have final answers yet, but the steps taken so far are not only solid but also inspiring. This article shares some of the top lessons learned during our journey. Starting a movement Theoretically, all companies want to shift towards user and customer-centricity.


However, in reality, a move of this nature is challenging to say the least and it may not be suitable for everyone. Thus, the first step is to answer the question ‘why do this?’ Remember though that ‘why’ often includes a combination of factors, as it was in our case. On the one hand, we had strong internal drivers: a clear company strategy with customer-driven targets and a strong belief that we can just simply be better by creating solutions from a people-based standpoint (needs, wants, motivations) rather than from technology (machines, features). In other words, first define value for our customers and users and then develop the solutions. On the other hand, we had enough stories directly from the customers themselves that were so strong that they moved people internally towards a change. Before any effort to change, make sure you know why you are changing. If you are not able to answer this, then simply don’t bother. This is because we are not talking about service design as an isolated activity: one would do it more justice by describing it as a snowball. When one starts from value for the customer or from the user, there is a substantial chance that it may lead towards a change in the company’s DNA: changes in organisation, capabilities, products and processes. This shift not only requires large investments, but also brings about pains that are difficult to forecast. For that reason, service design can be a quite radical approach. It needs courage, and this courage must come from leadership roles outside of the design organisation. We – as designers – are quite convinced of our approach and quite confident that it is the only way to truly develop solutions with the customer and user interests at the core. But when one is trying to build a competence that is cross-disciplinary in nature, one must step outside of

one’s comfort zone. In our case, the breakthrough came when we got allies from the business and technology areas of KONE: those outstanding individuals who had the vision, the confidence and the credibility to actually change things. The TED talk by Derek Sives, ‘How to start a movement’, spoke loudly to us. We experienced something similar: design may have been the starting point, but the movement only started when the promoters from other functions acted upon it. Thinking big, taking small steps One of the best pieces of advice I have heard in the corporate world was ‘don’t try to eat the elephant in one bite’. Starting from a small pilot can do wonders because, with a minor investment, you can create evidence of how service design can change the way of doing and can ultimately bring better results. You can also have a better understanding of the changes that it will ultimately require or cause. You move the conversation from theory to concrete solutions, benefits and implications: these are much easier to explain, grasp and understand. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that one needs to be modest in ambition. Quite the opposite. Plan the full path towards a grand objective (one that some may even consider unachievable), and think of this as the first step. A pilot allowed us to be more convincing about the benefits of our approach, paving the way for the approval of the first large service design project. This was our biggest milestone, as it made concrete a promise. Alongside this assurance, one must decide the approach to follow, not only for the project itself but also for the future of the competence. Decisions made here affect the long-term plan, so one does best by thinking already several steps ahead. Touchpoint 7-2 57

B2B service design dream team.

One of the central questions at that point was whether to build service design as an in-house competence or with external consultants. From my perspective, a combination of both is the most secure path. Firstly, we needed to work inwards to be able to provide the most fundamental requirement for service design: cross functionality. The nature of services is much more liquid than that of products, because we talk about processes, capabilities and flows. Expertise, know-how and commitment from different functions within the company are a must. This obviously cannot be bought in from the outside, so one of the biggest efforts faced during implementation is having the in-house muscle to 58 Touchpoint 7-2

involve the right people at the right moment. And to get them committed. In addition, we need to break the boundaries with the outside world. Collaborating with service design consultants is something that makes complete sense because they will bring insight from the real world, as too often in corporations we tend to focus inwards or on our closest competitors. Consultants bring not only methods and tools, but have a healthy distance from corporate culture, which can help open up and accelerate the development. They are able to ask the right questions to determine the level of readiness to start a service design project or competence, and they are able to facilitate the


engagement process. But external consultants cannot themselves drive a deep change in an organisation: there must be an in-house force driving the transformation to make it profound and sustainable. In other words, the driver must be internal, while it is wise to have an external co-pilot. For that purpose, negotiation is tremendously necessary, though it is underrated in design thinking and processes. Our focus as designers has been very centred in the tools and methods to discover, make sense of findings and to propose solutions for customers and users. Still, we ought not forget that, in every single step of the way, our ideas need to be sold, to be defended and to be pushed. At the same time, we need to integrate our stakeholders’ and collaborators’ needs into the equation: create win-win situations. The following diagram visualises the steps we have taken with some of the tools and methods we have used. Negotiation is what allows us to jump from one level to the next. Being inclusive and evolving A great advantage that we have is that the nature of service design is engaging, colourful and attractive. Our discipline is highly visible compared with other, moretraditional approaches, because it includes things such as participatory workshops, post-its covering the walls, and paper prototypes. And we need to be inclusive. How are people going to understand what we are talking about other than by us showing it? It is an abstract discipline and, at the same time, it is one with great stories to

tell. We use stories, and stories trigger emotions, and emotions are easier to understand and to remember. And, as we take into consideration the voice and stories of customers and users, we benefit from taking the same approach with our peers. A colleague from the business told me once, after a rather intense session: “Listen to what [our decision-makers] have to say. They are seeing what will happen 20 steps ahead.” And she was totally right. One of our strongest skills as designers is the ability to imagine the best possible future. But in the quest towards delivering it, we may oversee the real concerns or challenges that building that future may represent. Business leaders are foreseeing that future from the perspective of investment, change management and profitability. Technology sees it from the angle of how to enable it. Human resources think of building the capabilities. All of them think of how to bring the desired future to be a reality, which often is more complex than we designers may think. Paying very close attention to these angles and incorporating them in the design process are fundamental elements for success. What may appear to be forces working against us can easily become ammunition we can use. For instance, we can turn concerns into concrete features and even measures to evaluate our solutions. Indicators are not only necessary to assess the success level, but are, in addition, the foundation for further development. If the indicators allow us to evaluate results, they also enable the building of a competence that is more and more what the corporation needs.

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While products are definite when drawings are fi­nal­ised and production starts, services are always evolving and growing. Think of designing services as designing paths or roadmaps: they are both structured and flexible at once, and it gives one the confidence that if something simply doesn’t work, it can be changed. A ‘fail fast’ approach is one of the most important enablers for development. One must remember that when you are building something that does not yet exist, there is a chance it won’t work or it won’t bring value to the customer or user. The key is to avoid being frozen by that fear, and rather to be reassured by the fact that if you fail fast, you will be able to learn and move ahead. This is innovation in practice.

As I look back over the last two years, I cannot help but feel very proud of the achievements and extremely confident of the benefits. I can now answer the starting question: ‘so what did you say service design is?’ Service design is an incredibly powerful approach for engaging people both internally and externally and for turning customer and user insights into service solutions. Thus, service design is a catalyst for change: created with people, for people. My last words are to encourage you to try it for yourself: don’t take my word for it, but experience it.

Would service design make sense for my organisation? Every organisation is different and, thus, requires a dif­fer­ ent approach. If you are thinking of building an in-­house service design competence at your company I would re­com­mend taking a snapshot of your organisation to deter­mine three fundamental insights:

Can you spot where the service

1. Firstly, understand the level of readiness to implement

outside. In part we are ‘ruining’

a design approach. There is no doubt in my mind that service design brings great benefits, whether you are large or small, local or global, newborn or mature. But you need to understand where you are in order to plan accordingly. External experts can support you in this effort as they have experience and a healthy distance. 2. Secondly, assess the engagement of top management. The implications of the approach can be so significant that it is wise to have the decision-makers on board as early as possible. Probably this won’t be a given situation, but the result of a close and growing collab­ oration. Therefore, plan who should be involved and what is the best way to engage them. 3. Thirdly, evaluate where is the best location of service design as a competence. The nature of the discipline is cross-disciplinary, so traditional settings such as R&D or IT departments may not be the most suitable. Make sure you create a platform without silos where the key stakeholders and actors can move freely across functions.

the architect’s vision of the

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design team is? Evidence of our work is visible even from the

building, in part inspiring others and quite often piquing people’s curiosity.

Photo: KONE service design team


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How Do You Make a Tie from Post-its? Ten tips to set up your in-house service design department in a traditional sector

Reka Barath is a service design strategist at JLL Spain and co-founder of Inspiration4. She studied interior design, but decided to reinvent herself and found her way in the field of service design. She helps JLL Spain drive its own innovation through applying service design thinking, supporting human-centred design and aligning the company’s strategy with real customer needs.

I’m going to talk about a story of perseverance. While I was thinking about the topic of this article, I went to the monthly meet-up of Service Design Drinks Madrid to get some inspiration. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but the topic was ‘In-house Service Designers versus Service Design Consultants’. 62 Touchpoint 7-2


During the event, we realised that the problems may have different names but our struggles are similar. I have had to fight on both sides. As co-founder of Inspiration4 – a Budapest-based service design agency – I had to represent a profession almost unknown in the Hungarian market. Now, as an in-house service designer in a multinational company with a classical organisational structure, I must pound on the table in order to be visible among so many departments. Moreover, I’m working in a very traditional sector: real estate. Almost two years ago, when I started to work as an in-house service designer, my first impression was that, despite the company’s desire to have a service design department, it was difficult to get it off the ground. But right now, as I write this article in our tiny (but ours!) innovation room, I can say that I see that our department is an active part of the transformation of the company. I would like to share my experience by offering ten tips to set up your own in-house service design department. 1. Create your brand as if you were an agency. Get

visibility in the company (through having a logo and communication strategy). You can even give an ‘invoice’ to the other departments when you finish a project, which says: “You saved the company 5,000 Euro by using our services!” You have to know what value your work has in the market. Your clients have to understand what they can earn by using this internal service. 2. Set up your team! Think about what kind of projects you will work on, and the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver them. It’s a good idea to mix service design, content management, innovation, storytelling, graphic design and multimedia. Don’t forget that the rest of the company has a deep knowledge of their business. 3. You will need a space where you can work and leave your Post-its on the walls. Go to war for the war room! 4. Your department is a refuge where your clients (from other departments) can feel free. It’s amazing when a director comes to your island thirsty for inspiration and doesn’t want to leave. There is no mystery in achieving it: you only need to create empathy. Listen to them actively and understand their needs, applying creative methodologies to remove them from their

daily routine, leaving behind that rigid hierarchy. In doing so, you win their trust and, after a successful collaboration, you can count on them as a sponsor. 5. Actively involve every stakeholder in the co-creation process of a project. Apply your work methodology from the very first meetings. For example, you can use a co-creation toolkit to map the ecosystem of a department and understand their business (services provided, stakeholders, interactions, value, etc.) 6. Don’t do everything alone. You also need the fresh eyes of external experts. One of our collaborators opened our eyes. Instead of falling in love with a challenge, we must ensure that the top manager will be involved actively from the beginning in the project. If not, stop! It’s never going to get ahead. 7. Carry out projects that are not purely service design projects in order to gain recognition throughout the organisation. In our case, we accepted event experience projects and workshops to introduce new methods of teamwork. This was the beginning of our collaboration with our retail business unit, and now we are co-creating solutions for real challenges. 8. Learn to say ‘no’. You have to make clear your services and always create a case study after finishing a project to clearly explain what you did. For example, we carry out workshops applying innovation tools, but we don’t organise team-building activities. 9. Customise innovation tools: we interviewed our clients (the Department of Debt Advisory) to understand their needs. Adapting the Business Model Canvas, we designed an interdepartmental activity to create synergies and discover new business opportunities. 10. Consider ROI. Define KPIs before the start of a project and monitor the outcomes, for example in the form of ‘before and after’. By putting your heart and soul into your work, gradually you’ll begin to be valued. Colleagues will give you thanks, you will see what you accomplish and people will understand why you do what you do. Innovation is transformation and transformation is a slow process that takes time and effort. We, as changemakers, have become quite used to struggling. So let’s move on!

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Co-Creating the Future as Partners, Not Competitors Three ways to facilitate collaboration between service design agencies and in-house teams Rêve Consulting is a strategy and service design consultancy located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a state that is home to one of the highest number of Fortune 500 companies per capita in the United States. Over the last few years, we have seen the appearance of more and more in-house service design teams within the large companies Kristin Pardue is the cofounder and CEO of Rêve Consulting, a strategy and service design consultancy in Minneapolis, Minnesota that helps some of the world’s biggest companies innovate and grow. She is also a board member of Rêve Academy, an innovative digital out-ofschool program, which she co-founded.

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that we work with. As an external partner, we believe that there are three keys to making in-house and service design agency teams find their maximum potential together.

Clearly identify the benefits of your partnership at the outset of working together As two organisations coming together, our relationships can’t be defined by the legal requirements, such as non-disclosure agreements, master service agreements and statement of work alone. We look for partners who want to go beyond the legal relationship to define how we might engage as humans coming together to do great work. Prior to any engagement with an in-house team, we intentionally work with them on defining the benefits of collaboration. Are we bringing new capabilities that they don’t have, or are we delivering much-needed capacity to a team that is stretched beyond their project pipeline? Or are we doing both?

Each team should make time to sit down and ask each other the following questions: ‘What can we create together?’ ‘What does each of us bring to the relationship?’ ‘What do you want to get from and to give to this partnership?’ and ‘How are we better together than alone?’ These questions are appreciative in nature. They speak to what is possible with the potential partnership. Professor David Cooperrider, who is best known for his work in the field of appreciative inquiry, states on his website: “We create our organizations based on our anticipations of the future. The image of the future guides the current behavior of any system.”1 1


In addition to creating a common vision of the future, spend time defining your individual skills, roles and decision-making framework. We use the RACI responsibility matrix and Bain’s RAPID® decision accountability matrix with all of our clients. Intentionally discuss your respective organisational cultures We have used Edgar Schein’s organisational culture model to guide our conversations with our in-house partners. Schein talks about a culture being defined by artefacts and behaviours, espoused values and underlying assumptions. As you start your partnership, we would encourage you to build a workshop devoted to sharing the elements of your respective cultures. Where are your cultures mutually reinforcing and where might they differ? What might you want to learn from each other? What are your shared values? Meeting at the HQ of our client, a Fortune 500 insurance company, we recently collaborated with our internal service design lead as we developed the goals of our engagement. We discussed the strategic deliverables for the engagement and the key cultural elements that we had to design for. By working through this discussion, you are building empathy for one another and will be more in tune to some of the potential challenges of working together. Once these areas are identified, build a plan to address potential areas of tension.

‘Think Win-Win’, Covey talks about ‘the abundance mentality.’ This mindset is characterised by the belief that there is enough for everyone. This principle has stuck with me since the early 1990s when I first read Covey’s book. As experts coming together with mindsets and methods that we have worked hard to make our own, it is easy to get protective and think of the other as a competitor. Yes, it is important to identify the intellectual property that you both bring into the relationship and to be respectful of what you have independently built. But it is even more important to the success of the relationship and the work at hand to consider each other as colleagues, acknowledging each other’s capabilities and experiences. To reinforce the abundance mentality two practices come to mind: one idea is to develop a shared learning agenda to build a sense of excitement of what you can create together. What are some things each of you have wanted to do but haven’t had the chance to do? Maybe it is leveraging an approach or tool that you have heard about or were exposed to in a different context. Another idea is to develop ‘roundtable’ sessions. With one of our current in-house partners, we frequently ask each other how we have approached certain challenges, what tools we have used and what best practices could be shared. Our mutual openness and respect has led to quickly building trust, aligning capabilities and a highperforming team relationship that is yielding great results.

Leave your ego on the sidelines and embrace an attitude of abundance My team and I leverage this idea from Stephen R. Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. In Habit 4, Touchpoint 7-2 65

From Zero to Hero E.ON meets service design

Service design was entirely unknown at E.ON. However, after initially being met with scepticism, service design soon became a standard component of the company’s culture. In the following, we will describe the challenges we faced during our four-year collaboration with E.ON, how we tackled those challenges and, Daniela Beyerle is founder and CEO of minds & makers (established 2009). She manages innovation projects for clients from all business sectors and industries. Before founding minds & makers, Daniela was a service designer at Participle in London and project manager at sedes, the Center for Service Design Research in Cologne.

Michael Wend is a customer care and experience expert for large service-providing organisations. Since 2009, he has been working for E.ON Germany. As senior customer experience manager in the Customer Insights and Innovation team, he is responsible for service design at E.ON. Before joining E.ON, he was a business consultant and project manager focusing on CRM.

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using some central projects, we will demonstrate what service design is able to do.

Mission: improving customer satisfaction with service design The target that E.ON Germany was set in 2012 by the company’s UK-based Centre of Excellence for Customer Centricity was clear: improving customer satisfaction by service design. E.ON’s UK subsidiary had already successfully used this method. The company’s Customer Insights & Innovation team, responsible for implementing the target, knew very little about service design and hence was quite sceptical initially. However, a German service design agency was soon selected: minds & makers were commissioned for a first project. That was the beginning of a shared journey – and nobody knew where that journey would lead. The journey begins: co-creation and contextual interviews In the first customer-journey project,

minds & makers were asked to redesign the entire invoicing process, starting from the reading of electricity meters through to paying the invoice. A crucial part of the work on customer journeys consisted of co-creation workshops, in which E.ON employees from different teams developed new perspectives, ideas and questions relating to various themes and did so in an equal, intuitive and interdisciplinary way. To the workshop participants, minds & makers’ approach often felt quite unusual. But it has proven beneficial to involve experts from various company areas as early as possible, for example those who will later also play a crucial part in implementing the measures. Conducted during the early exploration phase, the contextual customer interviews left a strong impression with many workshop participants: the interviews were held at people’s homes, in their everyday


environment. Through listening and empathising, workshop participants developed a totally different perspective on customers and on their issues and desires, and also got a much better idea of how different customers are. Eventually, we wanted to implement our concepts. However, the ball we got rolling with our first customer journey came to a very sudden halt. To put it briefly: our concepts were good, but the envisaged implementation steps were too complex, too big – and too expensive. Regarding IT alone, implementation would have involved enormous efforts and expenditure and would have taken years. Hence realising our ‘big idea’ was out of the question. At the time, we were disappointed but today we understand this decision. From customers for customers: the ‘New Invoice’ project What we did, however, was to start with one central concept developed by minds & makers in the first customer journey: even today, ‘New Invoice’ has remained a very successful lighthouse project, clearly highlighting customer centricity at a crucial touchpoint. In a very thorough and complex process, invoice prototypes were tested with customers until we arrived at the final form: a totally new design, both visually and functionally. Today, E.ON regularly sends the new invoice to its more than six million customers. What’s special about this project: the new invoice was implemented in exactly the way in which we had developed it together with customers. No department, no decision maker changed anything about the design later. And the new invoice is working: E.ON’s customers now understand their invoices and customer enquiries relating to invoices have gone down considerably. Market research results are also looking good. Next stop: learning from experience and many new questions The company’s management was impressed with the service design method and enthusiastic about the many concepts resulting from the first customer journey. We

used this large and valuable concept pool again in our second customer-journey project relating to the payment process. These initial concepts still form the basis for many new measures being implemented in the company. This time, the scope of the individual projects was deliberately limited. We also implemented further concepts from the first project or integrated our knowledge of customer needs into other ongoing E.ON projects. This process is still ongoing. All of a sudden, management came up with a lot of questions: How can we know that the changes we initiate actually work towards our higher-level goal of improved customer centricity? Which role does service design play in this process? Which skills do we need in our company in order to implement the changes? What we needed was a higher-level strategy: criteria by which E.ON was able to evaluate all individual projects and position them within the larger context.

The empathetic perspective on our customers is – and here we are absolutely sure – one of the biggest strengths of the service design method: directly experiencing our customers and the direct contact with the people to whom we provide our services is something that cannot be replaced by anything else. Service design with strategy: our vision comes true The customer experience framework provides the strategic framework for all projects affecting the customer experience. This framework includes a large number of measures: based on the knowledge gained from the customer-journey projects, we developed 14 design principles or guidelines, which provide orientation in the design and innovation process and which are important when designing customer experience. Touchpoint 7-2 67

Strategic alignment also includes the customer lifecycle, which describes the different relationship phases that customers pass through in their relationship to E.ON as a service provider. The relationship phases are again divided into journeys providing detailed descriptions of the experiences the customer has in each individual relationship phase. The customer insights map, another strategy tool, is a visual representation of the knowledge on customers’ needs at each part of the journey and in each relationship phase. Thus, it is easy to check whether measures are consistent with insights and goals. The central elements of a customer insights map are customer types. They are derived from various market research studies and provide a representative picture for most of E.ON’s customers. The customer types help us to design customer experiences in such a way that they consider not only the needs of existing, but also of potential, customers. We used five customer types to create the E.ON family. One of those types for example, is Frank who is very knowledgeable with regard to energy and who always wants to have detailed information. Manfred, on the other hand, is unable to pay his electricity bill – like so many other things. Then there is Helga who is only marginally interested in electricity and only wants to be bothered as much as necessary. Today, a picture of the E.ON family can be found on many employees’ desks. The big breakthrough: cultural change with ‘Open House’ The empathic perspective on our customers is – and here we are absolutely sure – one of the biggest strengths of the service design method: directly experiencing our customers and the direct contact with the people to whom we provide our services is something that cannot be replaced by anything else. We wanted to provide another strategic option of diving into the customers’ world that would be available beyond the exploration phase: the Open House. For Open House, we created realistic representations of E.ON family members’ everyday worlds, including artefacts, wallpaper and life-size pictures. Workshop 68 Touchpoint 7-2

Co-design right from the start: internal stakeholders should always be involved, from exploration through to implementation.

participants used headphones to listen to original customer quotes recorded by actors, which added more depth to the customers’ worlds. At the Open House workshop, each of the four participant groups immersed themselves, cognitively and emotionally, in the world of one particular customer. The groups would then give a detailed explanation of their specific world to the other groups. Additionally, participants also received a starter pack including a number of tools that facilitate customer-centric thinking and acting at work. Open House has initiated true cultural change towards a holistic customer perspective. It was, and still is, a big success: approximately 80 people completed the training during the first phase. Today, more than 400 people have completed the course and, at the beginning of 2015, even the executive board at the company’s Düsseldorf headquarters took part in the three-hour training course. Paradigm shift: here to stay The orientation towards customer needs, initiated by minds & makers and designed in collaboration with E.ON’s customer experience & innovation team, has a


lasting influence on the entire company culture: if anyone mentions ‘Helga’ today, everybody knows who she is and what she stands for. The service design philosophy facilitated by minds & makers not only shapes the relationship between E.ON and its customers, but also affects the company itself: for example, the employees in the controlling department have put the service design principles up on the wall and also apply them when collaborating with other departments. The customer-centred approach is today firmly rooted in the company. Each employee must have had direct customer contact at least once per year. This can be done in the form of working at a call centre or participating in regularly scheduled discussions between customers and employees. At these panels, customers talk about their experience with E.ON but also discuss highlevel issues such as the energy transition. Service design today: in-house training & innovative projects Today, the need for service design is greater than ever before at E.ON. Therefore, we use the customer experience manager training to train E.ON employees in

becoming experts in service design. They will thus be able to manage service design projects because service design will continue to play an important role at E.ON. Currently, there are five large ongoing service design projects at E.ON. A very intriguing project is the ‘Zahlhilfe@EON’ pilot project, a joint project of E.ON, German job centres and charities such as Caritas and Diakonie. In this project, we take a holistic look at customers who have complex financial problems. The inter-sector collaboration concept was developed by minds & makers in the context of the second customer journey. We are very excited to see the results of this highly innovative and future-oriented project! According to our experience, due to its unusual methods, there are relatively large initial obstacles to overcome for service design. But, after four years of collaboration between minds & makers and E.ON, we can safely say: you have to experience service design in order to be able to truly understand it. Our joint work has yielded many concrete and successful results. And that makes it a lot easier to explain what service design can do. We are convinced: service design works – today, and in the future.

Strategy tools for daily business: the successful Open House initiates lasting cultural change. Touchpoint 7-2 69

Tools and Methods

Understanding the Jobs that Your Service is Hired for Combining service design methods with the Jobs-to-be-Done framework The Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) framework has been in use by innovation consultants for a few years now. Yet only recently has it started gaining broader momentum, being adopted in areas of design. After applying various JTBD tools at Nokia since 2013, we are able to integrate them with our familiar service design Hannes Jentsch is an independent design consultant. He previously worked as an experience designer for the BBC in London and for Nokia in Berlin where he defined digital products and advanced services. Since 2014, he has been organising the Jobs-tobe-Done meet-up in Berlin.

Martin Jordan helps businesses to create value for people and services that matter. He currently works as a project lead and senior user experience designer for Nokia’s maps and navigation business. In addition, he co-runs Service Design Berlin and Berlin’s Jobs-to-be-Done meet-ups.

72 Touchpoint 7-2

methods, improving and extending them. JTBD is primarily a practitioner’s approach. The framework provides a clear language that helps to uncover and articulate implicit facts. It makes those explicit and actionable throughout the service design and development process. Service offering vs. customer jobs Customers use services to achieve a certain outcome: in other words, to get a specific job done. Services can be seen as exchange processes, providing something beneficial for and together with some entity.1 Instead of concentrating on granular customer benefits, a JTBD perspective on service shifts the focus from the service’s provision to enabling customers to accomplish a goal or resolve a problem. With its outcome-oriented approach, the JTBD framework regards customers as job executors. Whichever service best supports them to get a certain job done is chosen and implemented.2

In this equation, a service offering and a customer job should complement each other. Understanding the jobs that customers try to get done helps create useful, desirable and, eventually, viable offerings. When a new service provider is able to get the job done in a more satisfying way, the customer might fire the incumbent and hire the new one instead. The JTBD framework uses natural language with basic yet powerful metaphors instead of new, cumbersome terminology. This makes it easily accessible for members of all disciplines and departments, and provides a common thread across research, design, business, marketing, engineering and service management. Clarifying the customer journey through retrospective interviews The customer journey map3 is a great starting point for combining standard service design techniques and the JTBD


Job-to-be-Done: Job-to-be-Done: Getting Getting to to work work onon time time

Hired Hired solution: solution: Car Car sharing sharing service service

– Previously – Previously undiscovered undiscovered touchpoint touchpoint Phase Phase 5 (Simplified 5 (Simplified example) example) C OCNOTNETXETX T

Woke Woke upup tootoo late late that that morning morning T OTUOCUHCPHOPI O N ITN T

Urban Urban navigation navigation app app WAWA N TNETDE D O UOTUCTOCMOEM E

Discovering Discovering thethe best best option option to to getget to to work work fast fast U NUWA N WA N TNETDE D O UOTUCTOCMOEM E

Wasting Wasting more more time time with with searching searching forfor options options F UFNUCNTCI O T INOANLAJLOJBO B

Finding Finding thethe fastest fastest way way to to getget to to work work E MEOMTOI O T INOANLAJLOJBO B

Regaining Regaining control control of of thethe situation situation S OSCOI C A ILAJLOJBO B

Letting Letting mymy colleagues colleagues know know when when I will I will arrive arrive at at work work Phase Phase 11

Phase Phase 22

Phase Phase 33

Phase Phase 44

Phase Phase 55

framework. Here, JTBD practices enable a better understanding and documentation of customer touchpoints. They help to clarify motivations in specific situations while customers try to get a certain job done. For this, a dedicated interview method is used to uncover overlooked touchpoints in the customer journey. In retrospective interviews,4 individuals are asked to recall key moments that led to the usage of a service. Going back in time, the interviewer can uncover what caused the first thought that eventually led to implementing the service. From there, the interviewer investigates what important events initiated the passive and active search process for a solution to the customer’s problem. The identified events are added to the customer journey map (see image above). This extends the journey with various touchpoints before the actual usage of the service. These touchpoints can be assigned to phases, stating the customer’s particular situation during the execution of a job. For each touchpoint, the forces that led to a particular behaviour have to be identified during the interview. A good example is the registration at a car-sharing service. What made the interviewee consider signing up in the first place? Busy public transport, expensive cab rides or a stolen bike? During the questioning, progress-making forces are discussed. 5 What was the pull and anxiety of the new solution? What was the push and habit of the previous solution? Exposing these forces helps to get more clarity on the customer's needs. Subsequently, they can be translated into wanted and unwanted outcomes. The customer wants to get from A to B fast, but to avoid crowded spaces and high costs. Their desired outcomes can further be differentiated between functional, emotional and social jobs. For example, a functional job

Phase Phase 66

Phase Phase 77

might be ‘getting through the city’, while an emotional one could be ‘having space for oneself’. ‘Driving a cool convertible’ is mainly a social job. Not every job is equally important. Main jobs can be distinguished from related jobs: riding a fancy car is less essential than arriving at the destination. By conducting such retrospective interviews, the researcher is able to understand why the service was really chosen. The insights gathered become actionable for designers and marketers alike. Benefits for service design practitioners By looking at why a service was chosen and which jobs it is doing for the customer, we can better identify key situations in their journey. Furthermore, previously neglected or underserved touchpoints are highlighted. Understanding and documenting situational forces provides information on touchpoints with a new level of clarity. Using tools from the JTBD framework – such as the retrospective interview, the mapping of progressmaking forces and the classification of jobs – helps to capture customer research in an explicit way. Its simple and natural language is accessible to anyone and serves as verbal connector across disciplines. 1 Vargo, S. L. & Lusch, R. F. (2007): ‘Why ‘service’?’. In Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Academy of Marketing Science 2 Christensen, C. M., Raynor, M. E. (2003): The Innovator's Solution: Using Good Theory to Solve the Dilemmas of Growth. Watertown, MA: Harvard Business School Press. 3 Stickdorn, M. & Schneider, J. (2010). This is Service Design Thinking. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers. 4 Spiek, C., Moesta, B. (2014): The Jobs-to-be-Done Handbook. Seattle, WA: CreateSpace. 5 Klement, A. (2014): ‘A Jobs-to-be-Done Primer’. Retrieved May 10, 2015 from

Touchpoint 7-2 73

Introducing the Engagement Toolkit Challenging organisational silos in large corporates What is the impact of silos in large multinational corporations with multiple divisions, worldwide offices and multiple product lines? How often have we found ourselves in a situation where there are breakdowns in communication, cooperation and coordination between different teams and stakeholders? Ritika Mathur is a senior experience designer at Fiserv, where she facilitates designdriven product innovation and embeds service design thinking to guide organisational culture and inspire collaborative work environments.

Terri Haswell is a senior user-experience designer at Fiserv, where she collaborates with diverse teams to design meaningful digital products and services that help people manage their money.

74 Touchpoint 7-2

Over the last decade, there have been countless examples from the business sector that demonstrate how poor communication can lead to organisational silos. As designers, it is imperative to recognise what we can do within our organisations to break these patterns that lead to inefficiency and contribute to the demise of a collaborative company culture. In-house designers often wear the hat of a service design consultant providing design thinking to other departments they work with in the organisation. Design tools such as the Engagement Toolkit provide an extremely powerful suite of activities and hands-on workshops that break down existing barriers of interdepartmental communication and provide a holistic viewpoint of how different teams impact each other. It can also act as an extremely relevant tool of the trade for service design consulting firms as it provides them with tools they can use when engaging with large corporate clients.

The experience design team at Fiserv set out to discover interdepartmental employee engagement through a rigorous process of iterative workshops across geographic locations and business functions. Time and again, it was evident that the crux of the issue was that individuals did not know enough about what other teams in the organisation did or how they worked. This knowledge gap made it difficult for teams to effectively identify ways in which they could support each other. Knowing the teams we work with is critical in planning how and when we come together. It offers organisations practical solutions to deal with internal workplace challenges acting as a potent fuel for teams to break through silos and to align their efforts. The ultimate result is the shared understanding required to identify opportunities where teams can work together to deliver exceptional results. The Engagement Toolkit provides a variety of artefacts such as empathy workshops,


Identifying the different teams in an organisation and ways in which they can support each other.

defining our shared value, working relationship, key contributions and key touch points. — The Engagement Ecosystem, on the other hand, lays out a visual ecosystem illustrating the depth of our current working relationship on a core, secondary & tertiary level. Understanding what our different levels of engagement are today helps us plan where we want to go in the future. engagement summary, engagement canvas deck and engagement ecosystem to help understand the work other teams do, how they do it, the value it brings, what challenges they face and how they can support each other. — The Empathy Workshop is a discovery tool that sets the foundation for future engagements between participating teams. Using an action-based workshop format, it helps teams brainstorm the catalysts and roadblocks in their current working relationship and dive deeper into hopes and fears for future collaboration. — The Engagement Summary is a core communication tool that provides a brief summary of each team to help us be more in tune with what they do, what our shared opportunities are, who we should reach out to and when. It acts as a compiled knowledge base to provide a holistic level view of the organisation, individual roles and team contributions. — The Engagement Canvas goes hand in hand with the Engagement Summary and helps generate content for an engagement agreement. As a thinking tool, it helps us surface additional collaborative opportunities and in-depth models that we build and use together by

These artefacts help create a dialogue that facilitates an active exchange of ideas and robust discussions among teams. Their structure provides a flexible outline to create specific, project-based templates that teams can use at different stages of their interaction. As a visual tool, they help organisations coordinate how their different parts work together as a whole. This visible & tangible form of the organisational structure makes it easier to measure current baseline engagement levels and over time track the impact of increased engagement. Co-creating these documents, scheduling periodic events to follow up on them and referring to a common library of tools allows teams to record and review the outcome of their collaboration gradually over the span of an engagement. Enabling creative collisions encourages employee engagement and leads to shared learning in the workplace. This sharing of information, and tapping into resources of knowledge and best practices for collaboration, deepens collective knowledge in the areas of work and delivery. By being inspired by tools like the Engagement Toolkit, designers can create empathy & collaboration across a diverse workforce. This crossteam collaboration is essential to fulfil the organisation’s mission and create a culture that thrives on collaboration. Touchpoint 7-2 75

Interview with Haruo Oba In this issue’s profile, Touchpoint publisher Prof. Birgit Mager speaks with Haruo Oba, the General Manager of the Sony Corporation Creative Center B2B Design Department. He started introducing service design to Sony in 2010. Haruo Oba is the General Manager of the Sony Corporation Creative Center B2B Design Department. Born in 1962, he joined Sony in 1986 after graduating from Chiba University. Haruo Oba designed consumer audio products until 1990, then he joined the Advanced Design group in late 1990 and designed computers and interfaces with the Sony Computer Science Laboratory. In 2009 he became the leader of the B2B design unit for broadcast, motion picture, medical, life science and finance divisions. Haruo Oba has received numerous awards including the Good Design Gold Award for VAIO and interaction design, as well as the Red Dot Award.

Birgit Mager: Oba-San, what is your professional background and what are you doing at Sony?

Haruo Oba: I joined Sony in 1986 as a product designer. The first three years I worked for the Audio Product Design, then I had the chance to go to Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, USA to study design for one year. When I came back to Sony, I was in charge of the VAIO computers and, at the same time, I belonged to the CSL, the Sony Computer Science Laboratory where we carried out many projects in collaboration with scientists. Today I am in charge of the B2B business. How did you encounter service design?

Through you (laughter …). Actually we have been very interested in SD for a long time, but we could not understand what exactly it is and how it works. I looked at webpages and books, talked to friends, but still we could not really understand it. Then I saw your lecture at Akihabara, 76 Touchpoint 7-2

Tokyo. It was 2010. So I joined and listened to your presentation and it was so impressive. Then I decided to join the SDN Service Design Conference in Berlin. So we started to understand service design and the process of it. And I started to use it for the B2B category. Why do you think service design is important for Sony?

Around 2000, most of my work was related to interaction design, but interaction design has already become an integral part of the design process around 2010, so I tried to find something new. I found service design and, at the same time, the world was changing from product to service, and service design is very useful for the B2B category. The B2B Category at Sony: what type of services do you create?

In the beginning – in 2010 – it was more product-related services, for example security cameras. We made blueprints


and stakeholder maps and tried to improve the design of the sales process, the maintenance and many other aspects related to products. Later we used service design in the solution business: for example, large displaysystem integration for stadiums or museum solutions. Or medical operating theatre system integration. The issue in the early days was always the budget. People do not understand what service design is, and so we used our own budget to start service design in the company. With complex services like medical or high-end cameras for cinema, we can’t be end users, we can’t be a doctor or a cameraman. So we have to go to the site. This is very important. In the life-science sector, we launched a cell-analyser business in 2011. It’s very specialised device: we do not know what the market is like. We are trying to understand how the customer uses the device in the laboratory and how they perceive our device compared to the competitors. But it is very complicated. Now we are starting service design for the Sony financial services. This is our current program. So this is a really nice development of service design at Sony. How do other people perceive service design outside the design department?

I think it is getting better. When I started it, nobody knew about it and nobody wanted to spend money on service design. So I had to do it by myself. But now, design thinking and service design are getting more popular year by year. Our environment is getting better.

Do you educate people internally for service design and if so, how?

It is a problem. Since 2010, at least one of my staff has always attended the SDN conferences. That is a very important touchpoint for service design education. Secondly, we use books and other cases that we find on the web. Or collaborations like the one we just had with KISD (Köln International School for Design) and Chiba University?

Yes, exactly. How do you see the future for service design in Japan and at Sony?

Service design is now more important than ever. We have to design for experience and value. And the second thing, not only for Sony but for Japan’s ageing population problem, the care sector is so important now. How can we improve it? Service design is the most powerful factor to improve this situation and this is why I am trying to expand this business also. Today, in the student workshop, I could feel the power of service design and I think it was very motivating for us to continue service design in the B2B category! Super! Thank you very much!

Do people actively ask you to help them with the design of services or do you have to push?

We push! But they are starting to invest money in it and that is a good point for us, because we have many good results already. Do you work with external agencies or is it more within Sony Design?

More within Sony Design. We have worked with agencies several times, for example, in the life sciences and in the cinema-camera project. Touchpoint 7-2 77



Taiwan has been actively involved in the international design community in recent years, including the 2011 IDA Congress, World Design Expo and 2016 World Design Capital in Taipei. The growing trend has been also transforming the ‘Madein-Taiwan’ (MIT) economy into a ‘Design-in-Taiwan’ (DIT) one. Nowadays, many industrial and academic organisations adopt service design as their core strategy, and there is a large Taiwanese service design community (read more about this in ‘5% Design Action’ in Touchpoint Vol. 6 No. 2, and ‘Service Design Gourmet’ in Touchpoint Vol. 6 No. 3).

The Chapter team members are: §— Arthur Yeh from Service Science Society of Taiwan §— Chen-Fu (Kevin) Yang from Industrial Technology Research Institute §— Will Wu from BenQ §— Diane Shen from Business Models Inc. The expectations of the Taiwanese SDN Chapter include: § Grow the recognition and practice — of service design in Taiwan § Connect to the professional — community throughout Asia 78 Touchpoint 7-2

§ Get more people involved in this — movement: academics, industry representatives, teachers and students. If you are interested in service design in Taiwan, please contact:

To learn more about SDN chapters as a whole, visit: national-chapters



Companies practicing service design have achieved great outcomes, gathered experiences but also encountered questions and problems. That is why the SDN Finland National Chapter and KONE invited Finnish company representatives to a Business Meet Up on 20th April, 2015 at the KONE Headquarters in Espoo. KONE Corporation is a leading company in the elevator and escalator industry. The goal of this new event was to create a plat form for the exchange of experiences and best practices and to reflect on processes such as selecting an agency, educating staff, building in-house service design competence or evaluating the impact of service design. The participants were also interested in building a stronger network between companies that are involved

in service design, in order to get inspirational input from their peers. Paula Bello, freelance service designer at KONE, shared her reaction to the meeting: “The first Business Meet-up exceeded my expectations. Participants included not only designers, but also many people from other functions who are either extremely curious about service design, or are already actively implementing it in their organisations. This plurality demonstrated two things: 1. Service design is shifting from abstract discourses in organisations to concrete actions defined in roadmaps and strategies. 2. The ongoing dialogues are twoway highways between design and business: it is about design affecting business and also about business affecting design. Those of us at KONE left the event feeling that this is the start of something good. I believe others felt the same way too. There is a real synergy of helping each other, and a common interest to give design a relevant, influential and sustainable role in our organisations. I’m looking forward to meeting you at the next Business Meet Up!”

How can I read Touchpoint? Starting with Touchpoint Vol. 7 No. 1, we have made improvements to how this journal is distributed to readers. Our archive of back issues (except the most recent three) is freely accessible. In addition, SDN members benefit from the ability to order free printed copies of each new issue, and discounts on printed back issues. Further details can be found on the SDN website.


creating value for the qualit service design y of life. global confer ence 2014

vol 7 no 2

SDN teamed up with its Nordic chapters to host this year’s global conference in Stockholm, Sweden . Over 600 leaders and practitioners from around the world joined us to explore the theme Creating Value for Quality of Life.

2015 | august

The confere nce offered great speeches and talks. Highlig hts included Mark Levy from Airbnb talking about employee engage ment, Fred Leichte r from Fidelity Investments, Kigge Hvid on how the design of service “This was a big collaborative s can improv effort. I’m very e life for people, Nathan thankful to Shedroff on defining everybody that value, Shenye participated. n, a Buddhist It felt monk, extremely inspirin talking about g to be amongs quality and time, t this great crowd Wim Rampen from and I believe Delta Lloyd we sharing have a huge deep persona opportunity l insights and to improve many life around the more. Denis world with service Weil held the closing design,” said talk reflecting conference chair back on the two-da Stefan event Moritz from y and sharing Veryday. his perspective on how service Enthusiasm for the event design can was reach the great from the next level. start, with tickets selling out two Aside from experie weeks prior to the ntial opening of the highlights like conference. healthy food, And many participants artisan espresso, live al said their expecta sketching and tions yoga, an have been exceed ambula nce drove ed. “We put straight into a lot of thought into the venue to introdu the overall experie ce the patient nce, ensuring time experience worksh and space to op. Some of the share, encourage networ other popula r handsking and particip on workshops tion,” added a- on empath focused conference produc y, defining the value of er Magnus Bergma service design, rk from Doberm waiting experie an. nces and employee Prior to the confere engagement. nce, three introduction Overall the confere semina rs offered the nce possibility to atmosphere get familia r was excellent; with the basics, get answer participants s from experts enjoyed a global on questions and spirit and vibrant the value of sharing and service networking design. SDN atmosphere. also hosted its You’re invited memto bers’ day with check out and activities linked follow the discuss the newly-launche ion and reflections d Special Interes at the confere t Groups (SIGs) nce website, as well focused on the as find videos areas of healthcare, of presentations. finance, public service and service design implementatio n. www.service-d esign-network. org

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Individual printed copies can be purchased via the SDN website.

Benefits for SDN Members SDN members are entitled to a free printed copy of each new issue of Touchpoint (postage cost not included). In addition, SDN members receive a 50% discount on back issues.

touchpoint 6-3

Full-issue PDFs and single article PDFs from recent issues can be purchased on the SDN website. Articles from our archive are free of charge. Issues from our archive may be read on-screen and on mobile devices via the Issuu website and app. Pricing and access information can be found on the SDN website.

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About the Service Design Network The Service Design Network is the global centre for recognising and promoting excellence in the field of service design. Through national and international events, online and print publications, and coordination with academic institutions, the network connects multiple disciplines within agencies, business, and government to strengthen the impact of service design both in the public and private sector. Service Design Network Office | Ubierring 40 | 50678 Cologne | Germany |

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Touchpoint Vol. 7 No. 2  

The second issue of Touchpoint in 2015 explores the growing trend of in-house service design. On one hand, the desire by clients and larger...

Touchpoint Vol. 7 No. 2  

The second issue of Touchpoint in 2015 explores the growing trend of in-house service design. On one hand, the desire by clients and larger...