vol 8 no 3 | february 2017 | 18 €
Business as Unusual
18 SHAPING THE ENTERPRISE BY DESIGN John Gøtze, Milan Guenther 44 DESIGN-LED
CHANGE: GETTING MORE OF THE RIGHT SERVICES TO MARKET FASTER Oliver King 64 MAPPING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Lennart Overkamp, Kim Liefhebber, Yuan Lu
the journal of service design
Touchpoint Volume 8 No. 3 February 2017 The Journal of Service Design ISSN 1868-6052
Pictures Unless otherwise stated, the copyrights of all images used for illustration lie with the author(s) of the respective article
Published by Service Design Network
Publisher Birgit Mager
Fonts Mercury G2 Apercu
Editor-in-Chief Jesse Grimes Editorial Board Anneke van de Langkruis Joel Bailey Kirsty Hosea Jesse Grimes Birgit Mager Project Management Cristine Lanzoni Art Direction Miriam Becker Jeannette Weber Cover Picture CL. / photocase.de obeyleesin / photocase.de Miriam Becker Jeannette Weber
Service Design Network gGmbH MĂźlheimer Freiheit 56 D-51063 KĂśln Germany www.service-design-network.org Contact & Advertising Sales Cristine Lanzoni email@example.com For ordering Touchpoint, please visit www.service-design-network.org
f ro m t h e e d i t o r s
Business as Unusual
In early 2016, along with an enthusiastic group of fellow SDN Netherlands Chapter members, I set about to help plan the ninth annual Service Design Global Confer ence. Amsterdam as a location had been an easy choice - the first SDGC had been held here in 2008. Our attention then focused on the other elements that would go into making the conference a success, such as speakers and programming. But it was the theme selection that I found a particularly enjoyable challenge: How could we choose a few words broad enough to encapsulate a trend valid for our discipline, yet narrow enough to allow some real curation of conference content? “Business as Unusual” was suggested by Jamin Hegeman, and seemed to fit the bill well. As is traditional for each post-conference issue of Touchpoint, it forms the theme for the issue that you have in front of you. In its play on words, it recognises that service design is more and more becoming an established way of ‘doing business’, whether in organisations, or in places such as the public sector. In this issue, Engine’s Oliver King shares his firm’s long-standing experience in how service design can be harnessed to get the right things to market faster, through both design and organisational change to the business itself (page 44). Previous Touchpoint contributor Milan Guenther partners with John Gøtze to share their thoughts - and a sprint-based technique - on how businesses can apply enterprise design thinking (page 18). And I’ve invited Finnish-based Futurice to introduce their ‘Lean Service Creation’ set of canvasses to Touchpoint readers, which offer a powerful way to combine Lean Startup, Design Thinking, and the Agile approach - with a focus on service creation (page 74). I hope this enriches the toolkit of service designers faced with the complex challenges that come about now that our discipline is becoming more ‘usual’.
Anneke van de Langkruis is Head of Design at Priva, the leading tech company in the horticulture and smart building industry. She has over ten years experience in UX, service design and strategy. Joel Bailey is Director of Livework London, and passionate about building better services. Livework is the independent pioneer of service design. Kirsty Hosea is a leader in Deloitte Consulting’s U.S. customer practice, with an emphasis on large-scale business transformation. Jesse Grimes, Editor-in-Chief for Touchpoint, has nine years experience as a service designer and consultant. He has worked in London, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf and Sydney and is now based in Amsterdam with Dutch agency Informaat. Jesse is also on the Management Board of the Service Design Network. 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 co-founder and president of the Service Design Network.
Jesse Grimes for the editorial board
14 feature : Business as unusual
from the editors
KerrY ’ s taKe
On resistance To Change Kerry Bodine
10 cross - discipline 10 The Power of Music
Helmut Ramsauer, Juan Tejeda 4
Scaling Agile: The Service Design Imperative Audree Fletcher Shaping the Enterprise By Design John Gøtze, Milan Guenther
24 ‘Go Big or Go Home’?
Jesse Grimes 32 Business Impact through
Employee Experience Design Maria Jaatinen, Kirsikka Vaajakallio, Rudy de Belgeonne
38 2016 serVice desiGn GloBal conference
40 Towards the new normal
Dennis Hambeukers 44 Design-led Change:
Getting More of the right Services to Market Faster Oliver King 48 We Are Here
Linnea Vizard 52 Design to Launch
Gordon Hui, Jamie Nicholson 56 Driven by Wu Xing,
36 Service Design in the
Japanese Context Esben Grøndal
Service Design Transforms a Chinese Firm Cathy Huang
Designing Organisational Cultural Change Efforts A Service Design Perspective
Organisational cultural change efforts
ReRse esaerar chch
62 tools and methods
69 Practicing in Place
Dianna Miller 74 Blending Lean, Design,
and Agile Thinking into One Dr. Risto Sarvas, Dr. Eeva Raita
Sequence Deliverables Risks
87 inside sdn
87 World Industrial Design Conference 2016
64 Mapping Customer
Experience Lennart Overkamp, Kim Liefhebber, Yuan Lu
80 education and research 80 Service Design and
Organisational Change Murphy Basore, Shreya Dhawan, Qianwen Dong, Andrew Moore, Ada Sin
84 profiles 84 Muna Al Dhabbah
88 Celebrating the Service Design Award Winners of 2016! 90 Making Service Design Work
for Start-ups 94 From Far and Wide â€Ś
Check Out Whatâ€™s Happening in Canada Touchpoint 8-3
SDGC16 IMPACT AnD WrAP-UP
SDN partnered with the very active SDN Netherlands Chapter to realise the 9th Service Design Global Conference, which took place from 28th to 29th of October 2016 at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek. Attendees from all over the world grew and developed their skills thanks to inspiring talks and workshops, and also had a chance to meet the global service design community and network. The biggest national representation was from the Netherlands, followed by Norway, UK, Germany and the US. With the theme “Business as Unusual”, the sold-out event provided more than 650 service design thinkers and doers from 43 countries with a broad range of content, great food and a top-notch venue, on top of the opportunity to discover the host city Amsterdam, a design hotspot in itself. During 12 intense workshops and 36 inspiring presentations provided by more
than 70 speakers, topics such as “Agile & Lean Startup”, “Embedding SD in Large Organisations” and “Expanding the SD Palette” were discussed and offered deep insights. The audience rated Arash Aazami (whose presentation can be found here: bit.ly/SDGCaazami) and Dominic Wilcox (whose work is at dominicwilcox.com) as having the most inspiring presentations. The Service Design Global Conference has tripled in size since its inception in 2008. And with an ever-growing global service design community, the SDN is looking forward to SDGC’s 10 year anniversary in 2017. Stay tuned for upcoming SDGC17 news on SDN’s website! Watch SDGC16 main stage speakers on the SDN YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/ servicedesignnetwork) or view the presentations on SlideShare (www. slideshare.net/sdnetwork). This issue of Touchpoint also contains a special SDGC16 section starting on page 38.
SDGC16 ATTENDEES SURVEY
Main reason for attending the Conference:
NETWORKING 18,7% OTHER 2,7%
PERSONAL GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT 38,7%
#SErvICEDESIGnDAy: CELEBrATE On JUnE 1ST!
The service design community came together to celebrate service design for the first ever, official ‘Service Design Day’ on June 1st 2016. Thanks to the support of our amazing SDN Chapters and members around the world, the campaign was a great success! Service Design Day illustrated the power of service design, enhanced the sense of belonging within the community and raised awareness about the value of this exciting field. Social media was abuzz with over 3,000 fantastic Service Design Day posts from designers sharing their great events, projects and fun service moments with the world. A notable theme was service designers practicing what they preach by carrying out internal service design projects. The SDN was excited to see so many students and professionals interpreting the theme in their own unique way with spontaneous service activities. Our voices reached over two million people last year, letting them know about the amazing community waiting on their doorstep. Stay tuned to SDN social media in the build-up to Service Design Day 2017 and get ready to raise your voice again in celebration of your service design impact on June 1st!
Service Design Award 2017: Call for Entries open until June 6th
Are you making an impact through service design? Then ensure that you don’t miss the opportunity to gain the recognition you deserve! The internationally-recognised Service Design Award commends exemplary projects in the categories of Commercial, Methodology and Non-Profit/Public Sector. In 2016 over 100 entries were submitted from more than 25
New Chapters Connecting the International Community
SDN is delighted to start 2017 with a warm welcome to three new Chapters who were officially formed in the late 2016: SDN Shanghai, SDN Saskatchewan and SDN Washington DC. We congratulate all three Chapters on successfully reaching out to their local communities, developing their goals and hosting their first unique events. SDN is also happy to announce that the first
countries, offering enriching and multicultural insight into the most outstanding work in the field. Each year the Award finalists and winning projects are showcased at the Award Ceremony, which takes place during the Service Design Global Conference and are also exhibited year-round on the SDN website. This helps ensure that these benchmark projects gain recognition amongst businesses, academia and the service design community, shaping best practice across the industry. Take a look at the 2016 winning projects starting on page 88 of this issue of Touchpoint. The 2017 SDN Award will see the most exemplary student and professional work recognised during the SDGC17 Service Design Award Ceremony. We look forward to seeing even more diverse entries this year, so enter your work now at: www.service-design-award.com
building phase of 2017 has begun with SDN Hong Kong. For more insight into the development of our Chapters, check out the Inside SDN section on this issue and the event updates on each Chapter website: www.service-design-net-
Touchpoint Special Edition in Chinese
In 2015, China’s service economy surpassed 50 percent of the country’s total GDP. As its economy transitions towards a service-led one, there is great potential for design, and service design in particular. In this context, the first Chinese language Touchpoint publication marks a significant milestone. ‘Touchpoint – Service Design in a Global Context’ is a Chinese publication containing Touchpoint content (alongside original texts in English), and was assembled and edited by the SDN Beijing Chapter, with Prof. Guosheng Wang as Editor-in-Chief and SDN President Birgit Mager and the Touchpoint Editor-in-Chief Jesse Grimes as Co-Editors. At the invitation of the China Industrial Design Association, this special issue was released at the WIDC (World Industrial Design Conference) held in Hangzhou in December, 2016 (find more about the event on page 87). The publication contains 27 articles covering the discipline of service design within China and around the world, including 21 articles selected from the Touchpoint archive.
Attending Chapter events supports the exchange of knowledge and connects you to the international network.
On Resistance To Change
“Give me an example of a company that’s made a complete turnaround to embracing their customers.” This request always makes me chuckle. I wish I had an answer, I really do. But the sad reality is that I don’t know of a single organisation that’s customer-centered through and through — except for the ones that started out that way. In Outside In, my co-author and I included over 80 case studies and examples precisely because no single company had put all the necessary pieces together. That was true when we conducted our research in 2012, and it still stands true today.
The 2016 Service Design Network Global Conference showcased many organisations embracing service design. And yet, each of these case studies shone light on just a sliver of the organisation. An island of service design thinking and doing amidst a sea of business as usual. This has become a recurring theme in the service design world: Practitioners pushing against the tide of that sea, trying to influence whatever part of the organisation they can in hopes of greater change. During the interstitial conversations between the conference sessions, I started to see a bigger picture of the forces 8
we’re up against – and what’s behind our organisations’ (or our clients’ organisations’) resistance to change. I see two main reasons why people don’t change: They don’t want to change. Sure, you might think you want to change. But when it comes down to it, what do you want more: Sixpack abs or that piece of chocolate cake? Publishing your next book or bingeing the new Netflix drama? Day in and day out, we all make choices that show that we are happier (or more comfortable) with the way
things are than with the way we say we want things to be. Sure, we could blame our inertia on the power of habit – but I think we could all give up dessert (or sitting on the couch after dinner or whatever) if that’s what we truly wanted. In 2013, author Mark Manson wrote that maybe we shouldn’t bother asking what we want. “A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.” They’re scared. Last year, I got talking to a woman before a spin class at a hotel. We were both on vacation and she said she was taking spin for the first time ever that day because she was scared to try it at her own gym at home. I didn’t want to pry into the inner fears of a stranger, but I wondered what she was worried about: Hurting herself? Looking foolish? Looking weak? (I’ve experienced all those trepidations myself before a new fitness class.) But maybe it was something else entirely. Marianne Williamson wrote in her 1992 best-selling book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a
k e rr y ' s ta k e
Course in Miracles, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Our own resistance to change surfaces in our personal lives every day, but these factors play out at the organisational level as well. Years ago, a traditional advertising agency lured me into a job with an acknowledgement that they needed to change – and a belief that my kind of thinking (design thinking, that is) would help them do it. I lasted a year and a day. Believe me, I certainly made mistakes, but I saw two things clearly in the review mirror: 1. Although key leaders knew the agency needed to change, the worker bees were quite happy, thank you, with the way things had always been done. 2. The key leaders ultimately did nothing for fear of falling out of grace and off their lofty (and wellpaid) perches. And that’s the rub. Our organisations’ resistance to change is directly linked to our personal resistance to change. An executive who’s got two kids at university and an overleveraged mortgage is probably not
going to rock the boat at work with some crazy new thing she heard about called service design. Though it may not be a conscious decision, she will instead plod along with business as usual and therefore protect herself from unwanted change to her lifestyle. When I first turned my professional sights from making technology easier to use to making organisations easier to do business with, I had an epiphany that went something like this: “Oh crap. Now I need to become an expert in organisational change.” After attending SDGC16, I’m thinking I now need to become an expert in human psychology. (Ironically, I got a bachelor’s degree in this years ago, but seem to have forgotten most of what I learned.) I would love to see the service design community embrace practitioners from both fields so that as designers, we can learn to make greater headway against the tide of personal and organisational resistance to change. 1 https://markmanson.net/question
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.
The Power of Music Vocational school strikes a chord with new students
Faced with declining student enrolment, public vocational school BOS Schönbrunn in Landshut, Germany, decided to create a more competitive and student-centric service offering. Employing the Business Design Jam method allowed the team to identify the school’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP): musical training and Helmut Ramsauer is Managing Partner of the business design agency SPINPARTNERS GmbH. He has long-standing experience in interdisciplinary transformation programmes and has been a designer, startup founder and strategist.
Juan Tejeda is Managing Director of the digital business design agency Brains & Hearts. He has broad experience in concept and business development and creative direction.
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education. This USP served as the basis for creating and testing prototype service concepts and elaborating implementation plans. BOS Schönbrunn was able to increase the number of interested students by 50 percent. In autumn 2015, the headmaster team at BOS Schönbrunn discovered an unsettling fact: student enrolment levels showed a decline for the very first time. While looking for a quick and efficient format to turn the tide in a cost-efficient manner – and attain a deeper understanding of student needs – the team learned about the Business Design Jam method. Created by business design agencies SPINPARTNERS and Brains & Hearts, the Business Design Jam combines elements of service design and business model innovation into a results-driven, one-day format. With an emphasis on speed and direct feedback, the “jam” format brings stakeholders and experts together in an open workshop setting – much like musicians in a jam session – to create and evolve innovative
services grounded in feasible business models within a matter of hours. The Business Design Jam is intended for ‘intrapreneurs’ – internal innovators that strive to realise their ideas within the surrounding corporation or public organisation. During the jam, these early-stage innovators are paired with a mixed team of developers, service designers, business experts and storytellers to analyse their ideas and co-create services based on human-centred design principles. Conceptually, a Business Design Jam blends a number of proven methods to capture ideas and include stakeholders in the process of testing and distilling these ideas into workable concepts. The jam format starts by shaping the participants’ new ideas with the help of the Business Model Canvas. Advanced tools such as
c ro s s - d i s c i p l i n e
PITCH YOUR IDEA
DESIGN THE BUSINESS MODEL
Participants have the chance to pitch their idea to others.
Multidisciplinary teams is the best recipe for collaborative work.
Using the Business Model Canvas participants layout the business and its components.
CREATE SOME HYPOTHESES AND OUTLINE SOME EXPERIMENTS
Depending on the type of business the participants either go outside the building or conduct their experiments online.
DO SOME ROLE-PLAYING AND GATHER INSTANT FEEDBACK
Based on the personas and the business model, the team creates testable hypotheses.
With volunteers from other groups, we do a small role-play excercise using “perspective taking”.
CREATE A PROTOTYPE Formulating value propositions and the creation of personas is the core of the business.
The group creates a rapid prototype in any way they can to bring the idea to life. The prototype will be used for an early testing later in the day.
We do a coaching session as a preparation for the final presentation and elevator pitch.
FIVE-SLIDE DECK PRESENTATION/ ELEVATOR PITCH The jam concludes with a presentation using a five-slide deck and an elevator pitch.
Methodology overview: Business Design Jam
persona grids allow for a deeper understanding of the intended users of the new business model, while proto typing tools such as Lego Serious Play deliver prototypes to be tested throughout the jam itself. After fine-tuning concepts during role play exercises, the jam concludes with final elevator pitches. Assessing the Challenge Joined by an interdisciplinary team of experts – including a UX designer, service designer, business designer and digital strategist – the eight-hour jam session began with an analysis of the public school’s “business model”. This led to interesting findings because although BOS Schönbrunn is a state-sponsored public school, it still operates in what turned out to be an increasingly contested marketplace. Analysing the situation from a strategic standpoint, the team learned: —— Potential students have a choice between several public schools for their vocational training, placing
BOS Schönbrunn in a competitive situation similar to commercial industries. —— The student ‘market’ – meaning the age groups of prospective students – is declining due to demographic shifts. The state-allocated budget per student remains fixed and beyond the school’s control. —— BOS Schönbrunn lacked a unique selling proposition (USP) to diversify its offering from competing schools. —— The school was missing insights into the needs of prospective students as well as its main marketing channels and audience. As it turned out, adult students’ parents were often important decision influencers. Designing unique service offerings Based on these findings, the team went in search of a USP for the school. As it turned out, the topic of music – the main inspiration behind the Business Design Jam method – also emerged as the key differentiator for BOS Schönbrunn. During the preparation phase for the project, the headmasters had also visited five Touchpoint 8-3
different music colleges and invited one jazz college to their school to better understand prospective students’ needs. Consequently, the team came to see that although the students’ main intention is to obtain a formal qualification at BOS Schönbrunn, many of them play musical instruments and might even have ambitions to become musicians or music teachers. Developing needs-oriented services for these students would raise the attractiveness of the school, and help define BOS Schönbrunn’s music education as a competitive edge. New service concepts discussed during the Business Design Jam included instrument courses, a broad range of student bands, as well as personal coaching by professional musicians. As a supplement to regular curriculum topics, the students would also be encouraged to develop further as performing artists. When discussing the intended effects of these services, the team also added the ‘conversion rate’ of application numbers to teacher posts. In the next step, the Business Design Jam elaborated suitable service prototypes – including high level descriptions of services as well as their costs and effects – together with complementary implementation and marketing plans. Overall, the Business Design Jam identified 17 separate implementation streams for musical activities, including band concerts, music courses, a revised school website, parents' days, musical instruments procurement and more. Design elements
such as personas and role play sessions helped to test the services and tailor them clearly toward students’ needs. Implementing the service concepts Implementation of the newly created services commenced in Spring/Summer 2016. Adding the new musicrelated activities to the curriculum increased the school’s attractiveness to students, reflected by a 50 percent increase in the number of interested students. Thanks to the Business Design Jam Session, BOS Schönbrunn is now connected with like-minded schools that emphasise musical education and provide tailored services that are relevant for their students’ futures. Students became ambassadors and evangelists by recommending the school to potential candidates. The activities have also created external interest in regional newspapers and on television. Based on the high-level implementation plan, the headmaster team at BOS Schönbrunn was able to formulate a funding concept to cover the projected implementation costs. And because implementation involved students as well as teachers, the project not only had an external impact, but also strengthened the school’s internal community. Overall, the Business Design Jam method has proven successful in activating stakeholders, bringing new perspectives to acute challenges – in this case a business and marketing perspective to a publicly-funded educational facility – and creating as well as implementing actionable service concepts.
Student band at BOS Schönbrunn 12 Touchpoint 8-3
c ro s s - d i s c i p l i n e
The fruit of a global community collaboration, with more than 200 people involved, comes alive:
Get the free online version or order your printed copy at service-design-network.org WANT TO BE PART OF THIS COMMUNITY?
facebook.com/servicedesignpublicsector linkedin.com/groups/8174251 Touchpoint 8-3 13
f e at u re
obeyleesin / photocase.de
Business as Unusual
Scaling Agile: The Service Design Imperative The growth of an in-house digital function from maverick startup to multiple product teams is a perilous time for the customer experience. Service designers can come to the rescue with the tools to make agile work at scale. Audree Fletcher is Director of Design in the UK Depart ment for International Trade, leading teams that design services that help British firms sell their products and services internationally. She has previously held the roles of Head of Ideas Lab, and Chief Digital Officer, at UK Trade and Investment.
Many newly-established in-house digital teams display attributes that you might associate with a start-up: A small, selfmanaged, autonomous team – perhaps with maverick personalities – and with a ship early/fix fast mindset that delivers value early and ensures survival. This can work with one or two teams, but agile teams can often become ‘unstuck’ when they try to operate at scale, much to the detriment of good service design. What got them here won’t get them there The first problem with scaling agile comes from growing interdependence between teams; multiple agile teams working on different features for the same product, or working on related products within the same customer lifecycle. These teams are interdependent and they should not be working autonomously. Where they do, the result is inconsistency, fragmentation, dupli cation and inefficiency. Yet, because ceding autonomy is frustrating and disempowering, agile teams often resist
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the management and co-ordination of their collective efforts. A team might choose to resist coordination by carving out a narrow silo to maintain their autonomy, with the inevitable gaps and pain-points that will emerge in the resulting customer experience. Alternatively the team might take responsibility for the customer journey well beyond their brief, overlapping with other teams and causing confusion and duplication. Or they may do both, as a colleague of mine discovered, when he found his platform had gone from having no-one developing a much-needed single sign-on (SSO) solution, to having three teams independently taking the initiative and developing separate SSOs. The second problem with scaling agile is the challenge of governance. With increased scale comes increased budget. And if your digital function is any good, everyone will want a piece of that pie. Often agile teams will be asked to report into traditional ‘waterfall’ governance arrangements, and end up having to produce detailed sign-offs for scope and
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‘big bang’ launch deadlines before a project has even kicked off (often termed ‘Agile-Fall’). Paradoxically the very structures that organisations create to help manage risk, and to ensure alignment with business needs, end up preventing the rapid, iterative and small-scale experimentation with ‘good enough’ products that would better match the risk-appetites of large firms. So how do we scale agile well? To overcome the challenges above, agile teams need to: — Zoom in and out, from the detail of their current backlog to the context of the whole end-to-end customer experience. Alongside the laser focus on what they’re trying to achieve in this particular sprint, agile teams need to know how that fits alongside the work of parallel teams in the collective roadmap, and the vision for the future. — Establish a design community that ensures a strong collective voice for design in the organisation and encourages consistency, collaboration and alignment across products. Service designers shouldn’t wait until Spotify-style squads1 take root; they should take responsibility themselves for designing the shared guidelines, styles, templates, components and patterns that will increase design efficiency and dramatically improve the customer experience. Customers need ‘digital’ to be more than the sum of its product teams. Communicate their insights, learning, progress and — vision both passively (through increased transparency, e.g. with a visual roadmap) and actively (through rituals like ‘show and tell’). Between teams, this communication is necessary fuel for co-ordination, collaboration, learning and efficiency. For senior stakeholders, this communication builds the confidence that agile teams can deliver against outcomes without traditional project and programme governance, eventually winning teams the flexibility they need to move away from ‘Agile-Fall’ towards effective agile delivery. Give customers a voice in the face of the ‘do as I say, — only faster’ mentality of some sponsors, by building
A visit from the Minister: UKTI digital team ultimately convinced its senior stakeholders to experiment with approaches to agile governance.
empathy and vividly articulating customer needs through narrative. Agile is an irresistible drum-beat, an unrelenting march of iteration towards a solution to a question that has already been asked. But if the question changes, or if indeed it was wrong to start with, only powerful storytelling with data will succeed in re-opening the question. Strategic and systems-thinking, design collaboration, high-impact communication, empathy-building and storytelling – service designers are uniquely equipped to meet the challenges that agile teams face when trying to scale. We need to step up to that responsibility. 1 https://rctom.hbs.org/submission/the-spotify-squad-how-tosuccessfully-lead-a-global-organization-without-an-operationsteam/
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Shaping the Enterprise By Design Too often, ambitious service design initiatives that require com plex enterprises to change fall short of delivering on their intended outcomes. Teams spend months getting to the heart of a customer experience issue, but the extensive blueprint they draw up is eventually forgotten behind a massive pile of organi John Gøtze is Editor-inChief for QualiWare Center of Excellence, and assistant professor at the IT University of Copenhagen. John has published several books and many articles about enterprise architecture and business transformation.
Milan Guenther is partner at eda.c, a strategic design consultancy. He is the author of ‘Intersection’, introducing the Enterprise Design approach, and coorganiser of the Intersection conference series.
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sational challenges, IT requirements and constraints, operations re-engineering issues, and the underlying cultural shift required. To have impact, designers have to better engage the diverse community of stakeholders that bring a reshaped service to life. An ‘enterprise design’ approach is a logical extension to service design practice to proactively design the scope, share relevant models with stakeholders and translate between them. It allows the rapid establishment of links between a sound service concept and the enterprise capabilities required to deliver it. What is service design? This question came up once again when Louise Downe, Head of Design at the UK Government Digital Service, delivered the closing keynote at the Intersection16 conference on Strategic Enterprise Design in Copenhagen. Her unit is responsible for GOV.UK, a website that will regroup all digitallyenabled public services in the UK. She delivered the answer right away: “Service design is the design of services. It’s quite simple.”1 Her group’s success, despite
the usual political struggles2, is a beacon to many in the industry. It shows that the service design approach actually works. That task however – the design of services – has proven more elusive and challenging than expected. After all, the principles of experience design and design thinking should apply regardless of what it is you are designing. But reshaping a complex system requires us to rethink our toolbox. 1 Redesigning Government for the 21st century. Closing Keynote by Louise Downe, Head of Design, UK Government Digital Service at the 3rd INTERSECTION Conference in Copenhagen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_D-Zn91o-I 2 Revealed: The battle for GDS. Computer Weekly www.computerweekly.com/news/450301278/ Revealed-The-battle-for-GDS-how-Whitehallmandarins-are-trying-to-carve-up-digital-strategy
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Government turns out to be a good case study. Behind any given service hides a web of many public entities, with a diverse set of processes, systems, and structures to be taken into account. Transforming these ‘hard-wired’ systems in turn changes the way the organisation works – stakeholder responsibilities, team roles and skills, and the underlying policies. Having an impact on the way this system works also implies a massive cultural shift: from organisation-centric design of government requirements to starting from user needs instead, which is reflected in staff attitude and behaviour, transforming shared identity and perception. In short, impactful service design means reshaping the enterprise, and making it deliver to the customer.3 This even applies to seemingly simple and straightforward services. In 2014, the Copenhagen municipal government jointly introduced a centralized digital service4 , enabling government to reach out to citizens using a compulsory digital channel. Initially developed as a one-way notification service, the digital design team soon realised that many messages were the beginning of a dialogue with citizens, and that actual service fulfilment is almost always transactional. When they introduced a prominent reply button, government agencies and municipalities all over the country quickly found themselves drowning in a flood of messages, missing crucial information and unable to help, partly because they become busy filing all the messages in a records management systems, despite the fact that many messages were simple confirmations from citizens who assumed they needed to reply. The irony of this situation is compounded when one realizes that a significant number of the messages sent by government are requests to use various self-service solutions (rather than the reply function). An enterprise mapping of the digital communication capabilities of 3 See Clark. M. & Guenther, M. 'Designing the Business Around the Experience' in Touchpoint 6-3, pp. 54-57 4 News article on Version2.dk (in Danish): https://www.version2.dk/ artikel/svarknap-e-boks-modarbejder-ubevist-selvbetjeningsloesning er-919651
local government actors as an integral part of the service design process would have solved the issue: such a model would have enabled an analysis of the existing capabilities and the gap in service delivery. Without such an integration, many service design initiatives risk failing or never being implemented. At eda.c, we set out seven years ago to bring the idea of strategic and holistic design practice to the enterprise. For us, rather than the ominous meaning of ‘big and expensive’, the term ‘enterprise’ means any type of purposeful endeavour5 , often entangled in a mess of constraints and opportunities. Here is what we have learned from many engagements on a wide range of challenges across a diverse set of industries, both private and public. Service designers are reshaping enterprisepeople relationships We are used to enterprises behaving in a rather awkward fashion. They make us switch between arbitrary channels and silos, forget who we are, and keep us in an insane loop of nonsense messaging that they call ‘customer service’. They fail to give us the information we need as customers or even the tools we need for our work as employees. They promise the world in their advertising, but fail to deliver. With the advent of digital, the power has shifted. We are connected, empowered, and confident in our relationships with companies and organisations. We can search, compare, try out, and switch away with ease. We trust our network of friends and peers much more than any marketing message. And whether as customers or employees, we expect enterprises to play a useful part in our lives, or we will simply part ways. As designers, we are used to limiting briefings constrained by the preconceived ideas of the silos we work for. Appreciating that the true scope of our work is the relationship between the enterprise and its customers, employees, and other key stakeholders, we need to bring 5 For a more concise definition, see https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ enterprise#Noun
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Table 1: Evaluation criteria for an initial/ongoing enterprise design assessment
Coherent brand image lived in culture
Not clear what they do and stand for
Clear what they stand for
Is structured as a wellperforming system
Doesn't perform well, fails to deliver
Performs well, delivers on its promise
Contribution to people's lives
Doesn't do anything useful for me
Useful and valuable to my life
Good relationships with all key stakeholder groups
Obsessed with themselves
Values customers, staff and others
Supports touchpoints across journeys
A clear set of services with well-defined value-add
Valuable, helpful services
High quality content on relevant topics
Irrelevant, boring content
Interesting, useful content
Develops new relevant products/business models
Imitator, nothing special
Novel and interesting offerings
Gets close to the people it addresses
Doesn't care about me
Cares about me and my life
Understands behaviours, develops relevant functionality
Adds more and more features/ clutter
Serves a clear purpose
Clear domain focus, simple language
Overcomplicates, loves jargon
Focuses on what's relevant
Clear messages, approachable on the right channels
Annoying, distant, difficult to talk to
Clear messages, easy to talk to
Information is well managed, structured and presented
Information is hard to find and understand
Gives me information when I need it
Interactions are well designed, useful tools and services
Awkward interactions, hard to use
Easy to use, good interactions
Well designed operating model and processes
Slow and unreliable
Fast and reliable
Good teamwork, flexible collaboration, shared
Suffers from hierarchy and bureaucracy
Flexible, shared responsibilities
Makes good use of technology
Old, difficult technology
Helpful, useful technology
Good graphics, typography, interfaces
Cluttered, inconsistent look
Clear, consistent look
Useful products, apps, tools
Useless, uninteresting product and tools
Useful products and tools
Welcoming, accessible, suitable places
Unwelcoming, cold, hard to access
Welcoming, good ambiance, accessible
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the customer into the organisation and have conversations on the right level. This leads to the idea of enterprise design as a natural extension to service design initiatives, relentlessly focusing on the customer to design the enterprise around their needs and priorities. Starting with an assessment of the current state, it involves an open inquiry into key aspects6 to be addressed as an open survey (See Table 1), uncovering gaps between the viewpoints of customers, staff and management. This analysis results in clear guidance on problems and opportunities to be addressed. Such an approach helps in framing the challenges to be tackled based on evidence rather than on stakeholder beliefs, letting us proactively establish scope and challenge uninformed briefings. Usually, the ‘enterprise rebels’ in the organisation drive this effort. They recognise the need for change and create a movement for transformation, using this data to find allies and get started.
The enterprise… …as a collective of people and emergent culture
Innovation and Transformation …as numbers and business goals
…as a machine or process chain
Perspectives on the enterprise, based on Tim Brown’s model on Design Thinking7
Service designers share models for collaboration and understanding Given the dynamic environments, complex systems and ill-defined scope that we face, we need to develop shared vision of what it is that we are attempting to reshape. No single department, discipline, practice, or culture is able to tackle this alone. Typical silos in organisations such as R&D, Marketing, IT, or HR tend to see the enterprise quite differently from one another. They perceive it, for example, as a set of technology systems and operations, or as products and business models, or as a group of peo ple and an emerging culture. In order to change the way enterprises work, the various stakeholders and practices involved have to develop a shared understanding. The underlying complexity needs to be dealt with, not ignored. While models traditionally used in service design, such as journey maps, blueprints, and personas, do a good job in capturing insights and communicating a service concept, they have proven insufficient to map the complexity of the underlying enterprise transformation. We seem to have reached the limits of the large printout and the room full of sticky notes that seems to be emblematic of that discipline.
For the purposes of service design, the empathic insights and the hard metrics gathered on the customer experience need to be the driver behind all modelling efforts. A shared, open and systemic model of the customer perspective provides a suitable starting point to make the link to the way ‘others’ perceive the enterprise. This makes the struggle for ever simpler and better customer experience a shared responsibility and allows aiming for substantial transformation. The Conant-Ashby Theorem8 states that “every good regulator of a system must be a model of that system”. This means that our ability to manage any organisation or business situation depends directly on our understanding of that organisation or situation, and that in turn depends on how good and relevant our models are. In other words, we cannot manage what we do not understand. There is no straightforward answer to the question of how and by whom such a model could be built and maintained. In fact, the very nature such a model is central, linking the different parts of the system to be mapped out. While a customer-centric viewpoint is a
6 Enterprise Design Framework: Stack and Assessment tool, first portrayed in ‘Intersection’ by Milan Guenther, Morgan Kaufmann 2012; and http://eda.cx/stack
7 Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design. 8 Conant and Ashby (1970) Every good regulator of a system must be a model of that system, Int. J. Systems Sci., 1970, vol 1, No 2, pp. 89–97
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good starting point, this is far from being simply a model of the customer experience. Disciplines like such as ‘business architecture’ and ‘systems thinking’ have a long history of dealing with complexity. An enterprise design approach makes use such enterprise modelling languages and data-driven tools to capture our knowledge and thinking in a coherent way. With the Enterprise Design Modelling Language (EDML)9, we developed a modelling language that allows translating between different aspects of desired enterprise-wide transformation. Based on a custom selection of aspects relevant to the individual challenge and a simple basic vocabulary, models become merely views on the same shared knowledge base to collaboratively understand the dynamics of an enterprise and cocreate future scenarios. We can model within one single aspect such as a hierarchical representation of services, brands or processes. We can then make the links between those aspects in composite models such as blueprints, reusing elements from the same coherent language. Using repository-driven modelling applications such as Archi10,11 , or QualiWare12, designers and architects can rely on semantic tool support for such shared models to be captured and co-designed in a coherent fashion, maintained and evolved, and enriched with data and insights. Beyond graphical representation, such tools store the inherent relationships in the model. This establishes a clear link between the customer perspective, operational delivery and organisational responsibility, forming a suitable basis for reshaping the enterprise from the outside-in. What is needed is a genuine architecture of the enterprise – what it does, alongside its processes, people, structures, fi nances, values, performance, decisionmaking, communications, information flows, markets, change, risks, relationships, and technology. This may seem like a tall order, but is actually relatively straight-
9 Enterprise Design Modelling Language, http://eda.cx/edml 10 For a UN Case Study of modelling with Archimate, see Milan Guenther/Dennis Middeke: Designing Future Enterprises, in Digital Enterprise Design & Management, Springer 11 Archi is a free tool for the ArchiMate Language that can be adapted for Enterprise Design purposes http://www.archimatetool.com/ 12 Enterprise Design with QualiWare, https://www.qualiware.com/ digital-business/enterprise-design
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Enterprise Design Modelling Language (EDML): modelling scope and elements.
forward and eminently do-able, provided it is structured around a core model of the enterprise. An open metamodel expressed in EDML, combined with systems and design thinking, will give managers, designers, and architects a shared language for transforming the enterprise and capturing relations in a suitable model. Enterprise Design Sprints are a way to cut through complexity The overwhelming complexity of such enterprise-wide change made organisations turn to Lean and Agile approaches, attempting to catch up with the fast-moving start-up world. With entire markets being disrupted by new start-up entrants and business models, it is an obvious choice to try using the same methods. And in many environments, the ideas of working in rapid,
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iterative ‘Design Sprints’13 and avoiding waste have proven vital in overcoming the natural inertia of organisations. Beyond a single and relatively isolated project however, these methods are hard to scale. Our experience tells us that organisational realities, with politics, factions, and ‘frenemies’, more often than not create barriers to change and offer unforeseen challenges. Big shifts in a complex environment can take months or years to happen, and it seems unrealistic to assume that we can just take a shortcut. Instead of bringing about the big revolution, the agile ‘intrapreneurship’ initiative is stifled before it is able to trigger the transformation process. We found that rather than trying to come up with the perfect design process, focusing on the available skills, content, and underlying principles will, over time, make all the difference. To make progress quickly, we need a rigorous focus on key challenges relevant to the customer, then diving into the complexity of the enterprise with models relevant to rapidly delivering benefits. Rather than spending weeks on long term plans and roadmaps that are out of touch with the dynamics of the environment, we see successful projects happen in short design sprints with clear priorities and scope.
Starting from a shared model of the enterprise allows us to check out a relevant ‘chunk of enterprise’ relevant to the challenge, linking the customer experience, service and product design to operational delivery and organisational responsibility. Inputs such as qualitative research, inspiration and data can be extracted and carefully crafted as models. Collective thinking generated during the sprint can be captured as evolved models representing potential future states of the enterprise, and re-introduced into the shared model repository, creating a closed loop story for transformation. Sprint outcomes trigger larger projects and initiatives, working on validated prototypes as future scenarios. These shifts in approaching transformation are needed to make enterprises useful again, giving enterprise rebels the tools they need to make a difference. Designers and architects are their natural allies, and over time, evidencebased, customer-centric and systemic approaches will replace the illusion of control over silos we see right now.
Enterprise Design Sprint methodology
13 Enterprise Design Sprint, a variant of the methodology originally developed by Google Ventures, optimised for transforming complex environments http://eda.cx/sprint
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‘Go Big or Go Home’? Mergers, acquisitions, and the impact on service design
What’s behind the ongoing trend of mergers and acquisitions in the world of service design? And what does it mean for the way our discipline is being practiced? Touchpoint Editor-in-Chief Jesse Grimes takes a deep dive into this issue, speaking to several people at the forefront of this trend, and offers his insights on Jesse Grimes, Editor-in-Chief for Touchpoint, has nine years experience as a service designer and consultant. He has worked in London, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf and Sydney and is now based in Amsterdam with Dutch agency Informaat. Jesse is also on the Man agement Board of the Service Design Network.
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what it means for service design. Ten to fifteen years ago, when service design was still a young discipline, it was largely carried out by a handful of dedicated agencies, such as Livework and Engine in London. As the years progressed, new agencies sprung up, with the geographical focus of service design continuing to be northwest Europe, the UK and the Scandinavian and Nordic regions. Simultaneously, agencies whose specialisms made them natural candidates to adopt service design established internal practices of their own, such as Adaptive Path (UX) and IDEO (product design). More recently, mirroring a trend that started much earlier within the world of UX, the establishment of in-house service design departments became more commonplace. Rather than relying on short-term, project-based engagements, large companies and public sector entities built teams of service designers that operated internally, day in and day out. (See the theme articles of Touchpoint Vol. 7 No. 2 on ‘In-house Service Design’, and
‘The Evolution of Innovation Labs’ in Touchpoint Vol. 8 No. 2 for more coverage of these trends.) But starting over three years ago, a new trend started to ripple across the world of service design practice: acquisitions and mergers. Rather than relying on organic growth to establish service design capability, companies began to acquire entire agencies at once, and design agencies merged forces to rapidly expand their offerings. And the big players driving this trend have been the global management consulting firms. Before diving into my observations on the implications of this trend for service design, it’s worthwhile pointing out that service design capabilities may not have always been the key attribute which triggered the acquisition in the first place; in some cases, it is the overall design expertise that was being sought, whether digital or product. With that being said, my focus indeed falls on what it means for service design.
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The takeover that got the ball rolling: Accenture and Fjord London-based Fjord was founded in 2001, and by 2013 had grown to reach the top tier of service design agencies in terms of reach and size. It operated in fifteen cities around the world, and had a headcount of around 400 staff. But that year, a momentous shift took place. Fjord was acquired by Accenture, bringing it under the wing of Accenture Interactive, and giving its designers 260,000+ new colleagues, and the processes and systems of a global giant. Commenting on the reasons for the acquisition at the time, Brian Whipple, Global Managing Director of Accenture Interactive, said “In today’s environment of digital disruption and heightened consumer expectations, the battle is for consumer engagement, and Accenture and Fjord together will offer a deep blend of skills and expertise to help clients deliver innovative experiences that bridge marketing, commerce and service.” Two years later, the acquisition had proven to be successful enough to significantly grow Fjord, which continues to maintain its brand identity. By mid-2015, the design team at Fjord had doubled, and the number of offices had expanded from nine to seventeen. By late 2015, Texas-based ‘creative technology’ studio Chaotic Moon, Hong Kong’s PacificLink Group of digital agencies, and Sweden’s content and commerce platform provider Brightstep had all been acquired by Accenture. Shelley Evenson, Managing Director, Fjord Evolution, has been with Fjord since its pre-Accenture days. Looking back at what triggered the acquisition, Shelley said: “What Accenture really saw in Fjord was Fjord’s design capabilities, and a different innovation perspective than what existed within other groups in Accenture. We were a consolidated force and were well known in the field, at a reasonably great scale, doing great work, and that’s what attracted them to us.” And – citing a theme that comes up again and again when exploring this trend – Shelley said that the acquisition has meant that her work has taken on a scale that was not possible before: “[The acquisition] gave Fjord a pretty incredible set of capabilities for thinking about implementation. Instead of just conceiving what
things could be, it was about bringing them all the way through.” Breaking from the common convention where (service) designers carry out a project, yet depart and leave the implementation up to the client, Accenture has given Fjord the opportunity to stay engaged through to the end. And that’s thanks to the types of relationships Accenture typically has with its clients; ones that are long-term and deeply-embedded in organisations (rather than tactical or operational projects that end after weeks or months). Those relationships have also opened doors within client organisations that are typically out-of-reach for designers operating externally. “We now have access to the highest parts of the largest organisations in the world,” said Shelley. “That’s pretty exciting when you think about what kind of impact it allows.” How has it changed the day-to-day work of a Fjord service designer? While there are some potentiallyburdensome policies related to things such as IT and equipment, the shift has not been a difficult one. As Shelley described, “Predominantly, Fjord still works in the same way that we worked before. But we’re involved a lot longer, because we’re following through. It now goes from discovery and service design strategy, through to implementation. But fundamentally it’s made us smarter about all the work that we do.” Good partnerships are also two-way value exchanges, and Accenture has benefited from the collective mindpower of hundreds of designers who specialise in tackling complex challenges. “Another exciting thing is that Accenture overall is curious and dedicated to getting ever better,” explained Shelley. “So they leverage aspects of Fjord to help Accenture reinvent itself.” A leading light goes client-side: Capital One and Adaptive Path Also founded in 2001, San Francisco-based Adaptive Path has long been a leading player in terms of UX expertise – and latterly in design management and service design – as well as having a well-established events business. In 2014, headlines were made in both the design and financial communities, when the agency was fully Touchpoint 8-3 25
acquired by financial services giant Capital One. In one fell swoop, a 44,000+ employee company had acquired 30+ design specialists – without even having had an agency-client relationship beforehand. What would this mean for the way Adaptive Path’s designers carried out their design work? And would the loss of independence as an agency be outweighed by the opportunities to operate with more impact, from the inside? As Touchpoint contributor and industry expert Kerry Bodine wrote at the time, “It’s not often I hear news that makes me scratch my head for hours on end.” Two years down the road, I had a chance to speak to Jamin Hegeman, who transitioned to Capital One alongside his Adaptive Path colleagues, and then transitioned to a role as head of design for Capital One’s Financial Services division in 2016. As he sees it, the acquisition was triggered by a desire to quickly build up Capital One's nascent design capability. But integrating mature design expertise which had heretofore operated externally and independently into a massive organisation came with its challenges. Not only did Capital One get a leading design agency, they also got a leading service design agency. “Integrating design into an organization is no small feat,” said Jamin. “Adding service design, which most organisations are still grappling to understand, is an even greater challenge.” While the transition has had its challenges, Jamin sees it as positive. “We're making headway,” he said. But it has also presented some unique opportunities. “The scale of influence is the thing I find most interesting about being internal. I'm increasingly thinking that ‘service design at scale’ is my theme,” said Jamin. “I’m focused less on the details of the methods. It’s really about how service design orients itself to the functions of the organisation. How it integrates into existing processes and systems and its practical application for a 5,000-person division, rather than a project-based design team.”
“Increasingly, businesses are seeing the benefits of having design as a strong internal capability, and they’re trying to bring it in-house. Acquisitions are a fast track to doing that; they’re jump-starting a lack in that capability. Whether it’s a management consultancy who sees the benefit of having a design capability in their offering, or a large organisation that’s been around a while that wasn’t built with a design capability at the start, they’re trying to fast-track design.” Jamin Hegeman, Head of Design, Financial Services, Capital One
Another consultancy giant joins the game: McKinsey and Veryday Operating at a smaller scale than Accenture, McKinsey is often considered among the best-of-the-best amongst 26 Touchpoint 8-3
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management consultancies. And despite a tight-lipped policy on naming clients and engagements, it claims to work for around 90 of the world’s top 100 corporations. Their flavour of consultancy isn’t just advising restructurings or guiding strategy; McKinsey also claims to be the world’s number one ‘product development advisory firm’. With that in mind, McKinsey’s own acquisitions make sense. No doubt triggered by Accenture’s rapid expansion into the digital arena, McKinsey (through the McKinsey Design group) took over California-based LUNAR in 2015, bringing the product design expertise of a 30+ year old agency into their global network. One year later, in late 2016, McKinsey acquired Swedish agency Veryday, who in many ways resemble LUNAR, having been founded in 1969 and making their name as product design specialists. And mirroring the sentiment from the LUNAR acquisition, McKinsey’s Volker Grüntges, who led the acquisition from the McKinsey, noted: “Veryday is ahead of the curve because its work combines physical product design, service design, and an engaging experience. The convergence of physical and digital, of products and services, is a huge opportunity for a lot of our clients.” While the Fjord/Accenture acquisition saw the acquiree (Fjord) benefit from being able to play an active role in the real implementation of service design, in these cases, the acquirer (McKinsey) saw their scope of impact broaden towards the implementation of products. Derrick Kiker, a McKinsey partner who led the LUNAR acquisition, explained at the time: “Until now we couldn't help clients with design execution. Bringing together top design, engineering, and business thinking in one holistic approach is going to be very powerful.” So what has it meant – on the ground – at Veryday, and for their clients? Stefan Moritz, Vice President of Customer Experience, said, “If you go back before the acquisition, we were struggling to make the impact we wanted to make. We might have had deep insights and great ideas, but ultimately the heavy lifting of transformation would need to be done by the client, because service design agencies such as ourselves don’t
really specialise in implementation. But now we are able to have that impact. Now, it’s not just good ideas and insights, but we can link it to the value of outcomes. And for a big client organisation, that’s when it really starts to take off.” The access to specialised expertise within the new parent company, enabling designers to stay involved and influence projects through implementation, has proved to be a common benefit cited both by Fjord’s Shelley and Veryday’s Stefan. As Stefan said, “We’ve always been excited about small projects but most of them didn’t actually scale. We were missing the analytics and structures to support a holistic follow-through. But going back to the [Service Design Network 2012] Paris conference, where Livework described that they were hiring analysts, was a milestone for change. It’s now happening at a different scale. At Veryday today it means we can have access to different topics and different people. Putting quantitative analytics together with our deep empathic research is obviously a really good fit, to quantify our hunches.” Again, however, tradeoffs are made when scaling up and becoming enmeshed in a huge organisation that was never built with the mindsets and working practices of designers in mind. “Of course mergers or acquisitions come with a price,” said Stefan. “Being a well-functioning independent agency is a great thing. And it’s generally a bit sad in the world of globalisation that everything gets bought up. But to really make an impact, there are limits to what you can achieve as 30 people.” A merger of a different sort: Livework and Zilver Innovation Despite the trend towards mature service design agencies being snapped up by behemoth consultancies, that’s not always the way it happens. As it turns out, there are different ways to grow in terms of scale and offering. As Stefan put it, “Is buying a group of people really a modern way to absorb competence? It’s a two way street and it really depends on what each of the two partners wants out of it.” So it’s time to look at a different breed of merger: That of Livework and Zilver Innovation. Touchpoint 8-3 27
As one of the longest-established service design specialists, Livework has been carrying out service design projects since 2001. And – as co-founder Ben Reason alluded to on stage in Paris in 2012 – they
“This trend exposes for me the goals of service design. I’m amazed what the tools and the people can do if you put them in the right context. They can create fantastic new insights, new products, reshape governments, change an app … All of these can happen if [service design] is positioned in the right context. I think others are recognising the potential of service design and service designers, and seeing how service design can be used to achieve bigger goals. It’s a great recognition and opportunity for us.” Melvin Brand Flu, Director of Strategy and Business Design, Livework
were amongst the first to recognise that the effective implementation of service design (whether selling it, embedding it, or proving its ROI) relied on it being harmoniously applied in tandem with business consulting. One thing that was less-represented within Livework’s skillset was expertise in the areas of brand development and brand experience. And that is where Zilver came in. Based in Rotterdam, and near neighbours of one of Livework’s satellite offices, Zilver was launched by Erik Roscam Abbing. They had grown steadily over many years to become well-established, but with a strong focus on the Western European market. However a chance 28 Touchpoint 8-3
meeting between Erik and Melvin Brand Flu (Director of Strategy and Business Design at Livework) at the University of Applied Technology in Delft, triggered discussion of a merger that was formalised in mid2016. Rather than a case of a vastly-larger organisation acquiring design skills which were not yet a part of their existing offering, this represented a different breed of merger: One in which two dedicated design agencies – each with a focus on service design – teamed forces to become something larger. Looking back on the early discussions with Livework, Erik said that the eventual decision to merge was driven by the desire to mutually expand their capabilities. “I had been running Zilver for ten years and we were successful,” explained Erik. “We were doing good projects, people wanted to work with us, and the service design market was developing. From a distance there was no reason to change – there was no real urgency. What I did see, however, with the development of the field and the coming-of-age of service design as a discipline, was that the market was getting more and more crowded from the offering side. And on the demand side I saw the need growing for a more professional practice, solidlyrooted in business thinking. As Zilver, we were too small to handle big service design transition programmes, those kinds of jobs went to bigger consultancies. But I had the feeling they weren’t actually better suited. I saw a huge possibility for scaling up and becoming a real international player.” So what has it meant for the smaller-sized Zilver to join Livework? “What Livework has really brought in is the large scale transformation processes and change management,” said Erik. “Our typical project was quite a bit smaller in terms of scale, compared with what Livework do. And they also bring in a very professional organisation – a solid structure.” Similarly, the ten new designers that joined the Livework family improved it by bringing new skillsets with them. “What we [at Zilver] bring in is a lot of experience in the brand side of things,” explained Erik. “We were quite good at taking the internal brand and corporate culture as a stepping stone for service design,
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“What’s interesting for me is that for most of my career, what I’ve been really focused on is thinking how you integrate business, design and technology from the beginning. I feel like joining Accenture has really made that a huge possibility - it made that come through. I think that’s just harder to do when it’s a pure design firm.” Shelley Evenson, Managing Director, Fjord Evolution
and integrating it with brand experience, for holistic, multi-disciplinary experience design. Traditionally we’ve been very good at deep contextual research with lots of tooling, and we’ve brought that into Livework as well. And most importantly, our academic thinking on what is service design and what is design thinking.” Unlike the consultancy acquisition cases, there has been very little friction in terms of adapting to the new merger. “It all taps into a way of working that is quite familiar. The processes are quite similar,” said Erik. With the context of those four cases, it’s time to take a step back and see what the learnings and impacts are for the field of service design. ‘Go Big or Go Home’? To paraphrase an editor of this issue, Joel Bailey, who spoke at the 2013 SDN Global Conference on the urgent necessity for service designers to scale their work beyond design in order to succeed: has the service design discipline reached a state of ‘Go Big or Go Home’? In other words, does the practical application of service design now demand that service design get wrapped up into business consulting, and be carried out under the aegis of giant business consultancies? Considering the question from all angles, and with the insights I’ve gained through delving deeply into this trend, it seems that scope matters more than size. Sure, the foot-in-the-door that is afforded to agencies that now operate within global consultancies is a great opportunity. But what’s driving successful service design
nowadays – and where the future of our practice lies – is broadening the scale, reach and impact. And that does mean being able to apply the business consulting expertise that the likes of Accenture and McKinsey have been doing for decades. But it doesn’t necessarily mean operating within a huge firm such as themselves. Joel’s presentation, ‘Go Deep or Go Home’, pushed service designers to go beyond typical design considerations, and address the business implications of their work. He called for us to delve into organisational change, and be able to turn customer experience into numbers. It hearkened back to what Ben had said two years earlier, and which forcefully struck myself and Stefan at the time: Good service design requires business acumen too. But as the Livework and Zilver merger demonstrates, that doesn’t mean that the service design of the future is only carried out from within business consultancies. But it does mean that we need to skill and equip ourselves to mimic them in some ways. As Livework’s Melvin Brand Flu told me, “We have to be better skilled when working with businesses and organisations – our set of skills needs to be more than just design. Livework is still a design company, but we’re broader-skilled in how we do things. We use design to achieve business objectives.” Operating on the inside Despite the cultural changes that come along with acquisition – Fjord and Adaptive Path have both seen some attrition due to designers feeling alienated by their Touchpoint 8-3 29
new surroundings – the benefits of operating as part of a greater concern do seem clear. Service designers suddenly find that rather than having a limited set of design skillsets available amongst their colleagues, they have access to an immense range of talent, techniques and capabilities of the larger company. “If you’re external, it’s pretty localised and there’s a difference in how plugged-in you really are,” said Jamin, of his new position within Capital One. “The speed and scale and influence I have now is way greater than what I was able to do as an outside consultant.” Stefan at Veryday echoed those thoughts: “I see a tremendous increase in terms of impact. We are doing our work on a different scale, with more impact and different methodologies that we didn’t have before.” Expanding design vs. Acquiring design Compared to the acquisitions of design agencies by consultancies or corporate giants, the merger of Livework and Zilver stands out as unique. Here, the addition of complementary – and partially-overlapping – skillsets make Livework’s market proposition even stronger than it was before, whilst remaining a design-led agency at its core. And by remaining an external operator, with traditional client engagements, it can operate differently. Discussing this approach, Jamin said, “I think there’s a benefit of having an outsider’s perspective, of not knowing the answers to all the business problems as an insider. You’re asking the questions that other people won’t ask. Being external lets you have greater focus, and you can get things done faster.” Erik shares this sentiment, saying that Livework now offers more than what could be delivered through a business consulting firm: “I think the world is looking for really fresh new solutions, and when [clients] hire someone like McKinsey and get a little bit of design. It’s a different type of work than when they would have gone to a specialised design agency.” But Stefan sees the issue differently, noting that Veryday’s position allows it to behave fundamentally differently to firm such as Livework: “In the Livework approach, you are adding a bunch of MBA’s into a 30 Touchpoint 8-3
design company; three or four people that want to wear a suit. And of course this means that with a big client corporation, it helps you speak their language. But if you put a bunch of turtlenecks into a management consultancy, you have more people that ‘get’ the business side. You have more people that fit in at the client, and can really leverage the designers. A consultancy like McKinsey is more compatible at scale with a large client because many of the big [client] companies are still run in a management-consultancy friendly way.” So can an independent agency such as Livework still rise up – at least partially – to meet that challenge? Erik thinks so: “There is real room for the professionality of McKinsey, but the specialisation of a design agency. That’s the sweet spot where we want to be: Being an independent design agency, but very strategic and very professional.” Maintaining a design culture A clear risk to a design agency being acquired by a larger organisation is the potential damage done to the unique atmosphere that a creative agency offers. As Stefan reflected, “One risk is that you can drown in a big machine. The sheer ratio of design people versus business people means that we are the odd ones out. If you look at it ratio terms – Fjord vs. Accenture, or McKinsey vs. Veryday – it’s an important question.” It’s not a surprise then that in most instances, the acquired agency continues to maintain its own offices and brand identity. In the case of Fjord, it was that light-touch approach that has contributed to the takeover being a continued success. “What made it work is [Accenture] kind of left us alone; they didn’t want to interfere with what they purchased,” said Shelley. “They let us keep the brand and our culture, and I think that was fundamental in why it has worked so well.” The implications for our field No matter the form of the acquisition or merger, all the cases I’ve dived into here have revealed a common thread: They signify that service design has really come of age. And in doing so, it has found itself operating in new
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ways – and in new circumstances and environments – to accomplish its goals. As Stefan recalled thinking, upon learning about Fjord’s acquisition, “Wow, this is getting traction; it’s being taken seriously!” Erik also thinks that this trend is ultimately positive: “I think it’s a really, really good sign. It means the whole profession is maturing, and we’re all getting better at what we do. From the demand side, the question also becomes more focused: Better projects, for instance. That’s because service design is no longer owned by the designers, and design thinking is becoming part of how businesses operate. It’s becoming easier to do our work and sell it and have a good conversation with the client. And another side of it: competition is increasing. As the [service design] offer commoditises, [service designers] have to develop new niches. There will be more agencies specialising in certain sectors, meaning you can’t sit still. You can’t expect to do basic customer research and journey mapping – the market is too saturated for that.”
“The fact that service design now plays at this level is going to help the whole field get more attention and give us all more opportunities and impact. I think
In closing As Shelley recollected, the factors that contributed to this trend of mergers and acquisitions were observed back at the very beginnings of service design: “In 2006, Oliver King [of Engine] said ‘we have to take control of service design or the management consulting firms are going to take charge.’” And one year earlier, writing his 2005 M.A. thesis on the still-young field of service design, Stefan had contemplated the possibility of a McKinsey buying a service design agency. That indeed came to pass, striking closer to home than he could have imagined at the time. In whatever form – whether acquisitions by huge consultancies, the takeover of agencies by client-side organisations, or agencies joining forces – the trend of mergers and acquisitions seems certain to continue apace. And each form represents another positive facet of the evolution of service design as a discipline. Handwringing about the loss of small agency independence needs to be seen in the context of the greater impact that can now be achieved. One interesting question still remains to be answered: Does the nature of service design mean that it can never really be performed independently, externally, and at scale? As Erik asks: “Where’s the IDEO of service design?’ When they get big, they’re eaten up.”
there will be also a huge increase in demand for training and education.” Stefan Moritz, Vice President of Customer Experience, Veryday
Providing context that her wealth of experience provides, Shelley said she and others have seen this change coming. “It’s inevitable that we would become part of these larger business/technology/human-centred design organisations, in order to be able to tackle these systems challenges,” said Shelley. “There will always be the opportunity to work in smaller scales, but if you want to have impact, this is the way to go.” Touchpoint 8-3 31
Business Impact through Employee Experience Design In this article we argue that in order to gain competitive advantage, companies need to provide superior employee experience, and we show how service design can help them succeed. As a case example we introduce how, together with the employees and supervisors at the City of Helsinki, we redesigned their performance and development discussions, increasing the perceived usefulness by the employees by a third and potentially saving Maria Jaatinen is a service designer at Hellon, Helsinki. During her three years at Hellon, Maria has worked on a wide range of cases both in the public and private sectors, improving customer experience as well as collaboration and employee experience within organisations. Kirsikka Vaajakallio is a lead service designer, partner, and employee experience director at Hellon, Helsinki. She was previously a researcher in Aalto University in Helsinki and has written her doctoral dissertation on ‘Design Games’. Rudy de Belgeonne is a lead service designer at Hellon, London. Before joining Hellon he worked as Creative Director at the BBC, tasked with creating a better employee experience by improving internal tools, systems and processes.
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the city an unnecessary 50,000 hours each year.
In a business environment where competitive advantage is gained through producing superior customer experiences and innovating new solutions that answer and predict customers’ needs, the employees of a company are its most crucial asset. Gaining competitive advantage through customer experience requires employees to understand customers’ needs, to be willing and able to serve them effectively, personally and flexibly, to constantly develop the necessary skills to do so, and to be committed and to believe in what they do. Companies with top customer experience recognise the link between customer experience and employee experience – and produce up to 80% higher return on investment compared to competitors lagging in customer experience.1 While there are other factors
besides employee experience contributing to the success of these companies, it is more than clear that the effect of good employee experience on business perfor mance and return on investment is sub stantial. In a global study carried out in 2015, companies who ranked the best as employers had 57% higher return on investment than their competitors.2 Driving a company culture that is able to change and innovate new solutions in an 1 Watermark Consulting (2015). The 2015 Customer Experience ROI Study. [Online] Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http:// www.watermarkconsult.net/docs/WatermarkCustomer-Experience-ROI-Study.pdf. 2 Aon Hewitt (2015). 2015 Trends in Global Employee Engagement. [Online] Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http://www.aon.com/attachments/ human-capital-consulting/2015-Trends-in-GlobalEmployee-Engagement-Report.pdf.
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agile manner places employees in an unpredictable work environment, where they are required to constantly adapt to new situations and pursue new ideas. Supporting those employees’ ability to perform in such an environment is imperative for a company’s success. At the same time, employees’ expectations for work are more focused on personal development and the ability to enjoy everyday work. Especially for millennials, who in the US are already the largest and still rapidly growing segment of the current active workforce3, it is more important to be able to look forward to going to work, be able to learn a lot, and to be trusted and respected by their supervisor, compared to older employees.4 In order to provide a good employee experience, companies need to both help employees cope with the rapidly changing work environment, and to support their ability to enjoy their work and to develop. Designing Employee Experience: City of Helsinki Case Study Service design’s intrinsic focus is on the value created to the customers and the organisation, as well as the collaborative process that empowers employees, make it an excellent way to both tackle issues threatening good employee experience and to innovate new ways to increase work wellbeing and performance. We proved the benefits of the approach with the City of Helsinki, where together with the employees and supervisors we renewed their performance and development discussions. The discussions are one of the main tools for communicating the needs and requirements for work and learning between the employee and the supervisor, and it is mandatory for each employee to have such a discussion at least once a year. However, in a recent study only four out of ten employees and supervisors found the discussions useful. 3 Fry, R. (2015). Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force. [Online] Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http:// www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpassgen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/ 4 Dale Carnegie Training (2015). Igniting Millennial Engagement. [Online] Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http://www.dalecarnegie.com/ assets/1/7/Engage_millennials_wp_031815.pdf
Companies with top customer experience recognise the link between customer experience and employee experience – and produce up to 80% higher return on investment compared to competitors lagging in customer experience.1
The performance and development discussions have been guided by a form, which the employee and supervisor fill in and sign. The form has a good purpose, but it is a real conversation killer. There are so many things to fill in, that one doesn’t really have time to talk about them. The form was starting to work against its own purpose, creating a situation where, for example, an employee had asked his supervisor if he could just fill the form and send it to the supervisor, skipping the discussion entirely. In addition to providing bad employee experience, the performance and development discussions were a drain on the City of Helsinki resources. The city is the biggest employer in Finland, with 37,876 permanent employees. If all of them use two hours for the performance discussion and preparations each year, it adds up to almost 80,000 hours per year. As the study of the usefulness of the discussions revealed, only 39% of this time was perceived as meaningful – meaning that almost 50,000 hours per year were currently being spent in vain. The City of Helsinki decided that they could not continue like this. They had to transform the performance and development discussions into something that is worth the time invested, something that brings real value both to the employees and their supervisors. But this was no easy task. The city employees work in a wide variety of different jobs, ranging from tram maintenance to librarians and doctors. The new development discussion model would have to fit all these different kinds of jobs and w orkplaces. It would be used by people with very different backgrounds and different abilities. Some of the employees are barely able to speak Finnish, while some of them give talks at strategy meetings. Touchpoint 8-3 33
To design a discussion model that would benefit all these different kinds of people, we gathered a group of 35 volunteers from a range of workplaces in 18 different city offices. Based on the previous feedback concerning performance and development discussions, we designed a half-day creative workshop5 with these volunteers to set out to dream about the possibilities in terms of the new performance and development discussions. The participants proposed real interaction instead of rigid forms, they proposed opportunities to affect the topics of the conversation, and they wished to be able to talk about things that are important to them at the time, instead of going through the same topics every year. The first workshop moved from identifying challenges and opportunities to developing shared ideas. Each idea was then analysed to determine why it would not work and how to overcome those challenges. Each participant was able to provide input on all ideas, creating a sense of ownership for everyone. This was one of the success factors for creating a need-based, easy-to-test and implement toolbox. Based on their desires, we drafted a set of tools for the development discussions and with the core team from the city we chose most prominent tools for further development and testing with the same volunteers. The resulting tools had a clear connection with the initial ideas from the workshop, making them rooted in the 5 Vaajakallio, K. (2012), “Design games as a tool, a mindset and a structure”, Doctoral dissertation, Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
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The resulting performance and development discussion tool consists of theme cards and templates that the employee and supervisor can use to construct a discussion that fits their workplace and current situation. everyday life of the users, and making it easy to explain and use them. The game-like characteristic of the toolbox also created inspiration and familiarity as discussed in current game-related research5. Based on the use of theme cards and templates, the key characteristic of the toolbox is flexibility. The employee and supervisor can build the topics and structure of their conversation based on what is important to them at that very moment. By choosing which parts of the toolbox to use, the employees can adapt the new model to various situations. The people at the sports department for example like to go for a walk and have the conversation outside. After creating the first draft of these tools, we gave them out to be tried and tested in different workplaces across the city, and that’s when we started to realise the full impact of this project. The volunteers who tried the new tools out were really happy with them. They shared their experience with other people, and word about the new discussion model started to spread. Some people who were not involved in the project got their hands on the first draft of the new tools, and started using them on their own. When we
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Read Touchpoint Archive Online started our second round of testing and development, there were people calling us saying, “I need to be in this project. Can I join the next group of testers?” It is clear that the employees find the new discussion model significantly more useful than the old one. During the first prototyping phase, the ranking of the perception of usefulness of the performance and development discussions changed from 3.27 to 4.25 out of 5. Moreover, the experience improvement is very well described in some feedback we got from one of the employees: ”In earlier years I felt like this is just something you have to do but it doesn’t lead to anything – I didn’t think it was very useful. Now I felt like this is important, I am being listened to, and I am an important part of the big picture.” While the supervisors were already relatively content with the old development discussions, their ranking of the perception of usefulness also rose from 4 to 4.36 out of 5. Even more importantly, they found that with the new model, their employees were more motivated about the discussions. The employees were much better prepared, even though they did not have to fill in a form in advance. The new model has already been implemented in some workplaces in the city organisation during the testing phase. Some of our first testers said it would be impossible to go back to the old style after this. The new performance and development discussion model has also raised interest in other public sector organisations. It is a prime example of how design can impact the employee experience in major public sector organisations. During this journey we designed tools to support meaningful conversation, but what we found was that by changing the tools, you can change culture. Through genuine interaction, personalisation and flexibility, the new model helps to maximise value created both to the employee and to the supervisor. It emphasises continuous support in everyday work, feedback culture, and communication within the work community and the organisation, laying out a path for the City of Helsinki to become an employee experience leader in the public sector.
350+ 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 issues except the three most recent). That means more than 350 articles related to service design freely available on our website. Enjoy the opportunity to search articles by volume and issue, by authors or keywords. Visit SDN website and sign in for a free Community Membership to dive into the Touchpoint Archive! Full issues of Touchpoint may be also read on-screen and on mobile devices via the Issuu website and app.
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Service Design in the Japanese Context An agency perspective on working with service design in Japan Japan is a consumerist, technology-loving manufacturing power house. But relative to the size of the market and rate of tech nology adoption, many major organisations, public as well as private, are remarkably behind in terms of seamless service delivery. There is great potential in consciously designing services, Esben Grøndal is originally from Denmark, and currently works as a service designer at the Kyoto branch of Japanese digital agency Infobahn inc., where he is working in a small team to expand the design practice and push for internationalisation.
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but the business context of Japan makes it difficult for agencies to pioneer service design in the same manner as has been accomplished elsewhere. The gap between hospitality and service innovation Many might think of Japan as a par ticularly service-minded country. Everything seems to run smoothly and people are famously friendly and helpful. But when you are staying beyond the average 12-day visit to the country, instances of inflexibility, inefficiency and opaque processes begin to turn up quickly. Whether it is going to the bank or signing up with a mobile carrier, you will in time get to where you want, but with a feeling that it could have been done better. One issue could be that the business culture is task-centred, and not user-centred. This means that employees take tasks very seriously, but the process itself is created around internal structures, instead of being centred on the user’s experience.
Making the leap Why has Japan neglected to push for service innovation along with product innovation? In terms of disseminating new ways of thinking, language is one barrier that can hardly be underestimated. In addition, there are cultural differences too that others have described better than I can. But while working in Japan, I am realising that there are also structures in place that create challenges for the impactful application of service design. To put it simply, the result is that the investigative, reframing benefits of a service design process are not being achieved, and that there is only a superficial kind of customer-centricity that does not permeate organisations. Two of the major – but perhaps overlooked – challenges we face in bettering the situation are outlined here.
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The Challenges Go-Between Advertising Agencies
To a large extent, companies and public organisations are hiring outside help through only a couple of huge ad agencies. The agency agrees on the brief with the client and then reaches out to design agencies to actually do the work. The model is perhaps well-fitted for deliverablefocussed work such as graphic design and the like, where procurement is relatively straightforward, and it is reasonable to engage a well-connected middleman to make the connection. In this sense, the model provides a comfortable window to new work for specialised agencies. But working through an intermediary like this limits the potential impact of a collaboration when it comes to service design. Because 1) it becomes difficult to negotiate the brief and define the problem and 2) it breaks up the process and cuts out the specialist agency from providing follow-up support. Organisation and Hiring
Whether it is entirely attributable to the oftmentioned us-and-them mindset in Japanese culture is hard to say, but another challenge is that there is more focus on in-house design rather than outside expertise. This goes for service design as well. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it is surely a trend globally. But in my experience with working with different kinds of organisations across industries, and having talked to a diverse group of stakeholders in the design community here, it is clear there is tendency for the teams to get caught between silos, with little power to bring people together or bring outsiders in. Without much outside stimulus, UX and SD teams are assembled from existing staff who are oftentimes not trained in their new job title, are influenced by the prevailing corporate mindsets and might lack a holistic and curious perspective on the business. Coupled with the widespread practice of hiring generalists per quota instead of filling specialised positions, it is hard to gain momentum towards a meaningful application of service design.
There are rich opportunities for working professionally and focussing on improving and streamlining service systems in Japan, and raising the bar to meet and exceed standards in other major economies.
A vision for the impact of service design in Japan There are rich opportunities for working professionally and focussing on improving and streamlining service systems in Japan, and raising the bar to meet and exceed standards in other major economies. But to do this, it is crucial for foreign and domestic practitioners alike to recognise the challenges described above, and adapt the application of their expertise accordingly. There is a huge potential for design agencies to break hierarchies, support in-house team training and expertise and ask new questions. But to get to this stage it is necessary to reconsider the role of the intermediary, and strap in for long-term partnerships like capability outsourcing. By sharing these thoughts it is my hope that more people will be aware of what challenges and opportunities lie in the Japanese market. I hope that practitioners will consider what it is in their business context that enables or hinders the successful practice of service design and in turn share any insights to support future development.
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2016 Service Design Global Conference
Towards the New Normal Looking back at SDGC16
To start our coverage of the SDN's Global Conference 2016, Touchpoint asked Dutch-based design consultant Dennis Hambeukers to recap his conference learnings in both written and visual form. His visualisation accompanies this article, and appears overleaf. Dennis Hambeukers is a service designer at Zuiderlicht. He has been working for more then 15 years as a designer in diverse creative industries.
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Looking back at the Service Design Global Conference 2016, I saw how service designers are transforming the way businesses operate when it comes to innovation. We’re not only designing services, but we are helping organisations develop and deliver these services. Delivering innovative services requires organisational change, digital transformation. We are doing what business consultants were traditionally doing. But service designers are doing it in a totally different way: the designer’s way. More and more people are recognising that designers have skills that are very useful in addressing the issues that businesses face when creating innovative and user-centred services. Service designers all over the world are translating the basic skills of designers – such as creating beauty, clarity and structure – into business project needs such as engagement, direction and project performance. There are many ways to translate the designer’s skills into the competences that businesses need. Oliver King showed us a
couple, demonstrating how design can be the engine that drives innovation. Linnea Vizard showed us how designers can help to navigate the complexity of m odernday innovation projects: by making maps. These are visualisations that come before shaping solutions, exploring the hidden connections and structure of the problem and building on the structuring and visualisation talents of the designer. In an innovation project, everything has to be designed. This also goes for the experiments that you do to test, validate and gather insights. Gordon Hui and Jamie Nicholson pointed out that designing and executing an experiment is a creative process. From all the different approaches and views expressed in the presentations at the conference, I can only conclude that there is not one way to roll out service design. You have to adapt to the circumstances, test the water to see what works and have an agile mindset. In short, you have to work strategically. Cathy Huang introduced us to her ‘Wu Xing’ i nnovation
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model. She uses this holistic and system atic model to address the various forces within organisations that must be ad dressed in order for projects to succeed. These are all instances where design thinking and doing are moving business away from spreadsheets, thick reports and flowcharts to ‘designerly’ ways of doing. They are moving business as usual to business as unusual, and that is becoming the new normal.
The conference transmitted knowledge just like service designers do: by giving presentations, holding open discussions, facilitating workshops and a game now and then.
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2016 s e r V i c e d e s i G n G l o B a l c o n f e re n c e
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Design-led Change: Getting More of the Right Services to Market Faster Over the years we’ve witnessed businesses work all the angles to gain commercial advantages. They’ve increased their investment in marketing across print, digital and broadcast media. The oper ational efficiency of the business has been addressed head-on with a range of projects, initiatives and other tactics. They have Oliver King is the co-founder and director of Engine and helps organisations to identify where, when and how they can provide better, more meaningful and valuable services. Oliver is a recognised pioneer in his field and regularly speaks and writes internationally on service design and innovation. He is also a Board Director of the Design Business Association.
also undergone a series of digital transformations e.g. the launch of mobile apps, cloud computing migration and the use of big data. But having done this they’re beginning to realise that they’re reaching the limits of what efficiency and technology alone can do. As technology and efficiency makes more things possible and disruption becomes more common, the original questions become more important: 1. What will our customers value the most? 2. What will make them buy from us? 3. And how do we get the right things to
market faster? The first two questions are addressed through customer-centred research and development, but the last is tricky and what we explore here. Businesses are discovering that getting the right things to market faster requires a different approach. A mindset focussed not just on designing the right things, but on delivering the organisational change required to get 44 Touchpoint 8-3
them to market faster. On the ground, this means moving from a management approach that’s technology-, marketing-, or resource-led, to a design-led approach that is customer-inspired and visionled. This approach is increasingly being referred to as ‘Design-led Change’. It is an approach that recognises that putting something new and valuable into customers’ hands isn’t just about completing a product development cycle; it's also about inspiring an organisation to invest in it, implement it, and sell and support it brilliantly. At the heart of Design-led Change are seven competencies that organisations should develop to help them get more to market faster. They aren’t rocket science. Indeed, one by one the competencies should feel
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familiar, but it’s through the combination of them all that real traction begins to be gained.
Success’ is a compelling vision, which has truly aligned, motivated and galvanised the business into action.
Vision-led Organisations can be complex and highly interconnected with lots of competing priorities. They’re full of smart people who are great at their jobs and aren’t short of ideas on what to do. However it’s often the case that no-one has the complete picture of what’s going on and everybody tends to see things from their own perspective. In this environment, things become unaligned and corporate energy dissipates. To keep things on track the business needs a destination. A single, strong, motivating central idea that brings it all together and gets everybody on the right track. This vision should be one that everybody can own and interpret with the fidelity necessary to ensure it’s seen as valuable and achievable. A great example of this would be Unite Students, who develop and operate student accommodation across the UK. Until recently, they could be forgiven for just thinking and operating like developers and landlords, but they soon realised that they needed to be much more than that. Their customers are young people, many away from home for the first time, trying to stand on their own two feet. Perhaps you remember from your own experience as a student how the things you do effortlessly now – like balancing a bank account – once seemed very hard? Unite Students recognised this and how above everything students – their customers – need a supportive experience. They want to succeed at university, make great friends, get great qualifications and eventually get a good job. Unite’s promise is to provide them with a ‘Home for Success’, where their social, emotional, financial and academic success is paramount. ‘Home for
Beautiful Design Making things beautiful is what designers are great at. However, if you want to get more of the right things to market faster, it needs to go beyond the design of touchpoints and into making the project beautiful in and of itself. Let’s step back and unpack this a bit. Something is ‘beautiful’ when it appeals to our senses. What appeals to our senses as people can be pretty complex, but to corporations, things are much simpler – it’s about money. To a corporation, something is beautiful when it costs less to create, market and deliver. The design process cuts creation costs because the right thing is developed in the right way the first time. Customers have inspired solutions; co-creation and prototyping have weeded out problems and teams are engaged, excited and enabled to deliver. Moreover, when a product or service genuinely meets a customer’s need, provides a positive emotional response and is valuable, that satisfied customer will tell other people about it, so reducing marketing costs. The product costs less to deliver when it is crafted against the real world constraints of technology, commercial realities and organisational complexity. Clear Case We all know that you can’t get anything through an organisation, let alone to market, unless all the key decision makers are happy and confident that the things you’re developing will do what they’re supposed to do and meet the necessary requirements. The way to approach this is not through intense set-piece sign-off Touchpoint 8-3 45
sessions, but by adopting a far more collaborative, crossfunctional, and above all, design-led approach to casemaking. The first step involves working with stakeholders at the start of the project to develop a value-hypothesis for the project. Critical to this is placing benefits and not costs at the front and centre of their minds. Developing the hypothesis needs to include softer factors such as positive brand perception, colleague engagement and attractiveness to partners, as well as harder measures. From there the development teams need to apply evidence directly into the visioning. Let’s go back to the earlier Unite example. Design research created a compelling case that students had concerns about the affordability of university life, social integration, coping with life on their own two feet and genuinely gaining marketable career skills and experience. All of which led directly into Unite’s ‘Home for Success’ vision. Case-making needs to be a continual exercise. Crossfunctional expertise must be engaged to substantiate the thinking through co-creation, and the process must remain agile in order to quickly test and deliver the most valued solutions. The design-led approach builds confidence and consensus throughout the process; it removes the heat from big decision moments and makes the case for total benefits, not just costs. Simply put, a clear case reassures decision makers and gets more to market faster. Ready To Build According to Accenture, ‘48% of R&D budgets are wasted due to a combination of weak customer insight and slow time-to-market’1 . The truth is that a lot happens between having a great idea and deploying it. Lots of erosion takes place as the ideas gets passed from team to team, each trying to shape it this way or that to suit their own purposes. At best this just dulls the impact of the idea, but at worst it can lead to the project being terminated. Businesses are beginning to catch on to the concept 1 Accenture Innovation and Product Development Services, (2012)
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that a design-led approach can overcome this. Customercentred, collaborative and iterative approaches ensure the vision is informed with insight, compellingly communicated and broadly supported. Well-crafted ‘design packages’ in the form of blueprints, master plans and guidelines contain enough detail to ensure the teams required to implement it can deliver it, and that programs of work, roadmaps and collaboration plans are aligned. Design-led approaches make concepts tangible as soon as possible through journey maps and service prototyping. They can then be explored to inform the capabilities required to deliver the service. The role of the designer here is to not only create wellcrafted design packages, but to translate the experience into capabilities, ensuring everyone is clear which features and qualities will make the solution a success. Right Conditions Great services come from great organization, and if you want to get more of the right services to market faster you have to ensure you have the right conditions in place. Investing time in your teams understanding, comfort and confidence will accelerate time-to-market, reducing the risk of project failure. It takes a lot of people to get a multi-channel service to market. The enablers it requires can span the entire organization, touching all sorts of people, processes, systems and environments. In our experience there needs to be what the Leadership Professor John P Kotter refers to as a ‘Guiding Coalition’2 – groups of respected and invested individuals. This can be as little as five people – but can be as large as 20-50 – who are sufficiently engaged in the vision and motivated to apply their effort and influence their networks to gain traction. These people need to be very clear and in agreement from the start about the opportunity they are pursuing and most importantly the outcome they want. It helps of course that they have a vested interest in its success and a sense of shared ownership. 2 John Kotter, (November 2012), Leading Change, Harvard Business Review Press
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We also find that not enough time is spent designing the design process, scoping the work dependencies and more importantly, negotiating shared ownership and governance of a new approach across functions. Although the project might begin with an exciting launch and workshop, without the terms of engagement clearly set-out and reiterated, teams and individuals slowly revert back to traditional ways of running meetings, defining requirements and making decisions. Engaging Projects When you’re guiding a group of colleagues through a service design and development process, your likeli hood of success is higher if the people doing the work are engaged and enjoying it. With the right people, a well-designed project and a well-conceived purpose, the whole thing is a lot easier. According to the Harvard Business Review, it’s a fact that engaged employees are 3.5 times more likely to solve problems and invest personal time in a project than those that aren’t3. And businesses with highly engaged employees also have 3.5 times more earnings per share (Deloitte 2016)4 . It would seem that 3.5 is a key number here, it demonstrates that with these boxes ticked, the engagement and enjoyment comes from bringing originality to the tasks, the chance to exercise new skills and, frankly, have some fun. The way we do things is really original to most businesses; it’s an exciting and sometimes almost magical experience. When we co-create with our clients, we pass on new skills and develop their own capabilities. Ultimately, we recognise that design and creativity is a social process and people need to feel happy and secure to have new ideas.
Well Realised No matter how good your ideas are, it’s the quality of your delivery that counts with customers. So it’s important to take the time to assess what is going to make each element a success and focus on getting it right. It’s also in the delivery that the value of the design is realised. However it’s not just the quality of the final product that counts. Well-designed project tools, assets and communications give the organisation confidence in the effectiveness of the project and help get things to market faster. It’s a ‘cheap trick’, but detailed and rigorous documents (concept books, journey maps, mock-ups and so on), communicate that quality and attention to detail are important on this project and ones that look good are more engaging and impactful to the audience. So basically, the better your project outputs are, the more attention it will get, and the greater the businesses confidence will be in it. Moreover, the rigour, clarity and detail you put into them will translate into the production and service delivery. So there we have it. In our experience these seven competencies have helped our clients get more of the right services to market faster. They have helped them reorganise themselves around their customers and ultimately figure out what their customers want. These competencies come naturally to design professionals and we should help organisations acquire them. Because putting something new and valuable in customers’ hands isn’t just about completing a product development cycle; it’s also about inspiring an organisation to invest in it, implement it, sell and support it brilliantly. It’s called Design-led Change.
3 Chris Zook, Founder-Led Companies Outperform the Rest-Here’s Why, (Harvard Business Review, March 2012) 4 http://www.deloittedigital.co.za/blog/time-to-switch-youremployee-engagement-to-high-performance-mode
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We Are Here Designer as mapmaker
Humans have always made maps; to tell us where we are, to navi gate the world around us, and to understand the bigger context. Designers use maps to draw insight, catalyse ideas, and unify perspectives. They are tools for understanding complex experi ences and processes. Customer journey maps, empathy maps, Linnea Vizard is one of Canada’s leading advocates of service design. She is a designer based in Toronto, at Bridgeable, and is the co-founder and organiser of Service Design Toronto. She frequently writes on design and has spoken at the SDN Global Conference and Service Experience Conference.
mental models, experience maps and strategy roadmaps are common within our practice. Why so many maps in service design? When Maps Rush In Shahrzad Samadzadeh, in her talk and article titled ‘Don’t Make a Journey Map’1 , looks at the Gartner ‘hype cycle’ of journey mapping. In service design, it can feel like the beginning phase of excitement and inflated expectations regarding mapping techniques. It can be a default assumption that a journey map will be made. In some respects, the tools and methods are becoming synonymous with the approach. It is crucial that we keep in mind that a map is only one part of the puzzle in service design. Herbert Simon talks about design as “moving from existing situations to preferred situations,” and maps help us to do 1 Samadzadeh, Shahrzad, Don’t Make a Journey Map, 11th September, 2016 https://medium. com/@shahrsays/dont-make-a-journey-map-9archetypes-of-good-bad-and-how-to-decidewhat-to-use-d65abd30ec6f#.m6slgepz2
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that. In a geographical sense – ‘how do I get from A to B?’ – and now in a metaphorical sense throughout the design process. Design maps are representations – an attempt to wrangle complexity into an understandable shape. They are used to represent and describe services, experiences, and systems as we understand them, or as we would like them to be. Emergent Complexity in Design The last two decades have seen an explo sion in the complexity of user and orga nisational contexts, requiring new tools to understand how each element fits. Richard Buchanan’s ‘orders of design’ give us some clues around this. The first order of design is communicating through signs, symbols and images. The second order is the construction of physical things. The third order is strategic planning of services, processes and activities, which we can relate to as
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Maps as a design tool
Customer Journey Map
Graphic: Elina Lawrie
Over the last two decades, mapping in design has emerged to reflect the complexity of the environment.
service designers. The fourth order is systemic integration: designing the environments, systems, ideas and values within which all of the other orders of design unfold. Buchanan says: “Both the third and the fourth order are emerging now very strongly.”2 We can think about this in terms of the emergence and evolution of the service design discipline and the application of design to government policy or systemic issues. When overlaying mapping tools onto Buchanan’s Matrix, one can see maps play a key role in the third order of design; giving shape to activities, services and 2 Buchanan, Richard, Interviewed by the Designskolen Kolding, 22nd March, 2013 http://intranet.dskd.dk/index.php?id=3469
processes. Another way to look at this is to take Stefanie Russo’s Stratification of Design Thinking model3, and once again overlay mapping tools. At lower levels of complexity, such as designing objects, designers can rely on scale models or prototypes. At higher levels of complexity, such as at the service level, there is no choice but to represent complexity using some form of diagram or map. It is here that mapping tools come into their own within design. 3 Russo, Stefanie, Stratification of Design Thinking model, part of 2016 PhD Thesis ‘Understanding the Behaviour of Design Thinking in Complex Environments’ pg. 42 https://www.academia.edu/24919250/ Understanding_the_behaviour_of_design_thinking_in_complex_ environments
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Service designers are being asked to take on increasingly complex tasks, and solve increasingly messy problems. Dimensions of this complexity include the number and variety of touchpoints a service has, the range of stakeholders as well as organisational scale and intricacy. Where are we? What is the current state? How is everything related? Where can we go? How do we get there? These are questions which design maps help to answer and explore visually. Once upon a time, cartographers positioned us in the world, and now designers are stewarding a similar process, for their clients and organisations. Design and mapping have become a form of translation, collecting data and transforming it into a visual format. The Role of Maps in Service Design Within service design, maps are used to represent com plexity. They are visual tools that make use of the de signer’s ability to synthesise information and represent it. Maps therefore play a significant role in shaping the projects we work on.
In a project with a telecommunications company, several types of maps were crucial. A journey map contextualised quantitative and qualitative research data, using the framework of a user journey. By overlaying these data types on a map, it was possible to see places to intervene in a journey and opportunities to measure in different ways. A large touchpoint matrix documented the initiatives that were underway. This map revealed duplicated effort among functional groups that were often not aware of complementary or identical initiatives underway elsewhere. The maps created alignment and gave senior stakeholders grounds to make decisions on where to focus investment, and where to divest efforts. In this way, maps are used to make political decisions on projects. When designing roadmaps and implementation plans, maps help teams to navigate the future. The role of the designer is to facilitate the creation of a preferred future and pave the path towards it. In the telecommunications example, implementation roadmaps provided the organisation with navigable paths that had clear steps within a defined timeframe.
Buchanan’s Matrix Communication Signs & Words
Strategic Planning Action
Systemic Integration Thought
Signs, Symbols, & Images MAPPING TOOLS Physical Objects
1 Accenture Innovation and Product Development Services, (2012) Activities, Services, & Processes
Buchanan’s orders of design, with mapping tools overlaid. 50 Touchpoint 8-3
Systems, Environments, Ideas, & Values
Graphic: Elina Lawrie
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High Large Scale Systems
Policy Design Public Service • Environment Systems Design • Infrastructure
Systems and Behaviour Urban Planning • Architecture • Service Design SME’s • Strategic Design • Culture
Artefact and Experience
Graphic: Elina Lawrie
Engineering • Interaction Design • Human Computer Interaction User Experience • Anthropological Design • Human Centered Design
Artefact Fashion • Jewellery • Graphic • Web + New Media • Product • Interior
LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY
Stratification of Design Thinking
Stefanie Russo’s Stratification of Design Thinking The Future of Maps Maps are a pure form of sense-making. As we look to the future, designers are being asked to respond to increasingly wicked and messy problems. Indeed, for many designers, the work of complex systems, services, policy and infrastructure is where we wish to dig in and make a difference. At the fourth order of design, or at the top of the stratification of the design thinking pyramid in the large-scale systems layer, what does it look like to make maps? Some emergent attempts have been made to map increasingly ephemeral things such as culture (Dave Grey’s culture map), policy (Simon O’ Rafferty policy map), and value chains (the work of Simon Wardley). Even meta-maps are mapping the discipline of design itself, such as Liz Sanders’ 2008 and 2014 maps of design and design research. As she said, “Making a map is a way to hold a domain still for long enough to be able to see the relationships between the various approaches, methods, and tools. Maps are good for visualising relationships.”4 In the future, maps need to move from being deliverables to living documents. Mapping tools need to be democratised and must continue to emphasise
the importance of co-designing. Maps can help to create a unified view of the organisation and identify areas of opportunity. However, maps should be understood as a means to an end, not the end itself. 4 Sanders, Liz, An Evolving Map of Design Practice and Design Research, Interactions magazine, 1st Nov, 2008, http://www.dubberly.com/ articles/an-evolving-map-of-design-practice-and-design-research. html
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Design to Launch Innovating through incremental experimentation
Service design professionals need to do more than create compelling blueprints and journeys to build actual services: They need to embed themselves into the detailed mechanics of operating and scaling a service experience in a nimble, fail-fast fashion. By nurturing a mindset of constant experimentation, Gordon Hui is Smart Design’s Vice President, Strategy, and has more than a decade of experience in innovation consulting and a background in strategy. He works with senior leaders in diverse industries to create new services, business models, capabilities, and technology platforms by integrating human-centered design, business strategy and start-up techniques.
Jamie Nicholson is Senior Design Strategist at Smart Design. His expertise lies in balancing consumer and organisational needs to deliver compelling design strategies that can be implemented and brought to market. Jamie is passionate about helping Smart’s clients enter new categories, stretch their capabilities to new offerings, and successfully launch new ventures.
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combined with a deep understanding of what Smart Design calls a ‘Design to Launch’ approach, service designers can build breakthrough experiences that import startups’ agile and superfast methodologies while also enabling meaningful design. What is ‘Design to Launch’? There are a range of barriers to innovation within large organisations, but we believe a key hurdle is an overreliance on big pilots as a means to validate new services. At the same time, we don’t believe it’s essential for every large company, or even design specialist, to behave like a startup. We believe that incremental experiments are the key to planning and implementing complex innovation projects that succeed. To launch innovations successfully means planning a strategy that priori tises constant, real-world, real-user experimentation. We find this is particu larly important in the commercialisation part of the innovation process, which is where much corporate innovation falls down. It’s hardly surprising that 94%
of managers are unsatisfied with their company’s innovation performance, according to the Harvard Business Review. With the help of examples from our work, we outline our ‘Design to Launch’ process here. It can help companies launch meaningful services, through the adoption of the experimental elements of lean processes. We’ve used it to successfully launch innovations to market, while extending the capabilities of clients’ teams. 1. Define the key hypothesis Every innovation concept is built on a series of hypotheses and unknowns.
Before you run an experiment it’s important to know what you are testing
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We took the unique Design Thinking
aspects of disciplines
Pain points, Needs, Journey maps
such as Design Thinking,
Make to Learn
Functional & appearance prototypes
Minimum viable products (MVP)
lean startup and agile development and converged them to fill
the gap for corporate innovation.
for. When you come out of the foundation phase, you often have a hypothesis vision for the product and the business you are creating, yet there are literally thousands of questions that need addressing, and it’s important to prioritise them carefully. To uncover the key questions the initiative faces, we find it useful to think through the triple lenses of Desirability, Viability and Feasibility: Desirability
Customer-related questions (e.g. ‘Who is our audience?’, ‘What’s the most important part of the experience?’, ‘Will people trust it?’) Viability
Business-related questions (e.g. ‘How much will people pay for this?’, ‘What is the payment model?’, ‘How much will it cost to run this?’) Feasibility
Implementation-related questions (e.g. ‘What capabilities will we need to build this?’, ‘Will we need partners?’) 2. Develop the right tests All pilots are experiments; all experiments don’t have to be pilots.
With a prioritised set of questions identified, it’s now time to plan experiments to discover the answers. There are various prototyping and experiment techniques, and it’s crucial to select the right combination to effectively begin to answer your questions. One thing that start-ups do very well is to start building actual usable solutions much earlier in the
innovation process. By shifting the focus away from pilots, which can have negative connotations in the corporate world, and towards leveraging diverse incremental experiments, we believe that corporations can balance their challenges with the need to behave more nimbly. Innovation is an iterative process that requires multiple loops of designing and testing. With a hypothesis vision defined, a rapid set of experiments run in parallel, rather than in sequence, can be leveraged to test out this vision and further refine the experience. Through this approach, a new product can be essentially ‘live’ in the market, and product testing can be carried out with real people in real contexts. This builds confidence inside an organisation in the overall offering, while the necessary capabilities are built to launch the platform as a business. The approach also reduces the exposure to risk, through smaller bets, while the investment required is more incremental. New capabilities within the organisation are given the room to grow – often with unexpected additional benefits. And as a bonus, the guiding vision becomes more tangible earlier in the process. Eventually, the overall experience provides holistic learning across the organisation, encouraging iteration of the entire business. This is the virtuous circle that naturally arises from a genuine ‘Design to Launch’ process. Embrace challenging and unconventional research techniques Start-ups and tech companies are using some uncon ventional research techniques that elicit stronger answers to questions than the traditional toolset most corporations use. Touchpoint 8-3 53
The ‘Impact’ axis is how much the answer to a question will impact the direction of the project. The ‘Confidence’ axis relates to how confident you are in your hypothesis. Use this framework to prioritise the most important hypotheses to explore.
Actively test your product or service on an internal team for an extended period of time. It provides deeper contextual learning around how the offering integrates into people’s lives and uncovers experience issues. Fake doors testing
Use landing pages and digital advertising such as Facebook adverts or e-mail campaigns to test out the service before it is built. This helps build confidence in overall desirability of a service offering. You can also use this technique to A/B test value propositions and features to refine the offering. Concierge MVP
Deliver a version of the user experience entirely manually. It builds knowledge around how people perceive the overall experience and gives insight into some of the implementation aspects that will need to be tackled as you build and scale. Wizard of Oz
Design the user experience in full, and make it com pletely functional, but fake everything behind the line of visibility in the blueprint in order to deliver the ex perience. This builds knowledge around desirability and feasibility, at a time in the project when you simply can’t afford the budget to create the technology for real. 54 Touchpoint 8-3
3. Design a meaningful experiment Get creative, and fake it until you make it
Designing and executing an experiment is a creative process. Like any prototype with limited time and budget, you need to think smart about how you deliver your experience, and how it will help to uncover what you need to learn. Try and keep it as ‘live’ as possible. If there is any way that you can run the experiment with real users in context, do it. Building something for a live environment completely changes how you think about the idea and forces you to make lots of decisions that would go otherwise uncovered in a traditional service design approach. For example, our work with Pepsico on ‘Drinkfinity’ (a personalised portable beverage system) was brought to life very quickly with a test on PepsiCo’s employees. They created a small number of prototypes to understand how the platform would perform in context and over time. This helped us tweak the design before moving to a larger experiment. Similarly, our work with Ford on the Dynamic Shuttle (a service to address urban gridlock) is cur rently being tested with employees at their Dearborn, Michigan headquarters. And even if you can’t build all of it, make a ‘hacked’ solution until you can. We identified that for many
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workers, juggling lunch during a long day involves waiting in a crowded line. Inspired by the potential business opportunity in this space, members of our team pledged to create a new food startup in just four weeks. Our work to create ‘Gather’1 (an innovation solution for team lunches) led to a vision for the backend of the service, but limited time to actually build it. Instead, we realised that we could use existing services that were already available, and manually ‘fake’ the algorithm to deliver the end experience to the customer, therefore enabling us to test with real users in real situations. Not only will you get more authentic learnings from real users, but you will also uncover a broad range of feasibility and viability issues that need considering as you continue to develop the idea. ‘Design to Launch’ is a total approach that maximises creativity and innovation A ‘Design to Launch’ approach can help overcome many of the hurdles and bottlenecks that compa nies encounter, especially in the crucial middle section of the innovation process. The approach provides cross-functional learning, while a range of varied and flexible prototypes pro vide internal learning as well as learning about the customer. Everything is used to validate assumptions while enabling iterative learning. Live testing provides validation, while a build-test-learn approach encourages and nurtures iteration naturally.
A perfect example of incremental experimentation is our engagement with sports drink giant Gatorade. We worked together on a breakthrough new experience that uses the Internet of Things to personalise sports hydration and provide a customised insights service for professional athletes. By building multiple test platforms for diverse target markets, Gatorade gained confidence in the vision through iterative learning, and the company began to invest in bringing it to life. The process of building the platform through incremental experiments provided Gatorade with detailed insight into precisely what was needed to turn the system into a business, instead of just another pilot. Keep focused on what you are trying to learn, and design the experiments accordingly. Use all the most challenging techniques you can find, be it ‘Dogfooding’ or any of the emerging methods that throw users into actual situations. Real feedback from real customers based on early, live testing delivers confidence in assumptions, leading to a virtuous cycle of growing creativity and innovation. And at the same time it reduces risk and exposure, and provides an incremental path to investment rather than a single ‘big bet’. By moving away from rigorous planning and big pilots towards building small live experiments that incrementally scale, corporations can move over the dangerous hump in the middle of the inno vation process, explore new techniques, and begin to launch innovations at the pace of a start-up.
“Flush the system”
Proof of concept prototype
Wizard of Oz
Wizard of Oz
Co-Creation A/B Testing
Tools that can be used to tackle different challenges.
Concierge MVP Wizard of Oz In-house longitudinal studies
1 See www.smartdesignworldwide.com/ideas/gather
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Driven by Wu Xing, Service Design Transforms a Chinese Firm Jin Duo was frustrated. The waste-management company she had been running for more than a decade was successful, but facing challenges to keep growing. Now known as Grandblue Environmental Co. Ltd., the publicly listed, statecontrolled shareholding company had good technology, solid Cathy Huang is the Chairperson of CBi China Bridge and Co-Founder of SuccessfulDesign.Org. She was the jury captain in the Service Design category of the 2015 CORE77 design awards and is the chair man of the SDN Shanghai Chapter. She promotes the image of Chinese design and aims to leverage her role as a female mentor to inspire a new generation of start-ups in China.
management and a steady customer in the Chinese government that was encouraging it to expand into more regions across China. But the local communities where it wanted to build new plants protested and said, “No, not in my backyard!”
Grandblue initially faced public opposition to building facilities as it expanded across China 56 Touchpoint 8-3
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Based in Foshan, Guangdong province, Grandblue carries out water purification, sewage treatment and solid-waste recycling and gasification. The company processes some 20 million kilos a year of waste from 17 million people. A couple of years ago, despite having done nothing wrong, it suffered from the stigma of being a firm that handles waste and rubbish, earning the association that it was dirty and maybe even toxic. Local communities had no interest in welcoming Grandblue as a neighbour. I met Jin in 2015, and learned of her dilemma in trying to grow the company. She’s an impressive woman. Not only was she operating in an industry run almost entirely by men, but she also came from outside the industry and brought an open mind and a fresh perspective. She had joined Grandblue — then known as Nanhai Development Co. — in 2004, after having studied finance and economics, and had built a CV in senior management positions in various industries.
Grandblue’s challenge intrigued me, and I thought that perhaps my Shanghai-based strategic innovation firm, CBi China Bridge, could help. Jin was willing to listen. CBi has been active in service design for many years, including organising “service design jams” since 2011, with the aim of promoting the design discipline within China. But we have encountered many hurdles. In China, very few decision makers became involved in our efforts, because they didn’t understand the value of what we were doing. We then tried to apply a Western version of service design, but it didn’t go well. Industry engagement in China is at a lower level, and the decision makers often just don’t care. The leaders of most large enterprises – especially those that are state-owned – think “design is not my thing.” That got us wondering what we could do to break through these barriers. We realised that we needed to start with cultural change and mindset change within these organisations, instead of with service design. We discovered that once the culture and mindsets change,
Foundations of Chinese & Western Value Systems
Founda7ons of Chinese & Western Value Systems Chinese Model of Thinking
Western Model of Thinking
Harmony & Balance
Measurement criteria Interpersonal Rela5ons Way of Crea5on Structure
There are significant differences between the Chinese and Western models of thinking, when it comes to many different types of values. Touchpoint 8-3 57
then the budgets will come, and service design is the deliverable. On top of that, the timing for such an approach seemed right. The government had launched a “Made in China 2025” initiative, the country’s most comprehensive and ambitious industrial plan to date, to upgrade China’s manufacturing economy. Beijing had declared that it wants to see China, with its 1.4 billion people and $11 trillion economy, shift from being an industrial powerhouse to a service powerhouse. In its mission to promote service-oriented manufacturing and manufacturing-related service industries, the government had outlined nine key tasks on which to focus. These include: — Improving manufacturing innovation — Strengthening the industrial base — Enforcing “green” (or more sustainable) manufacturing — Advancing the restructuring of the manufacturing sector
— — — —
Internationalising manufacturing Integrating information technology and industry Fostering Chinese brands, and Promoting breakthroughs in ten key sectors
During the “convergence of ages” — from the current ‘Information Age’ potentially to a more data-driven ‘Smart Age’ — we believe that service design is a good bridge to help transform China’s traditional industries and businesses. The aim is to shift from simply making goods, to delivering a service that provides goods. But executing such change is never easy. A recent McKinsey global leadership study indicates that only 30 percent of companies succeed in significantly transforming themselves. In addition, according to an IBM study, the biggest hurdles to such change are not budgetrelated, but rather involve changing mindsets and corporate culture. And there is no doubt that in China, when it comes to service design, there are significant gaps in both mindsets and culture among traditional businesses.
Change is powered by the “Convergence of Ages”
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Wu Xing: The Rela/onships of 5 Elements WuWu Xing: The Rela/onships of 5 Elements Xing: The Relationships of Five Elements
How do five elements
How do 5 elements How do 5 elements relate to business? relate to Business? relate to Business?
Over the past several years I had been developing a theory based on Wu Xing —五 [w ǔ] 行 [xíng], a traditional Chinese philosophy that has existed for thousands of years. Wu Xing focuses on the interrelationships of the five elements:
— — — — —
Enhancing Wood feeds Fire; Fire creates Earth (ash); Earth bears Metal; Metal collects Water and Water nourishes Wood.
— — — — —
Diminishing Wood parts Earth; Earth absorbs Water; Water quenches Fire; Fire melts Metal and Metal chops Wood.
I started wondering if this concept could be applied to business. We used the Wu Xing framework to identify
five interrelated organisational elements impacting service design: — — — — —
Strategy Leadership Culture Creativity Data
We’ve been developing our working philosophy – a combination of our Chinese culture with a Western toolbox. We find that it is very powerful. The interrelationship is as follows: Strategy empowers Leadership; Leadership encourages Culture; Culture will generate Creativity; Creativity generates Data (which is the business result); and Data helps to improve the Strategy. For example, organisations need a defined, clear strategy, but that strategy must not be so strong and rigid as to restrict creativity. And if the culture is too strong, it can blind one to the data that reveals different needs. We need to know when and where to let big ideas grow in an organisation, while being careful to not allow Touchpoint 8-3 59
Grandblue Industrial Park
overly bold ideas to disrupt the strategy. Everything is interrelated and requires a careful balance. That brings us back to Grandblue, which serves as case study of how we can apply service design using a holistic approach to bridge East and West. Jin agreed to allow us to apply these principles in her company. In the waste management sector, securing positive community engagement was the key to the company’s potential growth. But how could it be achieved? We suggested that Grandblue needed to shift its business model from “B2G” (business-to-government) to “B2G+C” (business-to-government, plus community) model. The public had to learn and accept that the company had state-of-the-art technology, strong environmental safeguards, and a sincere interest in the welfare of the local communities where they operated. Making this happen took many forms. Grandblue began using white trash hauler trucks to reinforce their cleanliness (such trucks in China typically are blue). They completely rebuilt their main production compound in Foshan using very modern, futuristic architecture that looks like anything but a waste management plant. And they rebranded themselves as an “integrated environmental service leader”. 60 Touchpoint 8-3
But all of this was still only the start. We began working with the company to change its internal culture. We wanted to help them to stimulate “bottom-up innovation”. Our goal was to create an external impact through internal changes, because without internal change, nothing would happen. We helped them to select and designate “creative stars” from among their employees in different departments. We used design thinking and a creative workshop to enable their team to be more creative, to generate ideas, and to create a community program. After that, we also worked with those stars to build internal systems and mechanisms, allowing them to apply service design thinking to their innovation projects. One of the key results of this employee brainstorming and co-creation process was the decision for Grandblue to build its own theme park, on property adjacent to its Foshan plant. The park is under construction now, and is due to open in the second half of 2017. Located in the center of Grandblue Industrial Park, the interactive theme park will cover about 20,000 square meters. It’s designed for general public, mainly targetet at children aged between 6 and 17 years old, and will allow visitors to follow a route through Grandblue’s production
2016 s e r v i c e d e s i g n g l o b a l c o n f e re n c e
area, an exhibition hall and the park grounds, all of which will be linked by a physical “passport” that lists several tasks to be done. Each task corresponds to a key message that is environment-related. All activities are aimed to help children — through hands-on exploration — gain a better understanding of the benefits of such things as recycling, saving energy and overall conservation. Chinese media have dubbed the project “an environmental-themed Disneyland,” while noting it is the first theme park in the country to focus on environmental protection. Even without the theme park being completed yet, Grandblue already has begun implementing various other aspects of the service program that CBi designed for them. This includes open monitoring, whereby the public is welcome to visit the plant at any time. The company has increased its involvement in social media, opened an online store, and launched a local education program with neighbouring elementary schools, to teach children what it means in their daily lives to save energy, and how to use waste materials to create useful things, such as sculptures or souvenirs. Previously the community always protested that it was not good to have a waste management plant next to the school, and a physical wall separated the Grandblue facilities in Foshan from the school next door. That school has since decided to tear down the wall. When the company first tried to build a new plant in Fujian, the local community there protested. Then Grandblue invited those affected to visit their plant in Foshan. Those visitors were so impressed that they recently told their local government that only Grandblue is allowed to build a waste management factory in their city! That’s the power of using community to impact government decision making. Grandblue now has expanded across China, and owns several factories in seven provinces. In the meantime, we have broadened our engagement with the company on various levels. They decided to continue with our culture-change and innovation-capability building program throughout the next year, and further employ us in 2017.
As part of a million-dollar project, we have done ten workshops with employees in different s ubsidiaries, and developed both a “train the trainer” programme for them internally, and a leadership development program. It’s become an innovation initiative through out their whole group. The Grandblue employees love CBi very much. They treat us as their mentor and as their teacher, empowering them to be more creative and happier in their work environment. They viewed these changes as being generated by themselves, and they were eager to implement them. We started this whole project back in November 2015 by understanding their strategy, and being empowered by their leader. But we really started by reshaping the internal culture. The reinvigourated culture generated a lot of ideas. We then integrated the ideas, and used our professional tools and methods for service design. Part of the result is the theme park. But the real result is the business model innovation. This is the power of service design.
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Tools and MethodsÂ
Mapping Customer Experience The importance of asking the right questions With the rise of user experience (UX) in the last years, traditional customer journey maps have been evolving into experience maps. An experience map visualises the customer’s steps before, during and after using a service (i.e. the customer journey), and when and how the customer interacts with the touchpoints of the service provider. They moreover serve as a visualisation tool for needs, emotions and circumstances of the customer as Lennart Overkamp is an Interaction Designer at Mirabeau. With a background in Psychology, Human Factors and UX, he is always striving towards the optimal customer experience through interaction and service design. Kim Liefhebber is a Senior Interaction Designer and UX Lead for Dutch airline KLM at Mirabeau. She has ten years of experience in designing for large organisations, especially in the field of aviation. Yuan Lu is an Associate Professor at Industrial Design at TU/e. Her expertise lies in design-driven innovation and service design, and she has strong interests in healthy and active ageing.
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well as relevant dimensions from the perspective of the service provider. This makes experience mapping a very useful customercentred design technique that results in a visual and holistic representation of the entire service sequence.1
Preparation is key At Mirabeau, a Dutch digital agency that offers consultancy services in strategy, marketing, front-end design and platform management, we often use experience maps to enhance the experience of our clients’ customers. An often-encountered challenge is to determine the map type that best fits the specific project. For example, if the first essential step of defining the purpose of the map is overlooked, designers are often left wondering what to do with the map once it is delivered to the client. To overcome this challenge, we researched best practices of experience mapping in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). This
research revealed a striking pattern: The majority of those best practices focuses solely on the creation process of experience maps, while neglecting the necessary preparation process. Questions such as ‘What do I aim to achieve?’, ‘What should I focus on?’ and ‘Which customer insights do I need?’ should be answered before creating an experience map, but are often skipped in favour of a quick start of the creation process. Asking the right questions Based on our research findings, combined with our years of knowledge of the method, we developed our own ‘Guide to Experience Mapping’ that incorporates
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Mapping Customer Experience
the necessary preparation process. The guide’s setup is based on our belief that asking the appropriate questions is a better way to support designers than simply telling them what to do. Therefore, rather than providing constraining instructions, the guide consists of six core questions that provide the structure for the service designer to make appropriate decisions, making optimal use of the designer’s own skills, knowledge and creativity. After all, each unique problem asks for a unique approach and a unique solution. There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ in service design. In this article, we will discuss the guide’s six core questions and how they provide guidance for experience mapping. Q1: Which goal(s) do I want to achieve by using an experience map? The creation of an experience map is never a goal in and of itself; experience maps are tools to achieve a certain purpose. As eloquently described by Chris Risdon, Head of Design at Capital One: “A good experience map feels like a catalyst, not a conclusion.”2 Answering this first core question will provide the
service designer with insights about the purposes, requirements and limitations of experience mapping. Who are the stakeholders? What type of customer will the map be based on? Does the content need to be based on thoroughly-validated data, or are assumptions allowed? What will the map be used for? And, maybe most importantly, why create an experience map at all? Rather than providing a list of map types that the service designer would have to force-fit into the project’s unique context, we chose to provide an overview of possible purposes of experience mapping to inspire designers: —— To understand the customer. An experience map does not always need to be a deliverable to the client. Experience mapping can also be a method to get to know or empathise with the customer, and to understand the context in which this customer lives.1 —— To compare customers. Customers can be as different as the services they are using, and experience maps can be used to compare different types of customers.3 One possibility, based on a method proposed by Brandon Schauer of Adaptive Path, is to first identify the ‘baseline journey’ for all customers, after which Touchpoint 8-3 65
separate maps are made that emphasise a unique value proposition for each customer type. —— To emphasise the customer’s importance. Due to the central focus on the customer in experience maps, using them may encourage a service provider to consider its customers’ needs, feelings and questions, especially if the map is based on an appropriate persona.1,4 Awareness of the customers’ context is a major competitive advantage, and a key enabler for transformation into a truly customer-centred organisation.1 —— To facilitate discussion/brainstorming. Experience maps are useful as a basis for discussions or brainstorm sessions with stakeholders, as they provide a comprehensive, structured and visual representation of the service.1,3 —— To align understanding. Through the beneficial process of co-creating experience maps, a shared understanding starts to develop between all stakeholders.2 The service designer gains insights into the client’s business in a playful manner, while the service provider gains insights into the perspective of the customer, which is often different from what was expected. Moreover, experience maps help to make departments of a service provider aware of their customer’s full journey. —— To map the current customer experience. The process of creating a ‘descriptive’ map of the current state of the customer experience yields significant insights in the service.3,4 As the current state is always subject to change, these maps should be regularly updated. —— To identify opportunities/priorities. Using a descriptive experience map, service designers can identify opportunities where the experience may be enhanced, such as customer pain points (a ‘trough’ in the experience), a lack of focus on a certain part of the customer journey, or inconsistent service quality.1,3,4 These opportunities may then be prioritised. —— To map the ideal customer experience. Creating an ‘ideal’ experience map, in which all the opportunities for enhancing the customer experience have been integrated, is a good foundation to start communicating and actualising these opportunities.1,3,4 Essentially, this map is the vision of the service that the service provider should provide, and forms the basis for a new digital strategy designed around the needs of the customer. —— To evaluate design. Experience maps can be used 66 Touchpoint 8-3
to evaluate design during a project. By having the map on the wall during the design process, it is easy to check where the concept, sketch, or wireframe is located in the customer journey, and if it is still in line with the customer’s needs and goals. —— To manage customers’ expectations. As argued by Kerry Bodine, founding member of Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), an experience map can be used to communicate to customers what they can expect from a service.4 It provides reassurance to existing customers, or sells the service to prospective customers. Q2: Which structure should my experience map have to achieve my goal(s)? Each customer experience consists of multiple dimensions that constitute the experience, such as needs, emotions, and touchpoints. Adaptive Path refers to these dimensions as the ‘building blocks’ of the experience map.1 It is important to identify which building blocks are needed to build the map. Which aspects of the customer experience should be visualised? Which aspects of the service provider’s business are relevant for the customer experience? Which dimensions need to be included to clearly communicate the map’s message? Which dimensions are most important to show? Answering these questions will provide a clear focus on the upcoming research and co-creation, and on how to achieve the goal(s) set earlier. We identified a small number of basic dimensions that we often apply: —— Customer needs: what the customer needs to achieve his goals.3,4 Fulfilling a customer’s need is a sure way of adding value for this customer. —— Customer emotions: what the customer feels, or wants to feel, during each step in the service experience.3 If the service results in positive emotions, it is likely that customers will want to repeat the experience. Emotions can be expressed in a map in various ways, such as words (e.g. frustrated, delighted), quantifications (e.g. scores, graphs), quotes or icons. —— Touchpoints: when and how (e.g. on which device) the customer interacts with the service provider to fulfil a specific need.1,3 —— Business needs: what the service provider needs to achieve his goals (e.g. resources, funding, or information).
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Other examples of dimensions include customer goals, barriers, opportunities, wireframes that support a customer’s task, or the service provider’s back-stage processes. It truly is a very flexible tool. We included a full overview of possible dimensions in our guide as inspiration. But be careful not to include too many dimensions; an effective experience map communicates its message at a quick glance. Q3: What do I need to learn about the customer? Before filling in the experience map, the service designer needs to get to know the customer through customer research.1,4 The dimensions chosen earlier will provide the focus of this research. For example, if the map needs to show ‘customer needs’, the customer research should explicitly focus on uncovering these needs. Which as pects of the customer (experience) still need to be un covered? What are the customer journey phases? Which qualitative techniques should be used? And which quantitative techniques? A good starting point is to first look for information that the service provider has already gathered about his customers. After this, some useful
research techniques include contextual interviews, surveys, observations, and diaries. We recommend to always use both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Customer research provides the necessary insights to build valid personas on which to base the experience map. Personas help to empathise with the customer and provide a ‘lens’ to filter out the non-relevant information when filling the map with content. Furthermore, the research insights lead to what Kerry Bodine refers to as a ‘hypothesis map’, a first hypothesis of the customer journey that still contains plenty of assumptions.4 Q4: How do I determine the content of my experience map? At this point the purpose of the experience map is chosen, and a hypothesis has been formed about the structure of the experience map. The horizontal axis contains rough customer journey phases, while the vertical axis contains the previously selected dimensions. The time has come to fine-tune this structure and to start filling the experience map with content. Ideally, this is done during a co-creation workshop with a substantial delegation of
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stakeholders.1,4 We will not go into much detail here, as much has already been written about conducting experience mapping workshops. We recommend referring to Adaptive Path’s Guide to Experience Mapping1 as a starting point, or to browse the content of Kerry Bodine’s website.4 Q5: What should my experience map look like? Once all the workshop’s findings have been organised, validated and analysed, the challenge is to visualise these results in a compelling way.1 What message should the map convey? What should be immediately clear at first glance? Which details may be discovered after closer inspection? The map should communicate the takeaways (such as strategic insights or recommendations), the highs (delight points) and lows (pain points) of the customer experience, and the moments of truth (the moments that make or break the experience).3,4 Sketching is a good way to explore different types of visualisations. There are no fixed rules – experience maps (like customer journey maps) come in all shapes and sizes. Q6: How will I use my experience map? This final core question should be easy to answer, as the goal of the experience map has already been defined in the first stage of the process. Essentially, answering this question means reviewing the goal(s) that the service designer wants to achieve. The map may be used to identify opportunities, align stakeholders, evaluate design, fix pain points, or something entirely different. The key point here is that the map should be a living artefact after its creation, to be updated and to be referred to during the design process, and to be used as input for next steps in the project. Conclusion We have aimed to emphasise the importance of the preparation phase of experience mapping. Experience maps are often co-created in an interdisciplinary collaboration process facilitated by service designers, with participants that have different purposes and expectations. By explicitly addressing the preparation phase, the service designer becomes more aware of the contribution of experience mapping to service providers and customers. Furthermore, by a nswering the right questions at the right moment, a service designer is encouraged to use his own skills, knowledge and creativity to come up with an expe 68 Touchpoint 8-3
rience map that meets the project’s requirements and contains a visually compelling and accurate representation of the customer’s experience. Future steps The guide has been developed in close collaboration with Mirabeau’s designers. The version at the time of writing is the result of a number of pilot tests, feedback sessions and fruitful discussions with colleagues. Currently, we aim to enrich the guide with visual aids and examples, as this was a need expressed by many, and to continue testing with different types of clients, projects and customers. Moreover, we hope to gain more feedback from service design professionals around the world to make it a useful and free source of inspiration for service designers everywhere. The guide can be downloaded for free from http://www.slideshare.net/ lennartoverkamp/guide-to-experience-mapping.
1 Risdon, C., Quattlebaum, P., Schauer, B., Valentine, J.T. & Narges, I. (2013). Adaptive Path’s Guide to Experience Mapping. Retrieved from mappingexperiences.com 2 Risdon, C. (2012). The Anatomy of an Experience Map. Touchpoint, 4(1). Retrieved from https://www.service-design-network.org/ touchpoint/touchpoint-vol-4-no-1-eat-sleep-play/anatomy-of-anexperience-map-how-experience-maps-can-be-used-in-servicedesign 3 Offsey, S. (2016). How to Build a Customer Journey Map that Works. Retrieved from http://customerthink.com/how-to-build-a-customerjourney-map-that-works/ 4 Bodine, K. (2016). Blog. Retrieved from http://kerrybodine.com/blog/ money/giving-out-private-data-for-discount-in-insurance.html
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Practicing in Place Applying a service design approach to project partnerships
In recent years, design teams working both in-house and at consultancies are increasingly applying the service design mindset and methods across a wide variety of projects. This is changing the nature of our creative working relationships with clients, managers, and colleagues from other disciplines. Working with others to align and integrate a holistic vision across delivery channels for a complex service brand raises new tactical and process challenges for service designers. We may be discovering that, regardless of the project or industry, the answer may lie in how we apply service design thinking to our own daily team practices. The service design community welcomed the release of the Design for Service Innovation & Development Final Report (DeSID)1 as it provided a theory and framework to describe categories of service design projects that designers are now encountering. Case studies contextualised the role of service design in areas of new service development and innovation, and described the evolving nature of the designer/client relationship. This led me to reflect on the nature of recent service design projects that I had worked on and the stories I’d heard from colleagues. 1 Sangiorgi, Daniela, et al. (2015). Design for Service Innovation & Development Final Report. [Online] Retrieved August 5, 2015, from http://imagination. lancs.ac.uk/sites/default/files/outcome_ downloads/desid_report_2015_web.pdf
The projects fit DeSID’s descriptions, but there are also deeper patterns in what my colleagues and I are experiencing on these project teams. New challenges present themselves and we are discovering ways to successfully address them. In this article, I’ll call these ‘practices in place’: how to apply service design principles to actions and choices while working on new services and service innovation projects. Using the Design Council’s descriptions of the DeSID categories as a framework, I’ll describe what the challenges look and feel like, share examples from my experience with design teams and partners, and detail how specific practices have helped to transform project outcomes and positively influence how people adopt service design tools and methods on internal teams.
Dianna Miller is Assistant Professor of Industrial and Interaction Design at Syracuse University. She is a former program coordinator of the Service Design BFA/ MFA at Savannah College of Art & Design and a graduate of the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. She has over 20 years of experience on design, research, and innovation teams.
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Project Category 1: “Service Design as a Skilled Contribution to Address a Specific Need” “Designers and clients tend to have distinct roles [and make] separate contributions to the design work.” Projects are often “for the development of new services… at the early stage, with emphasis on design activities that can inspire and inform change, such as user studies.” (Design Council) What the challenge looks and feels like: While clients
and designers still maintain distinct roles, the clientdesigner relationship during the design process has become more directly engaged, as both renegotiate how they work together. The client may ask the consultant’s designers to work on-site for the project duration or hold meetings more frequently to collaborate closely with in-house expertise.
DeSID describes a category of project work that is “Valued by clients for the processes they use; clients want to learn from them to improve practices and outcomes.” (Design Council)
How we applied service design thinking to the relationship:
Case study: A US-based home-improvement chain
hired our consultancy to design and test an in-store service experience in ten weeks. The request for proposal (RFP) followed a traditional client/consultant model of process, milestones and deliverables. Because the service delivery was complex, both the client and our design team realised we needed regular input from the client’s internal domain experts. Previous weekly status meetings had been time consuming and didn’t allow for productive knowledge sharing and collaboration with the experts. To create a better means of working effectively and generatively, the design team asked for a more direct engagement. Practice-in-Place: Co-design a Co-creative Relationship with the Client
During the contracting phase, our design team brain stormed with the client ways to engage their experts in the design process while being mindful of the experts’ busy schedules. By exploring alternatives before the project began, all parties could agree, set expectations, and feel comfortable with changes to the traditional client/designer relationship. 70 Touchpoint 8-3
—— Transform the one-hour status meeting into a working session. The client was skeptical of methods that would feel too ‘workshop-y’ so we took a light-handed, but vigilant approach to visualising the experts’ knowledge-transfers, ideas and feedback through whiteboard diagramming and storyboard sketching. Meetings became more productive and our design team left the meetings with tangible documentation and decisions that we didn’t need to reproduce after-the fact. The experts began using the sketches as conversation tools between meetings to collect additional stakeholder feedback. —— Use the kick-off meeting to pilot the working relation ship with individuals. We demonstrated the work session protocol for the weekly meeting at the start of the project so all domain experts at the client were comfortable with how we worked and could suggest improvements for how best to engage with them. In this case, our design team was still acting to provide a specific, skilled contribution to the client’s project, but by formally negotiating frequent, co-creative engagements with the client up front, we were able to
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save time while building greater rigour into our service experience solution. There was also a secondary benefit: By inviting the client experts to participate in fast, iterative ideation and decision-making with our design team, they gained exposure to new practices. Clients like this one have told me that these experiences of direct engagement with our ways of working open what they previously perceived as the black box of design practice. This increase in engagement with the client may be one of the reasons we’re seeing growth in project work in the next category. Project Category 2: “Service Design as a Peoplecentred, Creative and Systematic Process” In this category, “clients are keen to learn from service designers to improve their existing innovation practices… Projects do not necessarily have clear deliverables – rather [new] design processes have an impact on how the client works.” (Design Council) What the challenge looks and feels like: There are more opportunities to offer service design training to nondesigners. However, clients run the risk of mistaking introductory tools and methods for a single, silver-bullet process that cannot fully deliver the value of a deeper methodology practiced by experienced service designers. Case study: At a US financial services company, I was part of a team that offered a series of introductory ser vice design thinking workshops to product managers, designers, engineers and executives. The workshops effectively promoted the value of service design to managers through active learning, walking through a series of steps to conduct discovery research, model, ideate, and test service improvements. Several managers were then inspired to apply what they learned to their business challenges. Project sponsors formed incubators staffed with cross-disciplinary teams of non-designers. After months of work and some confusion over how to apply the introductory methods to more complex service challenges, the executives monitoring the projects
decided the outcomes were insufficient to green-light further development of the service concepts. The results led some executives to question the value of service design. Our training team realised that the fastest skills transfer might happen by embedding ourselves and other experienced service designers on the teams to coach nondesigners on how to apply more advanced principles and methods to their project work. Practice-in-Place: Become a Player-Coach
Out training team began to call this role of embedded designer the ‘player-coach.’ In design, as in sports, a player-coach is one who actively plays on a team while coaching other players. In the player-coach role, I learned to be mindful that I am not an instructor. An instructor directs both process and content of a workshop; a player-coach directs use of tools and methods, but does not own the project or process (this belongs to the team or manager). In this context, the service design playercoach is most effective when demonstrating mindsets and practices that others can emulate, assuming a partnering role rather than telling others what to do. How I applied service design thinking to practice:
—— Treat coaching as a service design activity. I exposed the incubator team to a variety of tools and methods, and designed research protocols for them that were customised to address the teams’ questions. As we worked with each method, I gathered feed back on whether a tool or method was working effectively for them or not. I also made it a goal to demonstrate daily how to make data, insights, and ideas both visual and tangible, and monitor how this transformed conversations and thinking. —— Remember that ‘map’ and ‘model’ are verbs. On one incubator team, the members had developed a service model based on research findings, but didn’t know how to communicate the holistic, yet detailed vision to domain experts for feedback. I showed the team lead how to blueprint the service model by having him dictate the concept while I laid it onto the swim Touchpoint 8-3 71
lanes of a blueprint. We co-designed the blueprint format based on his content. I then asked him to teach the blueprinting activity to other team members in order to refine their shared mental model of the service concept while passing along how to use the new mapping technique. The model evolved as each team member then introduced the model to domain experts, so they could record ideas, troubleshoot, and refine the service model. Our team found that, after three rounds, we had effectively socialised a detailed mental model of the service, along with a co-created protocol and set of symbols for collaborating with stakeholders. The map continued to evolve into a digital version for wider distribution and was later split into documents for implementation. —— Radically engage managers, front-line employees, back-end producers, distribution channels, etc. I and other player-coaches began to experiment with engaging stakeholders early through informal ‘tours’ of the incubator spaces and invitations to sit in briefly on a working session, as an alternative to formal presentations. This led to further engagements with other incubator members, who often came from the same business units. By the time our team had a green light to implement, production and operations leads were already familiar with or had contributed to the service concept. In the role of player-coach, I began to view sharing service design skills as a form of collaborative discovery with teammates from other disciplines, rather than as coaching or direction, and as such, a more effective way to influence the design culture within a services company. Tracking and supporting this influence then becomes a key activity for the final project category. Project Category 3: “Called to Inform How the Client Thinks, Works, and Delivers Services” On these projects, service designers introduce “a collaborative mindset within an organisation and design becomes a way of experimenting with new approaches. 72 Touchpoint 8-3
When successful, [projects] have a wide ripple effect on the way services are designed and delivered and how the client perceives their own work and identity.” (Design Council) What the challenge looks and feels like: Designers and
clients are pressed to demonstrate or measure the impact of service design. Case study: A financial services company I worked for manages employer retirement plans and also delivers this service to its own employees. This means its human resources group is a customer of its retirement planning service group. Several years ago, the two groups introduced an initiative to automatically deduct contributions from employee wages so they would receive additional retirement funding from the company. Both groups assumed that employees didn’t understand that if they saved a certain percentage of their earnings for retirement, they would receive an extra contribution from the company. The HR group based the rollout of the initiative on this assumption. Employees complained about the payroll deductions and human resources discontinued the program. Later, the two groups reinitiated the project. I was embedded as a service design player-coach on a crossdisciplinary team of executives who, working part-time, wanted to try using a human-centered design process. Through user research, the team discovered that their assumption – that employees didn’t understand the retirement plan – was incorrect. Employees wanted to save, but the financial hardship of unforeseen expenses such as medical bills and spousal job loss made it impossible to sustain saving over time. The team piloted and tested an internal savings support service and designed on-boarding communications that empathised with employees’ struggles while positively reinforcing their identity as financially smart. The second rollout of the automatic payroll deduction was a success, with fewer than 12% withdrawing from the program.
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Practice-in-Place: Advocate through Individuals Who
Want your project featured in the next Service Design Impact Report?
Embody the Narrative
With this project, it was possible to measure and compare the attrition rates of the two ‘before’ and ‘after’ rollouts. However, the design team’s greater success came from the project’s influence on the organisation and their ability to track it. How I applied service design thinking to the project:
— Firmly guide methodology, but give stakeholders enough autonomy to feel ownership. A team of experienced researchers might have been more methodologically rigorous, but because non-designer executives had first-hand experience interviewing and testing concepts with employees, they became powerful advocates with greater credibility for communicating the value of the methods and integrating findings from the project into other programs they ran. This made it easier to track the project’s influence. — Make the experience memorable and “sticky.” My secondary service design role was as a documentarian of their story about learning the value of service design first-hand. By producing a kit of videos, a playbook, posters, and presentations, the executives had a supporting set of materials through which to promote the story throughout the two divisions. Their advocacy along with their tested touchpoint solutions influenced not only which projects their division implemented, but how they were implemented in ways that could be tracked back to the discovery research. Each practice presented here is ultimately about delivering a kind of service to the people we partner with daily; we are spontaneously co-creating value exchanges that make our project teams’ discovery, design and development processes more meaningful and effective. In this way, we are each putting service design thinking into practice as we embrace constantly evolving project work.
The next Service Design Impact Report with a focus on the health sector is in the making. It will be published in November 2017. The collection of international data and insights on how service design is contributing to health services will name the status quo – but also looks at perspectives with the potential for future impact. Now we are looking for exciting projects that should be featured in this publication. We just found one of them? – Great! Then please get involved and write a max. 500 words abstract on the project to: firstname.lastname@example.org We are looking forward to reading about your projects!
2 Design Council. (June 4, 2015). "DeSID report examines the growth of service design." [Online] Retrieved December 12, 2016.
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Blending Lean, Design, and Agile Thinking into One Lean service creation for facilitating multidisciplinary teams The speed of digital change means that multidisciplinary teams must be both innovative and reactive. How can teams with different ways of working and skills communicate well in order to collaborate effectively? To tackle this issue, Futurice developed Lean Service Creation, an open source toolkit aimed at helping Dr. Risto Sarvas is a company culture engineer at Futurice, a European digital consultancy. He works with the digitalisation of our society from several perspectives: innovation, company cultures, design, engineering, teaching and research. Risto is also an adjunct professor at Aalto University, Finland.
Dr. Eeva Raita is a social psychologist and a senior service designer at Futurice. Her expertise is deep human understanding. Academically seasoned, but a pragmatist at heart, she uses social psychology to build better business, work culture, and team cohesion.
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service designers and other professionals involved in creating new services, to incorporate lean, design, and agile thinking into their team’s ways of working.
Service design professionals understand the importance of design thinking and user insight, and how to put them into practice. They have probably also learned that not everyone speaks the same language. Business people ‘talk Excel’ and sales figures, data-analytics experts have a different kind of love for numbers, while developers just ‘scrum’ their way around. Regardless of these different approaches, when it comes to innovating in the digital domain, professionals from diverse backgrounds must set aside their differences and collaborate. The digital world is changing so fast that there isn’t time to work in separate silos. Developing and retaining a competitive edge is the result of co-creation and collaboration that transcends silos. But how can this be achieved in practice?
In this article, we will introduce our open source Lean Service Creation (LSC) toolkit, which is a way of working that we have adopted. LSC has been developed to help teams from a variety of backgrounds to work together to create new services. We believe that only through a shared language can people truly co-create. What’s more, LSC has turned out to be a powerful tool when it comes to shifting traditional organisations towards having more digitally-focused cultures. Lean, Design and Agile: Do They Blend? Back in 2013, there was a lot of buzz around the Lean Startup method, and many of our clients picked up on it. In the meanwhile, Design Thinking had been fashionable for years, with
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So, which elements did we take from each approach? Lean Startup provided the emphasis on continuous validation and embracing the uncertainty of how things will end up. Design Thinking supplied us with tools, and with ways in which to co-design with real customers and stakeholders. And Agile working taught us how to apply the tools so that multi-disciplinary teams working in the same space can prioritise the tasks and focus on the most critical aspects.
many companies appreciating its holistic approach and concepts such as customer journeys and the idea of there being multiple touchpoints along that journey. In addition, the Agile philosophy had taught many organisations that to get results there must be a core team that works seamlessly together. Lean Startup, Design Thinking and Agile represented three ways of thinking, doing, and working that were increasingly popular. However, they were clearly separate schools of thought. Our view was that all three schools were addressing the same issue, namely: how to create successful new digital services. However – crucially – the three approaches had no common language. Piecing it together A project for Finnish energy company Helen in 2014 provided the incentive we needed to streamline these diverse ways of thinking. Helen wanted our assistance to change its way of thinking, working, and creating new services. In other words, Helen wanted us to help it devise the best way of creating new digital services. Finally, here was a golden opportunity to apply our experience and knowhow into pulling together the three separate approaches into one consistent process. Our work with Helen helped us to develop the first draft of Lean Service Creation: a set of tools with a binding philosophy that extracted the best elements from these three schools of thinking1 .
Sixteen Canvases and a Handbook Fast-forward to today and Lean Service Creation is a package of 16 canvases (or posters)2. They are designed to be used just like the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas. We have also written a handbook to explain the philosophy behind the canvases and the different ways of working with them. Here is a list of all 16 canvases. A more detailed description is available in the handbook itself. —— Business Goals and Limitations: why are we doing this in the first place? —— Immersion: what is happening around the topic? —— Segmentation: how should we group our customers and why? —— Insight: finding a problem worth solving. —— Ideation: all the ideas to solve the customer’s problems. —— Concept and Value Proposition: crystallising the most promising idea. —— Profiling: a sanity check on whether to move forward, or go back a few steps. —— Fake Advertisement: prototyping the value proposition. —— Validation: a systematic plan to validate the critical parts. —— Customer Engagement: designing the customer journey. —— Business Model & Market Size: does this make business sense? —— Service Blueprint: the customer plus the front-end plus the back-end. 1 See a video about the project at https://vimeo.com/95734218 2 The canvases and the handbook are available at https:// leanservicecreation.com
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Nine of the 16 canvases in the Lean Service Creation toolkit. 76 Touchpoint 8-3
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—— Concepting: start sketching and visualising, if you already haven’t. —— Experimenting: identify the most critical assumptions. —— Minimum Lovable Product: what is the most sensible MVP? —— MVP Backlog: an actual backlog to get going. —— What to Measure: define and design the key metrics. Examples and Experiences The LSC toolkit has proved its worth across a variety of different projects and uses. At Futurice we regularly use it in service design projects and shorter workshops. Here are three different examples which demonstrate how the toolkit has been used in practice: Design Sprint for a Time Machine In Spring 2015, the Helsinki City Museum moved into redesigned premises. As a part of this project, they wanted to co-create a time machine (!), which would be a key attraction of the redesigned museum. To meet this brief, we conducted an intensive sevenday sprint, with a weekend in the middle. The six-strong design team combined expertise in design, branding, software, marketing, history, and museum knowledge, and we wanted everyone to contribute. We used the canvases in the LSC toolkit to schedule the seven workshop days, plus conducted two sets of customer interviews. In practice this meant six of us working in a single room for seven days to create a service concept for a time machine. The LSC canvases worked well in providing both a backbone and rhythm for the design work. In addition, they gave our team of different experts a common roadmap, a shared language, and a clear end goal. The canvases also helped us to plan the sprint and leverage the multi-disciplinary team very effectively. In addition, having a ready-made framework to apply meant that we could focus more on the content and design work3.
Corporate Cultural Change Wärtsilä is the global leader in manufacturing engines for ships and power plants. To retain its market-leading position, Wärtsilä wanted to develop a company culture that embraced data, software, design, and ‘lean’ thinking. Together, we decided to initiate cultural change within the company by changing their way of working. To this end, we developed a blueprint for a new way to do service and product design, based on the LSC toolset. We learned that in order to get behind something as fuzzy and vague as ‘cultural change’, large global corporations require tangible outputs. Being able to demonstrate concrete results by changing people’s way of working was effective in building momentum for change. We used the LSC toolkit for two purposes. First, we used LSC methods as the new step-by-step process to create strategic service concepts. Second, the LSC toolkit became the broader vision for the new ways of working in Wärtsilä’s digital innovation. In other words, the cultural change required new ways of working for people to follow. And for people to believe in the new ways of working, the methods had to demonstrate their power in creating concrete results. The LSC toolkit achieved both4.
Designing a time machine with LSC canvases and old 3D glasses.
3 See a video about the project https://vimeo.com/145122056
4 See a set of videos about Wärtsilä’s cultural change at http://futurice.com/blog/wartsila-innovation-culture
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Design Education at Aalto University At the same time as we were putting together the first set of tools for LSC, we had started teaching service design at Aalto University in Finland. This turned out to be a fantastic opportunity to generate ideas for developing the LSC toolkit. We were able try out new things with students and apply lessons we learned from teaching to coaching clients. Also, our students started to appreciate that their projects were practically the same as real world design projects. Beyond Aalto, other design teachers and lecturers were looking for a manual on how service design is done in practice. As a result, teachers in other universities started applying the LSC tools and handbook in their teaching. In fact, we estimate that last year over 200 Finnish service design students were taught Lean Service Creation. The Benefits of LSC By the end of 2016, the LSC toolset had been applied in over 50 design projects and it is the backbone of digitalisation strategies in four different corporations. In addition, over 200 students and 100 professionals have been trained in LSC methods. What have we learned? What are the benefits of having a loose framework of different canvases? Seeing the Big Picture One of the major benefits is that the canvases help the team to see the big picture. With all the canvases on the wall, it is much easier to see the connections between business objectives, user interviews and insights, raw ideas, business model, the customer journey, and the ‘minimum viable product’. As a result, discussing the implications of decisions such as changing the pricing on the value proposition is much more straightforward. It becomes obvious that everything is interconnected and that the business, the user insight, the value proposition, and the implementation aspects of a new product or service must be thought about simultaneously. Self-criticism and Not Fooling Yourself The second benefit is something we added based on our experiences of using and facilitating the canvases. 78 Touchpoint 8-3
We noticed that teams tend to fall in love with their own work and avoid critical perspectives and real-world validation. So, we decided to introduce a Profiling and a Validation canvas to help teams to be more critical of their ideas. As a result of these additions, the LSC toolset now requires teams to plan in a step to validate their ideas, providing them with an important sanity check. A shared language The third and perhaps the biggest benefit of having a loose framework of different canvases is that the canvases on the wall facilitate seamless working within a multidisciplinary team. It turns out that LSC provides a shared language for people who have different backgrounds and different ways of solving problems. In practice, the empty boxes in the canvases are questions for the team to answer together. The questions are relatively simple to understand, however they are not easy to answer. This forces the different disciplines to work together to answer the questions. The benefit of the canvases is that the conversations are focused and meaningful. When there is a shared language, the heterogeneous team finds itself progressing relatively quickly and building on solid ground as they proceed. The silos disappear and innovation and creativity can bloom. Final Words: ‘Open-sourcing’ it all The majority of the tools in the LSC toolset are common knowledge and in some cases, are direct copies of the great work behind the Business Model Canvas, the Lean Canvas and other tools. Therefore, it felt appropriate to give our contributions back to the design community for free. The obvious solution was to make all the LSC tools ‘open source’ and to license all our copyrights under Creative Commons. As a result, the LSC tools are free for anyone to use for any purpose at all. In fact, the ‘open sourcing’ of LSC has turned out to have additional benefits because we can now make the continuous development of LSC open as well by codesigning LSC with users and customers. We already have a growing community of practitioners and teachers who share experiences and ideas based on their use of the tool-
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set. We do our best to encourage people to share their own modifications of the canvases, or simply share any translations of the canvases into different languages. ÂPeople have made new versions and new canvases for specific domains such as Branding Canvases or Data Canvases. There is now a GitHub for the LSC canvases that we will develop further to make it even easier for people to share their own tools and for others to adopt them. We strongly believe that design methods and tools should be easily accessible to anyone, anywhere. Building
the information society should not be limited to a small elite group of professionals. Therefore, we want to empower and enable anyone on this planet to take their ideas and turn them into a successful service. Openly sharing and teaching best practices for creating successful services via Lean Service Creation is a step towards making design more democratic and accessible. It is also a step towards creating a shared language for design so that more people can start speaking it.
With the LSC toolkit, multidisciplinary teams have a shared language. Touchpoint 8-3 79
Service Design and Organisational Change A context-driven framework Organisational change is currently an intriguing topic in the field of service design. Effective change efforts help drive inno vation and promote other positive cultural practices within organisations. However, dealing with cultural change within an organisation is a complex endeavour. As we all know, organisations vary in size, hierarchal structures, mission, values and other factors. These all present a number of challenges when trying to implement cultural change. While there are similarities in approaches, there is not one standard way to tackle these issues.
Murphy Basore (Florida, USA) is a Service Design MFA candidate at SCAD. Shreya Dhawan (India) is a Service Design MFA candidate at SCAD. Qianwen Dong (China) is an Industrial design MFA and Design Management MA at SCAD. Andrew Moore (Illinois, USA) is a Design for Sustainability MFA candidate at SCAD. Ada Sin (Hong Kong) is an MFA candidate in Service Design at SCAD.
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This research study suggests that by understanding the context of these issues first, organisations can more effectively drive cultural change efforts. To support this learning outcome, a group of designers and Master’s candidates from the Savannah College of Art and Design have created a framework to support both organisations and internal or external service design consultancies to better interact throughout cultural change efforts. Overview of the research process and contributions The research process began with a comprehensive literature review which identified over 200 issues faced by organisations undergoing cultural change efforts. The issues varied across different themes. For instance, in organisations
comprising of multiple teams, cultural change is considered to contribute very little to the organisation’s success factors. Moreover, team members complain about a lack of resources within the organisation to help carry out the cultural change processes. In order to tackle these and other issues, the research team first invested efforts into affinitising the 200+ issues. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted with three cultural change managers from organisations across the US. The interviews and the affinitisation process enabled the 200+ issues to be narrowed down to 88 common issues. Following this, eight additional professionals with roles related to cultural change completed a survey based on the identified common issues. Results from the survey revealed five key
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3 In-depth interviews, Affinitisation effort
issues faced by organisations undergoing cultural change. The team then formed scenarios based on the five issues and consulted with 13 service designers worldwide on how they would approach each one. In the end, insights gained throughout were integrated into a framework. The present research study was able to produce three main contributions to better understand the role of service design in organisational change efforts. The first one is the understanding of three different contexts that inform the development of solutions for cultural change. The second is the identification of five key issues confronted by organisations re lating to organisational change efforts. The third one is the resulting proposed framework itself. The three contexts As a result of the affinitisation effort, the research team devised a classification of the 200+ issues based on three different contexts: a. issues that arise from organisational cultural change; b. issues that cause organisational cultural change, and c. issues that prevent organisational cultural change. The five key issues Out of the 200+ issues, boiled down into three different contexts, five of those issues were identified as the most relevant for those surveyed:
5 Key Issues
8 Surveys, Creation of 5 Scenarios
13 service designers
It is common for members of an organisation to have different, even contradicting, understandings of what defines innovation. A familiar example of this would be the ongoing debate of invention versus innovation. The lack of alignment can, in turn, make it hard to implement and can even prevent change efforts. The lack of consensus calls for cultural change efforts in itself; a general consensus amongst stakeholders will support cultural change efforts at the organisational level. 2. Employees are able to justify NOT aligning with cultural change efforts.
Resistance should be expected when introducing change. However if employees strongly disagree with it, and are able to justify their reasoning, driving change efforts can become even more difficult. For example, employees may not agree morally or ethically with some cultural changes. 3. Members of the organisation only make an effort to change if the perceived payoff is good enough.
Motivation and incentive are key in driving cultural change efforts within an organisation. If the change isn’t well perceived or fully understood by team members, driving the efforts will be difficult. This can also be the case with leadership buy-in – the company’s leadership needs to be able to clearly see and understand the value of the change in order to effectively implement it.
1. There is not a general consensus on the meaning of
4. The organisation does not understand the
innovation within the organisation.
importance of evolutionary cultural change and only
The need for organisational cultural change arises from various factors, one of which is lack of innovation.
adapts to it as needed.
Evolution is necessary for survival (refer to biological Touchpoint 8-3 81
evolution and the survival of the fittest). In order for organisations to remain successful and at a competitive advantage, they need to be able to adapt to both internal and external changes. This requires discontinuous waves of change within the organisation that need to be experienced and dealt with. Without discontinuous change, management will find it hard to understand the need to change at all, arguing: ‘Why change when everything is running smoothly?’ 5. Only sporadic cultural change forces the organisation to learn how to adapt.
While discontinuous change is needed in order for or ganisations to be more adaptable, having this as the only means of change makes it hard for organisations to be able to easily adapt. It can also reflect a lack of drive in terms of innovation. The key is finding a balance
of continuous, intermittent cultural change in order for organisations to remain adaptable and forward-thinking. The framework When starting this project, the team envisioned creating a more explicit, step-by-step framework that could guide organisations through the various phases of change efforts from a service design perspective. Based on the insights gained throughout, however, it became clear that how one goes about solving the issues is not as decisive as the importance of having an understanding of the context from which they derive. Why context? Context is key in solving issues. It helps make sense of complexity and sets a solid foundation, guiding stakeholders in their approach to resolving the issue
Designing Organisational Cultural Change Efforts A Service Design Perspective
Organisational cultural change efforts
ReRse esaerar chch
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Research Sequence Deliverables Risks
Savannah College of Art and Design | Service Design MFA program | Fall 2016
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at hand. To start, organisations can ask whether the problem triggers the need for organisational cultural change, arises from it, or prevents it. Risk Risk is always faced when driving change and innova tion. It is especially prevalent when it comes to orga nisational cultural change. Though they are always present, risks vary depending on the context of the issue at hand and the methodologies applied in resolving that issue. Similarly to context, identifying risks prior to implementing change will help efforts run more smoothly. Some common examples of risks include resistance from stakeholders, lack of momentum, and widening project scope. Research A deep understanding of the context of the issue at hand will create a space in which stakeholders can work towards a resolution. A significant part of this process is research. Thorough research will create clarity amongst the complexity. Suggested research activities include: market analysis, interviews with those involved, and journey mapping the current experience. Sequence The context and research phases begin to create a sequence of necessary steps that will follow in working towards a resolution of the issue. Steps/ activities (i.e. methodologies) and time needed will vary and depend on context and research. It is also important to remain flexible throughout the change process as this encourages openness towards participation and emerging opportunities. Deliverables Final deliverables vary and depend on the entire change efforts process. Overall, organisational cultural change in itself is the key deliverable, but there may also be others, such as newly improved strategies, allocated resources for cultural change, training and alignment programs and
workshops, all of which result from various steps of cultural change activities and efforts throughout this process. Above all, this framework can help drive organisational cultural change efforts by supporting effective conversations and alignment amongst stakeholders. By breaking up the change process into different sections, and placing significance on context, organisations can easily make sense of the entire process and carry out change efforts smoothly and effectively. Lastly, it is important to consider two additional things in applying this framework. The first involves leadership, as leadership buy-in is crucial in undertaking change. In addition, leadership must be communicative and transparent concerning the change taking place. Secondly, when approaching change efforts, organisations must understand the iterative nature of the process. In other words, organisational cultural change is never ‘done’, nor is it a one-time deal. The framework has already received initial feedback from cultural change managers with the goal of making further improvements. The authors encourage anyone who is approaching cultural change to apply it, make it their own, share it, and contribute to its development. Link to framework download: https://goo.gl/2HAUOE Please send any feedback and/or use case stories to email@example.com
• Alvesson, Mats, and Stefan Sveningsson. Changing Organizational Culture: Cultural Change Work in Progress. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2016. Print. • Leong, Julia, and Craig Anderson. "Fostering Innovation through Cultural Change." Library Management 33.8/9 (2012): 490-97. Emerald Insight. Web. • Tushman, Michael L., and Charles A. O'Reilly, III. "Ambidextrous Organizations: Managing Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change." California Management Review 38.4 (1996): 8-30. 1996. Web. • Hage, J.T. "Organizational Innovation and Organizational Change." Annual Review of Sociology 25 (1999): 597-622. JSTOR [JSTOR]. Web. • Yoash Wiener, "Forms of Value Systems: A focus on Organizational Effectiveness and Culture Change and Maintenance," Academy of Management Review 13 (1988): 534-545.
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Muna Al Dhabbah Championing service design to deliver ‘seven-star’ government services in the United Arab Emirates
At the 2016 Service Design Global Conference in Amsterdam, Muna Al Dhabbah (Director of Government Service Development, Prime Minister’s Office, UAE) was joined on stage by Simone Carrier (Head of Service Design at FutureGov) to share their experiences in applying service design to improve citizenMuna Al Dhabbah (Director of Government Service Development, Prime Minister's Office, UAE) is a leading expert in government customer service development with more than 15 years' experience. In her current role she leads development of federal government services, including the Service Factory, a programme in partnership with FutureGov that created eight userfocused government service bundles centred around major life events. Muna received her EMBA from Zayed University and is currently finishing a PhD in Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech.
government interactions within the UAE. Following the confe rence, Touchpoint Editor-in-Chief Jesse Grimes discussed with her how service design is working towards the goal of delivering ‘seven-star service design’. Jesse Grimes: Your presentation at the SDN's Global Conference 2016 was probably the first time that many people in the audience became aware of service design both in the UAE, and the Gulf region in general. From your local perspective, can you share your view on the current state of service design, in both the public and private sectors?
Muna Al Dhabbah: Service design has been practiced in Dubai and the region for some time, but under different titles such as service improvement, service re-engineering and service development. Many programs in the public sector - such as the Government Service Excellence Program - have created a cultural change through their various projects. These include the Service Development 84 Touchpoint 8-3
Manual, service quality manuals, service development projects, service awards, service key performance indicators and much more. The Service Development Manual is a guide for entities to enhance their services by being customer-centric when those services are being designed. It starts by focusing on understanding strategic objectives, then on customers’ needs, then on developing solutions, and finally implementation. This continuous cycle of engaging customers in improving government services and focusing on both efficiency and effectiveness is key to the success of service design projects. All of these projects were used as tools in training and developing service delivery in the government sector. Around 5,000 customer service employees
p ro f i l e s
to deliver ‘seven star service’. Therefore, each government body focuses its effort into designing services that not only meet the expectations of the customers but also exceed them. The UAE culture is hospitable, welcoming all different nationalities and treating them equally. Working collaboratively with citizens and residents was key in our successful approach to redesigning services and standing on the key common needs of the public. Each nationality has a different culture, and that shapes their expectations of the level of government services delivery. Therefore, customers who have high expectations tend to score low satisfaction on services. On the other hand, customers who have low expectations tend to give high customer satisfaction scores. This has been taken into consideration when designing services, by focusing on each segment’s needs and trying to accommodate their requirement as much as possible. Can you share one of the success stories from the work that you have carried out in your partnership with FutureGov? Was there one project or specific service improvement that stands out?
were trained in excellent customer service delivery. In addition, management and key champions in the organisations were trained on how to design services through the Service Factory projects. I'm curious to know more about the unique cultural issues that might come into play when designing citizengovernment service interactions in the UAE. Are there interesting aspects that must be taken into account that might be unfamiliar (or surprising) to a public sector service designer working in Western Europe or North America, for example?
The UAE culture comprises around 200 nationalities receiving more than 4,000 services from the government. Understanding their cultures and how to design services around their needs and wants is key aspect of being successful. However, the UAE has always strived to provide excellent services for all residents and citizens. Customising a service to meet the expectations of customers is important
One of them is the case of the ‘getting married bundle’, which was focused at enhancing the experience of the medical check-up required for engaged couples before their wedding. This procedure is to ensure that the couples or their children will not have health problems that affect the family. The problem was how to address the privacy issue in service delivery and make it part of the celebration of the happy occasion of getting married. The team tested the prototype of carrying out the medical check-up at the engaged couple’s home. The learning was that even though that 50 percent of those involved liked the idea and were willing to pay extra fees, the other 50 percent still preferred visiting the medical centre, where design changes were carried out to accommodate privacy. This taught us that we cannot provide solutions to customers with a one-size-fits-all approach, we should understand that various people want different solutions. Even those who did prefer the home medical check-up still needed discretion in how Touchpoint 8-3 85
the service was delivered. For instance, they did not want the doctor to wear a doctor’s coat, and they didn’t want the hospital car to carry the name of the ministry, so the neighbors wouldn’t know about the visit. Those changes reduced the anxiety they have about the results and who would know about it. From what I learned, the government in the UAE is unique in the Gulf region (and belongs to a small minority worldwide) in specifically recognising that designing services in a human-centred way directly improves the happiness of its citizens. How did this realisation and support come about? Was it a top-down initiative, or did (human-centred) design champions such as yourself need to convince key members of government?
Since the establishment of the United Arab Emirates by H.H. Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan (the first president), the United Arab Emirates has focused on the people’s happiness. Following his footsteps, the UAE leaders have put the vision, strategies and policies in place to create a country that makes its citizen happy. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President of UAE, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai) has created a new post of Ministry of Happiness to ensure the providence of good quality of life for its citizens. Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi, is the first Minister of Happiness, and she launched the National Agenda of Happiness and delivered many projects aimed at changing the culture to be more positive and happy. The Government Service Excellence Program has also launched many happiness projects that assist in the achievement of happiness in government work, which is one of the national happiness agenda pillars. This program falls under the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and has launched several projects such as the Customer Happiness Formula, the Customer Happiness Meter, customer happiness surveys, the Customer Happiness Manual, the Customer Happiness Factory as well as customer happiness employees and centers.
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One of these – the Customer Happiness Formula - was developed based on the UAE government’s efforts to spread the culture of customer happiness, provide the best results and support the government's performance model which is focused on happiness and positivity. It is based on three elements, which include: ‘proud employee’, ‘dedicated entity’ and ‘positive and proactive customer’. Even though it is a top-down initiative, there is bottom-up cooperation and positive energy from both the general public and public administrators. Service development champions have been engaged from day one with customers on all initiatives related to customer happiness in the government work. The Service Factory is an example of how service design and co-creation with the public have got great results and best demonstrates how human-centred design is practiced with the citizen to create their own happiness in receiving government services. Many leaders and frontline staff are now called ‘customer happiness employees’, and have been through a special training to aid them in their journey from satisfying customers to making them happy by exceeding their expectations.
World Industrial Design Conference 2016
From November 30th to December 4th 2016, the World Industrial Design Conference took place in Liangzhu, China. Sixty-five representatives from international design organisations – among them the Service Design Network – were invited to connect and to discuss the opportunities for an international design alliance. After a series of intense one-to-one conversations with representatives from government and industries, the peak conference day saw 1,000 Chinese companies and individuals joining the event, which was strongly supported by the Chinese government. Several Memos of Understanding were signed and projects for future collaboration were defined. The conference clearly demonstrated how seriously the industrial and economical evolution underway in China is embracing creativity, and how strong the belief in the value of design is. The hosts demonstrated their commitment to design and they have shared amazing examples of the existing capacities and competencies within the Chinese design community. They have also shown that they are willing to take leadership in the development of design in a worldwide perspective.
In the past, China was known for many things, but not necessarily for outstanding creativity and design. In the last ten years, the focus has changed and creative and innovative Chinese design is rapidly emerging and is destined to play an important role in the world of design. Service design is playing a crucial role in this development. Even though the concept has not yet fully arrived in the public and private sector, the policy-makers see the value and are putting efforts into education and practice. The Service Design Network is starting conversations with Chinese partners on how to strengthen service design education and practice in China. Prof. Guosheng Wang, the representative of the SDN Beijing Chapter, has initiated the translation of 21 Touchpoint articles into Chinese, an important first step.
There are currently two Chapters of the Service Design Network in China: One in Beijing and one in Shanghai. These are great starting points to disseminate knowledge, to initiate service design practice, and to build bridges to other countries. My hope for the future is that these Chapters will be strengthened and new Chapters will be set up. The creative area of Liangzhu could be a great hub for a National Chapter to co-ordinate and orchestrate the activities in China.
Birgit Mager, President of Service Design Network.
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Celebrating the Service Design Award Winners of 2016! Each year during the much anticipated Award Ceremony at the Service Design Global Conference the Service Design Award winners are announced. For the first time in 2016, five winners had the exciting opportunity to get on stage in Amsterdam and present their outstanding projects to over 650 attendees using ‘pecha kucha’-style presentations. The 2016 Service Design Award saw the submission of over 100 highquality projects from 25 countries. From a shortlist of 18 excellent student and professional finalists, five winners were recognised by the jury for the impact and exceptional standard that their work demonstrated. The winners included; Philips Design – Award for Best — Professional Project — Brand Manual – Award for Best Commercial Project — Transformator Design – Award for Systemic and Cultural Change in the Public Sector Deutsche Telekom – Award for — Systemic and Cultural Change in the Private Sector Gayle Rice – Award for Best — Student Project
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Kaarel Mikken from Brand Manual commented on how clearly evidencing impact of the project on the consumers, the commercial client Apollo and the wider market helped his company win the award:
“One of the reasons is the great change Apollo has effected on the market. This is measured in numbers, it has been beneficial for Apollo as well as for the consumers... Secondly, I think the biggest win for Apollo was not to get stuck in an old business model, but to innovate and do it successfully."
The insightful and personal winner presentations, and the exclusive exhibition of the finalist project posters, were highlights of SDGC16. The exhibition posters were a source of great inspiration and discussion for the conference attendees. This was the first year the Award recognised and showcased student service design projects, shining a spotlight on the best new talent in the field. After a close race between five student finalists from the US and across Europe, Gayle Rice (Ph.D.) from the Glasgow School of Art won the Service Design Award 2016 for Best Student Project. Oliver King summarised the views of the jury: “Gayle demonstrated a thorough, collaborative service design process that culminated in developing powerful tools and capabilities for her client. The project had a hugely positive effect with a remarkable shift of outcomes for young people. We’re proud and delighted that Gayle has won the first Student Design Award.” The Service Design Award is now entering its third year and submissions are open from February to June 2017. Once again, an international jury will be looking for outstanding service design projects
“One thing that unites the award winners is their impeccable process, the impact that from students and professionals in the categories of methodology, commercial and non-profit. Make sure to check out the amazing winner and finalist work on the SDN website and enter your own great projects:
they had and how they had a profound effect on the culture of organisations or the wellbeing of end-users.” Oliver King, Head of the Award Jury and founder of Engine
Hear the Award winners talk about their fascinating projects, their process, outcomes and learnings as well as the Service Design Award experience on The Service Design Podcast: https://www.service-designnetwork.org/podcast
Eloise Smith-Foster is a service and strategic designer from the UK. She has interdisciplinary design experience across Europe, with a particular focus on the public sector. She is currently Project Manager at the Service Design Network for the Service Design Award, the SDN Chapters and Service Design Day.
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Making Service Design Work for Start-ups SDN Finland helped to kick-start new companies with service design
SDN Finland made a nice small profit from the Helsinki SDN national conference, held in September 2015. Early last year, it was time to make the money support the chapter objectives: promote the use of service design and support local organisations in creating human-centred services. The Chapter opened a Service Kick Grant competition and set the winner announcement for the first Service Design Day in June 2016. Around twenty good and realistic applications from small service companies and entrepreneurs were submitted. Here are the stories of the three grant winners and their service design coaching process.
The Service Kick Grant was especially attractive because it came in two parts. Alongside a monetary grant of ¤500-1000 in each of the three categories, the winners received a service design coaching package worth around ¤12,000 euros. The Chapter didn’t just want to give out the money, but instead guarantee that the winners got a real chance to apply service design and create services that met their customers’ real needs. The application form was a video sales pitch that would demonstrate a clear business idea and justify why 90 Touchpoint 8-3
the applicant should win a grant. Other criteria for applying were global scalability of the business idea, the company age being less than three years old and, in one category, that at least half of the owners were women. This was important in order to support women in the otherwise male-dominated start-up scene. Despite many strong applications, the determination of the grant winners was easy and unanimous for the jury composed of Anne Stenroos (current Chief Design Officer of City of Helsinki, then Professor,
IDBM Program Director of Aalto University), Jaana Komulainen (SDN Finland Chapter representative, CEO of Atwork Oy), Paula Bello (Business partner and design consultant at Livework Helsinki) and Alex Nisbett (Senior service designer at Livework in London). The winners are … The winners were announced during the first Service Design Day on June 1, 2016, at an event hosted by the Finnish financial service provider OP. The three winning applicants were Mothers in Business Mib ry for their Mothers in Business Academy, Punos Mobile Ltd for the Meeting Assistant tool and Panda Training Oy for its Panda Corporate Training marketplace. However, the winning announcements and certificates were just a start on a longer service design coaching journey, provided pro bono by several enthusiastic SDN coaches. Flexible coaching to serve participant needs The service design coaching package was planned to include 15 hours of coaching workshops. This was made possible by three great service design
Emma Tullila represented Mothers in Business at the winners’ ceremony. Their Mib Academy for career-oriented mothers was found to be a service that fit well into the
teams consisting of one senior service designer and a few junior service designers each donating their time for this project. The roadmap had been planned in advance and the senior coaches Paula Bello, Jaana Komulainen and Andy Pattichis each took responsibility for one winner. It was easy to find eager junior designers to help out with the planning and execution of the workshops: Eliisa S arkkinen, Sofia Nyyssönen, Adalgisa Lyra, Heini Kauppinen, Suvi-Kukka Salonen, Daniel Augustyn, Noora Nylund and Agustina Lagomarsino all contributed to the valuable outcomes with the winning companies. This kind of project offered something new for the coaches, too. Besides expanding their own organisational contexts, they could apply their knowledge to new kinds of customer cases and network with colleagues outside their usual organisational settings. The approach included three steps to be covered in three different workshops: The first session focused on mapping the service ecosystem, the customers, their value drivers and identifying the pain points. The second session was focused on imagining and designing the desired service experience, and the third session around create a compelling business story to support the service proposition. Each company process was, of course, slightly different, and the coaches applied the initial plan flexibly (figure 5). The grant winners were also made to work between the sessions in order to gain the best results.
socio-cultural setting and deserving of further develop ment with service design.
“A successful SD coaching requires activity from many stakeholders. The process requires collaboration skills, project coordination, persuasion skills, compromises and teaches patience. In the end, the focus needs to be on things that really matter in the business environment.” Daniel Augustyn, Junior Coach
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Turning an association into a business The first Grant winner case was Fambition Consulting, a fresh spin-off company with a background in the Mothers in Business MiB network of over 1,500 highly educated women in Finland. Active members of the MiB community recognized a common challenge faced by many Finnish parents with small children: traditional HR and management processes do not adequately support work life demands while also allowing for taking care of a growing family. The SDN facilitation was of great help in finding the business case for the seven cofounders of Fambition, which aims to change the work practices towards a more family-friendly direction. According to Fambition’s People & Culture Expert Laura Hannola, parental leave is often a moment for ambitious women to switch jobs. From the employer’s perspective, this means a huge loss of resources. “We feel that there is a need to develop work life practices. We want to challenge employers to better utilise the potential of highly educated parents – often women – returning from parental leave. The SDN Kick Grant process gave us an opportunity to ideate various service concepts and to recognise that our customers’ – the employers – needs and challenges early on in our business development. It was a very rewarding experience to be facilitated by the enthusiastic SDN team that helped us to focus on our core offering.”
“Being part of the SDN Kick Grant coaching project was very enriching. I really enjoyed the possibility of working with different startups and collaborating with smart peo ple. It was a great opportunity to exchange knowledge, even beyond service design.” Gisa Lyra, Junior Coach
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The co-founders of Fambition Consulting possess many special skills and have a high level of expertise. The Kick Grant coaching offered them a great opportunity to focus on the content and to co-create their service offering with potential customers.
Tool to close sales The second Grant winner was Punos Mobile’s ‘Meeting Assistant for Sales’, a multi-platform solution for companies using Salesforce CRM. It helps sales teams to plan, manage and document better customer contacts and close more deals. The number of staff supporting sales is constantly declining, yet much of the related automated software is clumsy. This is the service gap that Punos aims to fill. The Punos team had realised that their approach was too technology-focused and needed help with defining target customers in more detail and determining their real needs. The service design coaching process offered support, tools and templates to allow them to solve some challenges together with their customers. Ville Mettälä, VP of sales at Punos, stated that the coaching process was extremely helpful in gaining better customer understanding: “The process pushed us to lead real and open dialogues with our customers and
even reopen stagnated negotiations. We now understand better what and why our customer wants certain things. We used to deal only with the senior decision-makers but are now also involving the actual user – the sales staff. This has made us take completely new steps in our development process and is leading to a much better customer experience.” Helping to keep the competitive edge with training Finding suitable training for employees is a constant headache for many professionals and corporations. Panda Training Ltd., a service provider for a training sourcing platform, was still half-way through the coaching process when this article was being written. However besides the monetary gain of the Grant, they could already see benefits of the coaching: “The process has helped us to validate our ideas and prioritise activities. Learning about our clients’ expectations and user experience helps us focus on sales now. The coaching brought us back to the basics again: for example, user testing was arranged. The whole SDN team is doing a great job and is very responsive and committed,” said Dima Syrotkin, CEO of Panda Training.
Strengthening the Chapter as a professional community The SDN Kick Grant process was an inspiring way of promoting professional networking, shared learning and enthusiasm within the Finnish chapter. So far, we had been mostly active organising events, but this process gave us a real hands-on opportunity to apply and share service-related knowledge. It was amazing how many people really wanted to be part of the process and contribute to the Chapter goals.
“One reason to participate was the SDN itself. While finalising my studies, SDN represents a valuable network with its seminars, projects and, the best, all the great people working pro bono.” Eliisa Sarkkinen, Junior Coach & Kick Grant Project Manager
“I received valuable experience in SD, UX, facilitation and got insights on how start-ups work. I can include it in my portfolio, too. All very useful experiences for me!” Heini Kauppinen, Junior Coach
“I participated in the SDN Kick Grant because of the opportunity to broaden my skills in service design by using methods I may not have used before.” Sofia Nyyssönen, Junior Coach
Tarja Chydenius is a co-founder of Service Design Network Finland. She works as Senior Lecturer at Lau rea University of Applied Sciences. Laurea is a pioneer in offering a full Master of Business Administration programme in Service Innovation & Design. Laurea incorporates service design education in all its Leppävaara campus programmes.
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From Far and Wide … Check Out What’s Happening in Canada
On December 1, 2016, over 300 design practitioners, enthusiasts, students, and researchers made the trek to Toronto to take part in what we hope to be the first of many national conversations about the state of service design in the ‘great north’. Canadians are notoriously quick to shrug off public praise. At times, this self-imposed humility can get in the way of building our reputation as a creative powerhouse. Let’s break with tradition and celebrate the emerging service design talent in Canada. Read on for highlights from this incredible inaugural event. Starting the Conversation The one-day event, organised in partnership with the Canadian Chapter of the Service Design Network (SDN Canada) and Rotman DesignWorks, at the University of Toronto, was jam-packed with themed presentations, a panel discussion, and a series of workshops. The conference was organised around the theme ‘In/Flux:’, a recognition that many systems and institutions in Canada, such as healthcare, public spaces and the judiciary, are in flux, buckling under the weight of chronic underfunding and increased 94 Touchpoint 8-3
even more! Feedback from attendees indicated they overwhelmingly saw value in making the conference an annual affair. In a follow-up survey, over 90% of respondents would recommend the event to a friend or colleague. As some attendees noted, the challenge going forward will be to balance the needs of more advanced practitioners with those who are new to service design.
demand. Simultaneously, we are witnessing an influx in the number of disciplines, industries and sectors experimenting with designerly approaches to identifying and proposing solutions to complex systemic challenges. The emergence of service design in Canada is a response to a seismic shift in the way governments, organisations, and not-for-profits must contend with the changing needs of citizens/consumers/users today, and in the coming years. In total, 30 presenters, representing five of Canada’s provinces and territories and a range of industries and sectors, explored the conference theme from four perspectives: Practice, Institutions, Regulations, and People. You can watch videos of the presentations on YouTube: http:// bit.ly/2i0t5vr or check out conference highlights on Twitter (@SDNCanada).
More to Come A special thanks to our organising committee, incredible volunteers, generous sponsors, and the supportive community of practitioners who joined the conversation. This is the beginning of a larger collective effort to build and connect the service design community in Canada.
What People Said People liked what they saw, and want
Chad Story, SDN Canada Chapter, founding member and member of Advisory Board.
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