Service Design Playbooks

IBM Methods Cards Service Design

In an ever more complex world, with seismic shifts in the way we work and live, there is increasing demand for new approaches to the way design as we transform business and industry. Developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence, big data, cognitive computing, the internet, IoT and mobile are all conflating and amplifying one another.

Furthermore, we are all aware that over the past four decades we have shifted from economies of scale with mass markets where we manufactured tangible products, to delivering intangible services in long-tail markets using advanced information technologies on the world-wide-web.

As a Practice Manager and the Service Design Program Director at IBM in Dublin, I work in the Global Technology Services Group where we are developing and evolving our approaches to the way we work together with our clients to define the future.

At IBM, Global Technology Services (GTS) we work with clients from all over Europe to design and develop a wide range of technology services that run the foundational systems the world relies on. These are the platforms that enable the backbone of the world’s economy in Banking, Telecoms, Retail, Airlines, Government and Insurance to operate. The challenges we face individually, in our business and in that of our clients, are complex.

Service Design in Enterprise

At IBM I work Tim Macarthur and Diego Dalia and together we work within a larger global community 400K people who at the cutting edge of technology and service innovation. Over the past six months Tim Macarthur, Diego Dalia and I have been developing a Service Design Playbook that we can use with our teams at the cutting edge of technology and service innovation.

At IBM, we take design very seriously and as a technology company it has always valued design. From the early days of personal computers to the first mainframe computers to the most recent work in cognitive computing, design is crucial.

IBM has invested in developing a unique approach to design thinking that is used not only by its 1500 designers but also by its engineers, developers and throughout the whole organisation. IBM Design Thinking has been developed to enable disparate professionals and experts to focus on developing user-centric experiences and innovative digital solutions by working collaboratively with each other and with clients. IBM Design Thinking’s framework is a means to solve users’ problems at the speed and scale of the modern digital enterprise.

Designing Services

IBM Design Thinking has its roots in traditional design thinking but more recently I have been working with a group of designers to augment IBM’s design thinking to include and embrace Service Design. Whether we’re re-envisioning a customer experience for a multinational bank or exploring ways to beat cancer, or helping government deliver better services, service design helps my teams focus on what matters to our clients and importantly their end-users.

Service in the Outcome Economy

At IBM, success is not measured by the features and functions but rather by outcomes. Whether we’re helping clients discover a cure for cancer, collaborate across the globe, or deliver financial services, our clients rely on us to deliver outcomes. We are shifting the conversation from one about features and functions to one about users and outcomes. In so doing we deliver more useful, usable, and desirable services.

Service Design Thinking helps us pivot away from designing products to designing outcomes, from the tangible to the intangible. It has become an important means to deliver value while working with our clients on very complex and entangled eco-systems.

The value of Service Design in the Digital Enterprise

Working in IBM means you work with very smart people. The smartest I have ever encountered. I was recently in a workshop that featured technical experts with numerous patents for technologies like Blockchain and Cognitive Computing. To give you a measure; IBM filed 8033 patents last year.

Typically, we work in ‘core’ teams to examine problems holistically rather than reductively to understand relationships in complex eco-systems. This means our designers, technologist and business experts can work together to frame challenges by working with users and with SMEs to align around domains that create value. I find that that using service design thinking helps our teams with a strong technology focus connect with designers because the tools service designers use is similar and in some cases adapted from areas like systems and IT design. Developers and technology experts enjoy collaborating using the service design approaches we use in workshops and within sprints throughout a project.

We define insights based on user research to identify opportunities and then we ideate in our teams to then move quickly to prototyping so we can resonance test with end-users the systems and processes that support new offerings in a service-product continuum. Importantly we do not only design interactions and experiences; we also define the processes and eco-systems. This means we increasingly look at new organisational structures with new roles and that need people with skills that are at the cutting edge of technology. When we design with new technologies, we are also helping to define new industries and new markets. It’s very exciting.

Service Design Playbooks

Working with Diego Dalia and Tim Macarthur we have developed a Service Design Playbook and practice guide to help design and collaborate with our colleagues. The Service Design Playbook contains methods and activities for teams to use in implementing radical collaboration that put the client and their users at the centre of our thinking.

Each Service Design method can be used in combination as part of a broader set of activities in a Playbook. Our Service Design Playbook enables us take typical and atypical situations and develop a unique approach by using different combinations of service design methods and activities suited to the project or a sprint within the project.

Our Service Design Playbook breaks down into three distinct flavours of Observe, Reflect and Make so we are aligned with IBM Design Thinking’s Framework. Importantly, Service Design at IBM is part of a larger ‘Playbook’ of IBM Design Thinking.

When We Use Service Design

Service Design adds significant value when applied in the one or more of the following circumstances:

Service design as a methodology with activities and tools combined in playbooks that deliver optimised service offerings and experiences.

Service design as a people-centred process to address operational and organizational needs as part of a transformation process or in a new venture.

Service design as a collaborative and participatory process that requires a co-design approach.

Service design as a process to optimize complex systems and interconnected ecologies.

This article was first published in Medium in May 2017

Service Design in Venture-as-a-Service

Service Design (SERVD) is the application of range of established and new design tools that are used to identify, define and optimise systems, touchpoints, people’s roles and the ecologies that deliver innovative services.

The Services Sector

In the UK, there has been a massive shift in economic power from manufacturing to services in the past five decades. In 1948, British industry (including manufacturing, oil & gas extraction, and utilities) accounted for 41% of the British economy but by 2013, it was just 14%. At the same time the service sector’s share of the economy has risen from 46% to 79%. (Source: The Guardian ).

Compare the UK’s GDP from services to Europe’s where it is 72%, China has 45%, the USA 71% and worldwide it is 65%. (Source: The Economist)

 Service Design in a Venture-as-a-Model

Increasingly Service Design is being offered by business and transformation consultancies. In the past year 18 months, a number of the world’s leading consultancies have bought creative agencies and now offer Service and UX design as part of a transformation offering. For example, Accenture bought Fjord, Ernst & Young bought Seren, Kinsey bought Lunar and Boston Consulting Group bought S&C to establish BCG Digtial Ventures.

Service Thinking (Ben Reason et al) places people, networks and experiences at the core of how service designers innovate with business stakeholders and technology groups to create new and engaging services. Design Thinking works well when it is used in conjunction with Blue Ocean Strategies in the creation of new ventures. It is noteworthy that Service Design (along with experience design and strategic design) are core offerings in the major transformation groups as they shift from a service-as-a-fee model to venture-as-a-service.

 Service Design is a process of design that is customer-centric and systems orientated that is distinct from user experience design and interaction design but part of a triptych for designing in the experience economy.

Service_design4.fw

As Service Design is a relatively new discipline in design, it is misunderstood and underused by many of companies while services are often poorly planned, badly designed and inefficiently implemented. There is a huge gap between the customer’s and user’s experience of engaging with a service and the organisations.

80% of companies think they offer a superior service, yet only 8% of their customers agree. (Design Council)

Although service design is growing rapidly and is increasingly recognised as an enabler of system and transformational change it lacks visibility.

I was an early adopter of service design, having recognised in the 1990s that an advanced product’s functionality and support systems were both embedded and increasingly distributed and connected through the Internet.

Organisations needed innovation that meant taking a more holistic approach that was concerned with touchpoints (products and apps), environments (retail or civic), systems (networks, eCommerce, etc.) and the organisation (people and culture).

Service Thinking emerged from Design Thinking (Kelly et al) as a way to identify and solve problems systemically in organisations. Livework’s founders Ben Reason, Chris Downs and Lars Löveren worked with IDEO before launching the first Service Design agency in London 2001.

Where to use Service Design

According to the Design Council (UK), Service Design adds significant value when applied in the one or more of the following circumstances:

1. Service design as a methodology with tools to deliver optimised offerings and experiences.

2. Service design as a people-centred process to address specific operational and organisational needs.

3. Service design as a collaborative process that requires a co-design and people focused approach.

4. Service design as a methodology optimise complex systems and interconnected ecologies to create disruptive innovation.


Service Design Tools

As a service designer there are a range of tools that I can utilise, here are a few and for a more detailed list visit the ‘Tools’ section under ‘Services’ in peterfossic.co

ACTOR MAP

An actors map is a diagram representing the relationship of  people and stakeholder called ‘actors’ in a service ecology. It provides a systemic view of a service.  The diagram is built by identifying the actors, touchpoints and high level view of the service. The diagram is built from a specific actor and will feature other actors and touchpoints that are connected to and can influence or interact wth the actor via the service.

BLUEPRINT (SERVICE)

The service blueprint is a tool that describes the operational nature and the characteristics of the system, the actors, context, touchpoints and the interaction model that support and form the service. It is based on flows through the system and uses a standardised graphical technique that displays the process functions above and below the line of visibility from the customers viewpoint, where all the touchpoints and the back-stage processes are documented and aligned to the user experience.

EXPERIENCE PROTOTYPING

This tool involves creating objects or ‘props’ and acting out the interaction model (see above) to explore the way a proposed service concept will work. This approach is also referred to as ‘evidencing’ or ‘body storming’, where the use of models and objects representing touchpoints are to enable designers to take ideas and interact together to assess their usefulness. This process is highly iterative and use ‘rough & ready prototyping’ techniques.

For a more detailed list visit the ‘Tools’ section under ‘Services’ in peterfossic.co