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In the last decade, service design has witnessed a rapid diffusion, mainly due to an increasing focus of organisations on services and customer experience, building also on the need for businesses to digitalise their commercial offers and core operations. Despite this rapid diffusion, organisations are still struggling to make service design work, to embed it as way of working while proving its impact. You will find some key principles to ensure an effective adoption of service design by large organisations, uncovering common pitfalls and best practices. This presentation was presented by Livework's head of Insight Marzia Arico at the DOERS conference in Budapest.
The transformative power
of service design
now operate in an
environment of constant
change, the challenge is
not how to design a
response to a current
issue, but how to design a
means of continually
responding, adapting and
innovating” (Burns et al.,
Burns, Cottam, Vanstone, & Winhall
● Service design has a transformative impact on
organizations, providing the opportunity to
generate lasting changes in organizations’
ability to change and innovate.
● Aiming at not only leaving behind a new
solution, but the tools, skills, and organizational
capacity for ongoing change.
Three levels of service design impact
Design of service interfaces and interactions
Peripheral to the organization
Implementation of new experiences
Affecting organizational values, norms,
processes and procedures
Fostering change and innovation
Junginger and Sangiorgi (2009)
Three elements for service design adoption
1. Awareness of service design principles and practices
2. Dedicated resources
3. Enabling structures
Conducting design research
Principles and Practices
Awareness of service design
principles and practices
“You really bring the
imagination of the
business alive and they
can see how things could
be better. And that's not
just around the user
interface, that's definitely
around new tools or
processes, or changing the
way that information
flows between teams”
Project Sponsor, Financial Services
“It certainly changed the way people thought around servicing
customers versus servicing equipments”
Project Sponsor, Manufacturing
● It’s done through project work and/or training
● Your objective is not full implementation, aim for
small steps that can show short-term impact
● Going back to the basics to understand
customers and users.
● Focus on a simple outcome that can be used for
future work. In this case it was a customer
framework and service ecology.
Dedicated resources “The engagement of key
stakeholders was a
determining factor, being
able to get people
involved and excited.
Then the cross-
functionality to be able to
bring the right people
from the different
functions. It cannot be
Project Sponsor, Engineering
● Start with a small core team, 3-4 people.
● Engage key stakeholders across functions. Co-
create and co-own.
● Familiarize, train and grow.
● Avoid evangelizing and over-exciting, it creates a
● The first customer is the organization. Listen to
your organization as you will listen to your
● Tangible outcomes open gates. Have
something concrete to show soon.
● Transform the business from within. Excite and
empower so that people will preach for you.
Business and IT can become design champions.
● Have a physical space, open for anybody to
observe and join in.
“Excuse me is this where
the magic happens?”
Senior Manager, Kone
“When you're doing service design work, you're very rarely saying to one person, one team, ‘Can
you make this?’ Nearly all the time you find that what you're saying is, ‘We need to bring product
managers from a few different groups in the business together because we need to create this new
missing piece’ Or ‘You changing this piece requires bits of all the different IT systems to come
together in a new way and to experience a new interface’ And it's very difficult to get people
collaborating like that from different bits of the business because they don't have to work like that”
Project Sponsor, Financial Services
● Service culture
● Clear processes to work with service design
● Cross-department collaboration incentives
● Clear mandate – Leadership support
● Measurement systems to assess the
effectiveness of the services.
● Watch out for IT
● Empowering employees
● Enabling them to find the best solution for
the customer depending on the situation
● Providing the right support
● New routines, processes, and measurement
We make the complicated simple
What: It is our responsibility that the customer
How: Our focus is simplification and added value for
Why: Good customer experiences provide increased
willingness to buy
From macro to micro
• Service design gets introduced in an organization
that operates under completely different logics.
Recognize them and acknowledge them.
• Choose how to introduce service design vis-à-vis
those existing logic.
• Invest into familiarizing with service design
principles and practices, securing resources, and
● Three logics at play: Telco, Digital, Customer
● Two strategies tested: Compartmentalization
● Three key activities:
1. Rolled out a Service Design Academy for two years
to familiarize actors with service design.
2. Established one pilot project to showcase value in
3. Establishing new processes and practices to work
with service design across functions
“It’s a huge
transformation; it’s a
Senior Leader, Telenor
Logic of Traditional Telco Logic of Digital Service
Logic of Service Design
Metaphor Transaction Digital at the center Human at the center
Legitimacy Maximizing existing assets Faster time to market Improving customer
Identity Telco solutions provider Digital service provider Customer-centric service
Strategy Efficiency Digitalization Servitization
Products (e.g., subscription
Digital services (e.g., apps and
(e.g., tailored multichannel
Key Process Waterfall Lean Service Design
“It’s an organizational entity and
it’s there to protect the designers, to
kind of create breathing space for
the designers at the beginning until
the environment has become less
hostile in a way”
● Look for the logics at play
● Strategize how to introduce service design
● Three key activities to ensure adoption and
1. Create awareness of service design principles and
2. Enable dedicated resources
3. Grow structures
• Make it tangible asap
• Plan small steps towards a
You cannot change your
• Start with a small core
• Engage stakeholders
throughout the process
• Do not evangelize
• Create a physical dedicated
space open for people to
This presentation can be downloaded via:
Head of Insight, Livework Rotterdam