November 10th, 2017

Sneaking Service Design into large organisations

Last week at the Global Service Design conference in Madrid I gave a presentation on how Service Design has evolved over the years. What evolutions we at Knight Moves went through and the lessons we learned.

Service-Design-At-Scale

1. Spark interest

A couple of years ago we got fairly small projects in which we introduced the concepts of Service Design. We were showing companies how they could focus more on their customers by making persona’s. We co-created customer journeys of their current services and their ideal future journeys. By introducing these tools we make them aware of how they could organise themselves in a more customer-centred way. We sparked interest for Service Design.

1.-Spark-Interest

2. Show impact

But sparking interest is not enough to deliver great experiences. We soon moved onto the bigger more holistic projects. We started designing services that are distributed over different departments of an organisation. We saw our design work moving more and more towards the internal organisation, we co-designed people's jobs and internal structures to be able to implement complex services and deliver great experiences to customers.

2.-Show-Impact

3. Go viral

But we realised introducing new services asks a lot more from an organisation, it has a large impact on the internal organisations. Organisation want to organise themselves in a different way, they want to know how they can become more people-centred as a whole. They want the service design way of working to become part of their DNA. Therefore we see our role increasingly expanding towards facilitators of a design process and trainers of service design skills.

3.-Go-Viral

This all sounds great but we have some challenges ahead. Here are some of my thoughts on the transformations we need to make. 

Most existing Service Design tools and knowledge are part of phase one. We need to know more on how to deal with the second and the third phase. Our role as service designers is moving towards being a facilitator of a service design process. This doesn’t mean we should lose our design skills, we should keep on designing! But we are taking different roles into the organisations. We used to work with a small part of the organisation, a couple of people from one department. Nowadays we are collaborating with all levels of an organisation spread over the departments. This presents us with new organisational challenges. 

A lot has changed! But I believe we are in the golden age of Service Design! There is huge potential for positive impact and organisations are looking at us service designers to facilitate this.

Became curious? You can find all slides of the presentation here

Author image

Stina Vanhoof

Service Designer

Host of the Service Design Podcast and representative of the Belgian Service Design Chapter. Passionate about designing for people, together with people.