Service Design and Innovation – Are You Armed with the Right Tools?
I recently worked with a client that had a not uncommon, but likewise complex, organizational structure the matrixed organization. This is often the chosen structure in B2B service businesses that seek to recognize the different contributions and responsibilities of customer facing business development folks, service design groups and service delivery personnel with project management skills. This is especially the case in businesses that deliver large, discreet and technical projects.
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These organizations wish to be sensitive to customer needs and innovative with new services but are often burdened by complex human systems and competing points of view. One way to address the disarray or sub-optimization is to establish a base set of skills for all the various groups and then pockets of knowledge that serve the needs and demands of the different groups, allow migration between groups and provide a ladder to the top of the pyramid.
For our client, we developed such a roadmap of skills. The first level was that everyone has to know how to map customer and company processes and how they interface. Examples of such work was to develop joint value streams or, even more valuable, a service blueprint. In addition, the first level includes VOC, identifying waste, and economic value analysis from both the customer and enterprise viewpoints. As previously stated, all the personnel involved had to master this knowledge.
The second level had everyone in a service design role learning to interpret VOC, convert it to CTQ, plan for the future and price value. Modules included Enterprise Value Stream Mapping (EVSM), Service Blueprinting, Advanced Process Analysis and the initial tables of the House of Quality.
Finally, the last level was constructed for personnel with broader account and/or service responsibilities. At this level we introduced long term planning and complex service design knowledge and skills. Concepts included economic value analysis, multi-generational planning and TRIZ.
For those familiar with Six Sigma Black Belt type curriculums, we constructed a laddered set of tools and concepts along with design roadmaps similar to DMAIC as a body of knowledge for Service Design and Innovation professionals. Service Design and Innovation are learned processes and skills which can be assembled into a career path of knowledge. If youd like to discuss this further, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.