Archive for Service Design
When we start thinking of value in the Service Dominant Logic (SD-Logic) mindset, it is much easier to understand how successful products and services are now being developed. They are developed in a mindset of an ecosystem. Apple’s demand has not increased because of more features and benefits. It has increased because of more ways to use the product, apps for example. Amazon has not grown and prospered because of more features and benefits but through customer use of their core services. 37 signals did not grow and prosper because of Ruby on the Rails rather through the proliferation of simple highly focused cloud products that facilitated at first only software developers. Most successful recording artist now make their money, not from record sales but tours and other appearances and even starring roles as judges in reality TV.
An ecosystem begs us to take a deeper dive into the customer experience. The beauty of it is that by engaging and understanding how users will interact from the functional, emotional, and social points of view, other sources of income could potentially be driven to the organization. This comes as a direct result of interacting with the company’s value proposition.
Demonstrating a shared outcome with your customers should be the ultimate strategy of your organization and your improvement cycles. Many people are still touting improvement capabilities of internal processes. Except for growing industries, such as healthcare, many companies are seeing little return in their investment in process methodologies. It is not enough to improve internally anymore. We no longer live in a world of excess demand. The strategies that we need for improvement must be demand driven.
Our planning cannot be isolated. In fact, we no longer own our standards. They are only validated through customer interaction. The customer cannot be introduced at the end of the cycle; he must be at the beginning, middle and part of the entire cycle.
The tools that are being developed to serve this purpose are not really new. Previous tools and processes allowed us to exist and improve in a goods dominated world. It was driven by process methodologies and thinking that better, faster, cheaper wins in the market place. Goods Dominant Thinking (GD-Logic) will limit our growth in the future, and cause a downward spiral as product commoditization occurs. Even as we develop new products, we only stay ahead of the curve for a very short time, and most of our developments and innovation become copied, replicated, and mass produced. What we seem to forget is that a significant advantage is not in the product’s features, it is in the use of the product.
Many organizations justify improvements by using the terms value and internal or external customers. If we’re not careful, the process of improvement can become more important than what the customer really values. If our efforts are not tied to the marketplace then we need to begin questioning why not? Sometimes “savings” (Cycle Time, Space, etc.) are trumpeted at internal meetings when, in fact, the improvements were really cost avoidance or nothing of any real consequence. This is similar to politicians who slow down the growth of government spending and then proclaim it as a cut in spending.
Opportunities for creating value with customers and stakeholders is limited if we take a “Goods Dominant” approach.. Similarly, a transactional approach to marketing ignores customer loyalty entirely by putting emphasis on developing the lifetime value of a customer to the organization. Eco-systems are not built through product features. They are built from a SD-Logic perspective.
The foundational principles of Service Dominant Logic has developed into 10 principles (Vargo and Lusch, 2008a). The authors are publishing a new book, Service-Dominant Logic: Premises, Perspectives, Possibilities, that is due out the winter of 2014. However, to begin understanding SD-Logic, the authors recommend focusing on four basic principles:
- Service is the fundamental basis of exchange: The application of operant resources (knowledge and skills), “service,” is the basis for all exchange. Service is exchanged for service.
- The customer is always a co-creator of value: Implies value creation is interactional.
- All economic and social actors are resource integrators: Implies the context of value creation is networks of networks (resource-integrators).
- Value is always uniquely, and phenomenological determined by the beneficiary: Value is idiosyncratic, experiential, contextual, and meaning laden.
When starting to explore SD-Logic thinking, I recommend understanding and using these four principles in action. An example of these principles are in this blog post, Increase your Innovation Capacity: Manage your Sphere of Influence.
Chris Downey says,
I’ve heard it said in the disability community that there are really only two types of people: There are those with disabilities, and there are those that haven’t quite found theirs yet. It’s a different way of thinking about it, but I think it’s kind of beautiful, because it is certainly far more inclusive than the us-versus-them or the abled-versus-the-disabled, and it’s a lot more honest and respectful of the fragility of life.
I find this is a very fresh perspective for developing Personas, User Experiences, Customer Journeys and other Customer Experiences that we attempt. As Chris alluded to above; should we have someone that recognizes their disabilities on our development teams? What are we missing without this perspective?
Chris Downey is an architect, planner, and consultant. Working with design teams and clients, he draws on his unique perspective as a seasoned architect without sight, helping to realize environments that offer not only greater physical accessibility, but also a dimension of delight in architecture experienced through other senses.
Downey enjoyed 20 years of distinguished practice on award-winning custom residences and cultural institutions before losing his sight. One of the few practicing blind architects in the world, Downey has been featured in many media stories and speaks regularly about issues relative to visual impairments and architectural design.
SALES PDCA is the framework I use for the process that takes place in the customer sales and marketing cycle. It is a standard PDCA cycle except the SALES part of the framework is where the sales team gets its directions and coaching from the team coordinator and value stream manager. Within the actual PDCA stage the sales team is empowered to make their own choices and determine their own direction to accomplish the goals of that cycle. This framework was introduced in the Marketing with PDCA book.
Several years ago, I would have just framed this as an A3 report and placed the SALES on the left side and the ECA/PDCA/SDCA/CAP-Do on the right side. However I have decided to use the terminology of a canvas versus an A3 following the concept developed in the Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder. The BMG Canvas has its roots in Design Thinking which I believe is a better conduit for focusing outside the organization.
CAP-Do is a process that I have spent quite a bit of time with lately (You can Learn about using CAP-Do). What makes CAP-Do so attractive is that it assumes we do not have the answers. It allows us to create a systematic way to address the problems (pain) or opportunities (gain) from the use of our products and services. CAP-Do is an emergent process.
The CAP-Do Canvas gives you an outline to address the formulation of teams, the SALES acronym on the left side and on the right side the basic outline to create a CAP-Do cycle. If you want to learn more, I encourage you to consider downloading the Lean Service Design Program. With the program, you receive the Lean Engagement Team and the CAP-Do eBooks.
Kansei/Affective Engineering is essentially the human side of product development. We are attempting to take customer’s feelings and convert them into our design. It is very much aligned with User Experience Design but more often used in product development firms and engineering departments versus Design firms and Web applications. More background is provided about the subject in my blog post, Kansei Engineering the Unknown Discipline.
Kansei/Affective Engineering is defined as the technology of translating the consumer’s Kansei into the product design domain (Nagamachi 1995,1999, 2005,2010). Most of the published material on this subject is in the two volume set Innovations of Kansei Engineering and Kansei Engineering, 2 Volume Set: Kansei/Affective Engineering (Industrial Innovation Series).
Some of the concepts are very simple and similar to finding root cause of a problem for example. You may take a product development project and put it into a method called a Zero-Order Kansei Concept. In this concept, they drill down from the general subject matter to a more specific one. In the example in one of the above books, they use people friendly as a Zero-Order Concept.
As described above, when we break down the product concept further and further, which at first was very general and vague, into lower-order concepts, we will reach a stage where the physical design characteristics will appear without us even realizing it. At this point, we can go on to decide the physical characteristics such as size, appearance design, color, and function.
Though we drill down to very small details, one of the main components of Kansei thinking is that little is done in isolation. The Kansei Engineer views the process and expects to find influence between the components. The view is not one of a pie depicted below on the left rather similar to a Venn diagram where components will overlap and influence the other. How much influence and overlapping occurs is called the degree of contribution (I love that term). I liken this to engineering working on different components of the project but maintaining an overall view of the project. In Lean 3P, they have moved away from stage gates to a more event style process where people from the individual disciplines and projects gather and synthesize their efforts.
The entire concept of Kansei Engineering is not as simple as the above examples. There are many different components to the process; Quality Functional Deployment, Multivariate Analysis, FMEA and Affinity Diagrams are commonly used. I have seen reference to where Kansei Engineering is the “emotional” side of TRIZ and the engineering side of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). There are limited examples of its use in the service area though I see little reason that it would not apply. I like the methodology especially when I see references to the “Root Cause of Feelings” (That seems an area that could go deeper than 5 Whys).
Is Kansei Engineering worth investigating more?
Are there service type examples out there?