From Thinking About Things

From Thinking About Things to Thinking About Relationships.

The readers of my blog will recognize many of the terms Jeff Sussna used throughout the book, Service Design, Service Dominant Logic, Jobs to be Done, and Design Thinking, I asked if he had an underlying thread to all of it?

Related Podcast and Transcription: Digital Services

Jeff Sussna: Yes, I think the underlying thread is Systems Thinking. My background is interesting in that I’ve worked for software product companies, and I’ve also worked for service companies, both in the IT space. I worked for a company that basically managed data centers and servers for people, but I’ve also worked in companies that were essentially design agencies. I have some understanding from my background of the service model. As I got involved in cloud computing and started seeing software becoming more about service, I started thinking about that and I got introduced to the world of Design Thinking and Service Design and it occurred to me that, “Oh, we’re really talking about something different here, and we really need a different view.

We need to shift away from thinking about things to thinking about relationships. What is the point of this software I’m building? It’s to help my customer accomplish something. I think the theme for me again is it’s all about Systems Thinking. Basically, it doesn’t just say, “Well, there’s a big system with a bunch of parts. What it says is the key is to looking at the relationships between the parts, not just the parts themselves.

Even if you take something straight from my IT world which is this new methodology called DevOps, the reason it’s called DevOps is because it’s looking at the relationship between development and operations within companies and thinking about the idea that, well, we really need to think about them as one thing because just because I build software doesn’t do anybody any good if you don’t operate it for them. If I use an online invoicing service and I love all of its features but it’s offline half the time or it’s slow, or it loses my data or it gets hacked, that doesn’t do me any good. I like to use the metaphor of a restaurant. If there’s a new restaurant in town and somebody goes out to eat and you ask them afterwards ‘How was it’ and they say, “Well, the food was great but the service was terrible.” I’m maybe not going to go to that restaurant. DevOps supplies the same to IT. The theme for me is really about thinking about all of that in the largest possible context.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Digital Services

About: Jeff  Sussna founder of Ingineering.IT, facilitates Adaptive IT through teaching, coaching, and strategic design. He is the author of a new book Designing Delivery: Rethinking IT in the Digital Service Economy.

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