Creating a Service Design Concept for FORGE Service Lab

(c) FORGE Service Lab

(c) FORGE Service Lab

A couple of months ago our SID 2014 group started the courses New Service Development and Innovative Business Models, as well as Deep Customer Insights Through Ethnographic Research. As learning by developing is the key in this Master degree program we were about to get hands on with a real life research and service development process. The case company we got an assignment from was DIGILE, more specifically their FORGE Service Lab.

What are DIGILE and FORGE Service Lab?

DIGILE is the Center for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK) focusing on Internet economy and related technologies and business. You can learn more about DIGILE from their website.

FORGE Service Lab has been created to accelerate the digitalization of services in Finland. It is a development laboratory, where digital services can be created. The video below shows an illustration of the journey that FORGE Service Lab can offer to the world of digitalized services.

Working on the assignment

We were divided into teams of five and the task was to create a customer value proposition and service design support concept for FORGE Lab. We started our assignment in October’s contact session by staring to analyze the current state of FORGE Service Lab, and we also had the opportunity to discuss with DIGILE’s two representatives. After the classes each of us was to conduct an interview with a current or potential FORGE Service Lab customer.

After the interviews we continued our work in teams in November’s contact session. Based on our customer insight findings it was time to have an interactive workshop using the CoCo Tool Kit, which is a collection of tools and a workbook designed to support service businesses in adapting co-creation activities. I actually wish we had had more time exploring with the CoCo Tool Kit. If you would like to know more about the tool kit please check these pages.

In November’s workshop we also worked on creating a Service-Logic Based Business Model Canvas for FORGE Service Lab. Service-Logic Business Model Canvas is a modification of the most popular business model framework and takes into account the service logic principles (Ojasalo & Ojasalo 2014). The purpose was to clarify the value proposition and redesign the service concept. We were to reflect on what could be the valuable service design support that FORGE offers to its customers. It was challenging I must say, as we also had to consider a systematic and efficient approach that enables creation of innovative, global services and raises the Finnish competence level towards leading position. Below is a picture of how our canvas looked after the workshop, so we still had a lot be accomplished and refined.

Service-Logic Business Model Canvas in the making.

Service-Logic Business Model Canvas in the making.

Next steps were to finalize our proposition. The final presentations to FORGE Service Lab representatives were due in December. Our team mainly used online tools like emails, facebook and skype for working on our presentation. Here’s our whole development process in short.

Our team's development process throughout the assignment.

Our team’s development process throughout the assignment.

Finally, it was time to present the outcome to FORGE Service Lab. Our team’s presentation included findings from the interviews, Service-Logic Business Model Canvas for FORGE, the new value proposition, description of value delivery process, suggested service design toolkit, attributes of an ideal FORGE Service Lab project, as well as some learning reflections. We received constructive feedback and based on that can then finalize our report. Furthermore, it was interesting to see the different approaches the other teams had taken!


Overall, this has been a great experience of learning by developing. However, it turned out to be much more challenging than we initially expected given the rather vast assignment, short time period and everyone’s busy schedules. But excuses aside, we will still be refining our final report as there’s always room for improvement. Hopefully, FORGE Service Lab will be able to utilize any of our students’ reports in the future.

Written by Heini Kauppinen, SID Student


Ojasalo, K. & Ojasalo, J. 2014. Adapting Business Model Thinking to Service Logic: An Empirical Study on Developing a Service Design Tool. In Gummerus, J. & von Koskull, C. (eds.) The Nordic School – Alternative Perspectives on Marketing and Service Management. Helsinki, Finland: Publications of Hanken School of Economics. (in print).

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