On 30th September I had the chance to participate an event organized by PRY (Projektiyhdistys ), which is the local Finnish association belonging to IPMA (International Project Management Association). IPMA is known for its project management certification system.
The purpose of this theme event of digitalization was to get introduced to methods and lessons that can be of help in advancing digitalization development in organizations in Finland and thus lead us as an economy back to the growth trend.
I think this as a current issue in design thinking as service designers participate in design projects involving digital concepts and their skills are also needed in transforming an organization’s mental mode towards design thinking (DT), due to the growing pressure to digitalize processes or entire business models that requires DT approach.
Why is everybody now talking about digitalization?
Vesa Ilmarinen, the founder of Katalysti company, probed us first on our perceptions of digitalization. He defined it as an operative change that needs leadership. Currently, digitalization is a hype term in the media and it arouses both concerns and hopes. Concerns in that it destroys many jobs and hope in that it creates new kinds of businesses and job opportunities. One could imagine service design to be one of those new opportunities. Vesa mentioned trends leading to digitalization being rapid technological development that affects consumer behavior patterns, shift of power from service and product providers to consumers and thus the increased demand for rapid responses, honesty and transparency from organizations.
Finnish success stories of digitalization
Vesa has recently published a book together with Kai Koskela on challenges of digitalization in Finnish companies, called Digitalisaatiohaaste – Yritysjohdon käsikirja. The first edition was sold out in a month and second one is coming soon. There are plenty of examples of Finnish success stories in the book, here a few he mentioned:
- Kalevala Koru – 3D-printable plastic jewelry
- Finnmatkat – travel agency online services
- Enevo – optimizing disposal of garbage with garbage bins containing sensors
Elementary in making digitalization a success story
according to the authors is not solely the technological capabilities,
but introducing new kind of leadership and ways of working to the organization.
Digitalization often requires renewing strategy,
operative model of the company and the company culture.
How to proceed with this change?
Vesa introduced four lessons on how an organization can take leadership in the digitalization development. They are grouped on the following image with related activities specified further.
During the remaining part of the event, project manager Pirjo Saksi from Ministry of the Environment shared her experiences on stakeholder management as a tool for leading change. Her project is the first joint development project in the public administration (national register for housing company shares of stock) involving diverse public actors. Thus stakeholder analysis is of great importance to engage everyone and to enable decision making.
(This post contributes to the course of Current Topics in Service Design.)