During this week TEKES (Finnish Funding Institute for Innovation) and Futurice organized a free LEAN service creation workshop as a gift to Finland celebrating it´s 100 years of independence. Participants were from development functions from various industries representing the variation of Finnish companies. Naturally the bigger purpose of the event was to spread the word of agile, customer centric development methods, to boost Finnish economy. So on a grey Wednesday morning we were 500 hundred participants in 60 groups of 4-5 people together with 50 000 Post-its eager to master the method.
What is lean service creation?
According to my understanding Lean service creation is a service design process developed by Futurice. It´s generated by applying commonly known best practices and company´s own experience from client work. It combines the principles of lean start up methodology with design thinking principles and the Strategyzer business model canvas. The phases in the lean service creation process follow pretty much the double diamond theory frame for service design process. All the material is open source and can be found here: https://leanservicecreation.com/ . The method is aiming in creating excellent digital services, but I would highlight, established companies can apply the process to all development work. Why is this needed?
Love the problem not the solution
A research by Harvard business school´s Shikhar Ghost points out very clearly that 75 % of all startups fail. One reason behind the phenomenon is that business school methods are not directly adaptable to startups. Those principles are based on business logic and creating five year plans as a newly founded startup only has a service and it is still figuring out, what the business logic will be. Situation is pretty much the same for established companies, when they are aiming for service innovations. For a startup setting energy in creating business plan would be almost like writing phantasy stories as there are too many assumptions included. But how often established companies fall into the same trap? My rough estimation is too often. We have the tendency to fall in love with our own solution and forget the customer experience. This is where the lean startup philosophy, or in this case the lean service creation steps in.
During the one-day work shop we were facilitated through the phases of the process by learning by doing in it practice. Despite the fact that we only had 6 hours of time, and we were not able to try all the phases nor to dig deeper in to the phases, the main message was clear: Love the problem and test and validate everything with your customers.
You can be the change
Although we only worked like 16 minutes with each of the phases continuing straight forward to the next step of the process, the work shop mastered to demonstrate the power of the facilitated process and design thinking principles. At the end of the day all the teams had developed really good ideas, that most had some potential for further development. We felt inspired and energized. I guess the commonly known story in many company is not the lack of ideas, but the ability to develop them further. It´s also very true that in many companies the culture doesn´t support the design thinking principles. Easily this leads into a conversation, where a bigger transformation is needed. But don´t fall into this trap, because then nothing is changed. Here you have a very practical tool to start working with your ideas. You don´t need to be a designer to start figuring out, what motivates your customer.
Information about Ahto´17 can be found from the facebook group.
#designthinking #servicedesign #leanstartup #leanservicecreation #agiledevelopment