Scaling service design

Day one of 10th global service design networks conference kicked off today  by a presentation how to scale service design in government and was ended by the afternoon´s breakout sessions concentrated in social innovation and people power. Louise Downe started by going through themes emerged inside the last 10 years in the field of service design (SD).  Focus has moved from the legitimacy of service design and how to define, what service design is all about, into scaling service design. But still, even today, legitimacy of SD is still recognized as a common problem organizations face, when they start applying service design. Free tip Louise gave- don´t waste your time on this, focus on doing it.  kuva sdn

Louise  and other keynote speakers made really good points by highlighting that the fast pace of technology development has outstripped the speed of design. Design can´t keep in the pace of technology development. It´s not about designer´s ability to design services, but about the ability to scale the design as the transformation is never done. Therefore it´s critical to understand, there are no big fixes, but many little things to be combined. When you scale SD, all the little things become bigger and ultimately the end result and experience can go completely wrong.

Pattern of succesful innovation


How to scale service design?

Scaling service design requires getting deep into implementation and also understanding, how these are experienced from the employees´ viewpoint. Scaling requires organizational design, but also operational design and at the end empowering employees.


Following principles came across in many of the keynotes

  • Standardize, don´t centralize
  • Integrate, don´t duplicate- focus innovation on the right things
  • Enable the network, help people to work together
  • Design something the future can design further
  • Understand how well you are doing: metrics are fundamental elements
  • Enable people to work together- build capabilities and skills
  • Create alternative structure of power


Remember technology shows you what can be done, but design shows you what should be done

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