In the global conference of service design network, held in Madrid last week, theme was service design at scale. Why was employee experience one of the topics that rise into discussions for the first time at this scale? Is employee experience the same as wellbeing of employees?
Service design is known to be really good in problem solving: creating services, that answer the customer´s unmet need. But characteristic to this era is that all organizations struggle with large scale implementation especially in non-digital services. Number one reason why change initiative fails is employee resistance and management behavior. In service design terms, delivery phase, but more commonly known as implementation, is the phase, where the recognized reason for failing is the lack of employee adaptation. One answer to this is working with employee experience (EX), which brings service design from strategic level work to practice and explores the topic from the employee, but also from the business side as well.
Continuous change, fast pace of technology development, new tools, channels and methods has led to a situation where employees are really struggling with their workload and are feeling overwhelmed. They are drowning in the amount emails and information coming and are often stuck in ineffective meetings. More and more is added, but are the existing processes and working methods supporting the wanted need?
Slide by Carla Rocha Mohairs , Businers, to point out the the different wants that affects on the employee experience
Designing employee experience can tackle the challenges. It means organizations need to shift their focus on understanding employees´ needs and start designing concepts and solutions from this perspective. If you are now thinking free beer and candy bars, I want to high light that EX investigates it from a far wider perspective: What are your people thinking? What do they say to you? How do they feel? What do they actually do? After understanding the reality and their unmet needs, we should be thinking how can we relief our employees work? As I wrote in my previous post, integrating systems and channels and designing something the future can design further are definitively aspects to consider together with the development of culture and way of working.
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.
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. Continue reading
From time to time you hear people understanding service design as something very strategic or too complicated to be applied for a development project. Purpose of this blog post is to show, applying service design can be practical and especially in healthcare sector, highly recommendable. Last week we organized an ideation workshop in a public hospital in Helsinki Finland in order to improve customer experience during the first 24 hours patients check in. Workshop covered 10 departments and over 50 participants representing hospital employees from nurses and physiotherapists to doctors.
Understand the reality and define the problem you´re solving.
Participants started by getting absorbed in the patient´s experiences collected by student observations. What did the patients feel, think, do, see and hear? Shared emotional understanding of the customer´s experience worked as a starting point for the workshop. In the next phase participants filled an emotional customer experience map, that is a process for discovering, how your customers feel as they experience the service through service touch points. With the help of the emotional customer journey, participants identified the pain points of the service. By identifying the pain points, participants were able to understand the reality and define the problem participants continued to work with.
From ideation to potential solutions
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? Continue reading
Nowadays service design is a hot topic everywhere. What is behind the word design, that gets easily associated with luxury and high price. How is it linked with building better services? Little ironically to the association, the roots of design lay firmly on the ground of functionality, simplicity and purpose. In the book Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation by Idris Moore, design thinking is defined as the search of magical balance between business and art; structure and chaos; intuition and logic; concept and execution; playfulness and formality; and control and empowerment. In practice meaning that Design Thinking is to be seen as a thinking process discovering new realities with the help of design culture and methods. Don´t let the lack of concrete in the definition bother you as the design thinking methods and tools are actually very tangible.
Creativity meats processes
Two days spent on Katja Tschimmel´s master class clarified very well, that service design is actually a very structured process, where you proceed from phase to another to reach your goal. The process applies Design Thinking principles such as human centered approach, fast prototyping and co-creation. During the lessons we deepened our understanding by experimenting in practice the phases of Mindshake Design Thinking Evolution 6² model. Several other process models exist. Characteristic to the models is the alternation of divergent and convergent stages. I surely felt like being on a roller coaster ride as we were experimenting various tools of different phases in practice. As the theory was taught by doing, we were forced to innovate. Our process started with a mind map around the word studying and we ended up drawing visual business models. It surely was fun, but also very tough work as you experience such a wide range of emotions during the process. Ideo´s 3 I model explains this: You start from inspiration phase continuing to innovation and landing into the implementation phase.