Archive by Author | riittajantunen

Facilitating for better customer experience

I had the pleasure of facilitating two workshops with Pia Rytilahti in mid-February. The workshops were part of study unit of developing service for future nurses. The objective of the course is to teach how to develop services in health sector.

Prior the development workshops the students had observed different phases of customer experience and made short reports of their observations. In addition, based on the observations personas were created to make the results more tangible. The feedback from the health center personnel for the results were encouraging. The findings were familiar to them, but to hear them presented from customer point if view made them real. Also, the need for changes in customer experience became clearer.

The planning of the facilitation script started way before any results of observations were received. This is quite often the case in ‘real life’, too. As a matter of fact, a facilitator is to put the structure to the workshop and to oversee it meeting it targets. In depth understanding of the content takes seldom place. We knew in which phase the students should be when it was time to run the workshops, so that formed the base for the way we should run it. Members of the personnel was to join each group.

After a couple of meeting s with the course responsible Kirsi Ronkainen we decided to use the method World Café around four themes selected by students for ideation. That was basically the content of the first workshop. In World Café the group rotates from one theme to the next one generating development ideas of the theme in question. The last group after the round created an affirmation map with prioritizing the ideas on flipchart.

The original plan was to run identical workshop on the second day as the members of the personnel were different persons. However, the number of students were four times as many and it would have not benefitted the outcome as frustration was evidently to occur. Therefore, we asked the groups to rethink the prioritizing, choose to work further, create stakeholder maps and at the end a swimlane map with timed actions to execute the idea.

The key learnings were that storytelling is an effective tool to make the development areas tangible, especially when the participants come from different backgrounds. Evaluation after workshop is essential, thus we made the decision to change the facilitation script for the latter one. And to talk about facilitation script, it is good write one with all the needed equipment, the purpose, method and outcome of each section run during the workshop. To have the eye on group dynamics is the responsibility of a good facilitator. And last but not least, to keep the time to ensure the set outcome.

Hacking in the future

I participated for four nights to Digia’s API Hackatemia, the acronym API referring to Application Programming Interface i.e. how you can access either data or system of a company or system. The Hackatemia was a four-day event for technical and business development experts joining forces to learn about APIOps® Cycles, an open source method developed by Digia and in addition to learning, 16 teams were competing in developing products, services and APIs to meet the consumer or society needs.

The ideation phase was like service design, just ideating crazy ideas and then funneling them into a concrete service.  I would argue that with APIs you create services in the way service dominant logic defines a service. The physical object is just a mean to access the service being that formed of data and /or devices. As a matter of fact, the end user does not even need to think what the thinking process has predecessed the end-result.

The logic in API thinking builds naturally on loosely coupled networks. You can call the others as partners, service providers or clients but without ecosystem thinking it would be challenging to utilize or benefit of the APIs.

The API canvas has a lot of similarities with Business model canvas and Service Business Model Canvas. As the logic was easy to capture based on service design thinking it was also easy to start thinking about the business model to be created.

One thing I am missing or which I would like to learn more is how to illustrate or document the revenue stream on one-slider or as a picture. Of course, one can create an own picture, but a template would help. I would like to see this also on service business model canvas as that is needed to have a go.

Most of the solutions used artificial intelligence and varied from follow-up systems to elderly to remote health control and health personnel appointment. Our solution was called Google Fridge addressing climate change by diminishing food waste. By scanning the batch codes from the product, the fridge warns the consumer two days before the expiry date and proposes recipes to utilize the ingredient. The software does in addition the shopping and compares the shopping basket prices so that the consumer gets the best bargain.

Hackathon

I truly had fun during these four nights. I do not ‘speak’ the languages the coders do as I always thought that a python is a snake, but Java Python is hot in artificial intelligence scene.

To sum up the event a key learning is that you need a diverse set of people to work on APIs. The business developers need to be there to design the business model and the tech people to make it all happen. Diversity is truly a beauty.

 

 

Think like designer: Trust others and step out of your biases

In design thinking human is always in the center. Having that in the focus of your goals you have a good start as a design thinker. The service innovations meet the needs of people as the result of a cross-discipline approach by co-creating minds. Technology and other resources are enablers to increase people living good life being parts of designed product or service.

Tim Brown points out that integrative thinking leads to going beyond existing models. Fast and rough prototyping leaves room for thought and increases ability to create novelties. Tangible prototype helps the designers and end-users to identify the improvement areas. Or if the model does not serve the purpose at all.

Our two-day design process simulation proved that a heterogenous group of people can create something new. What occurred to me that to be successful you must step out of your biases and try new ideas without self-criticism. Analyzing skills are essential, but during the ideation phase and while constructing the prototype you must find your inner child to be playful and spontaneous. Continue reading