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.
How to get the ideas flow? What if the others think our idea is lame? What if we fail? These are some of the reasons why people struggle with innovation and I have also find myself pondering these same questions.
“Ideas stand in the corner and laugh while we fight over them.” -Marty Rubin
I started my Master’s Degree Programme in Customer-oriented Service Development with master class of Practical Design Thinking facilitated by two inspiring specialists, Design Professor Katja Tschimmel and Innovation consultant Gijs van Wulfen. The theme of the course was to get into the concept of Design Thinking, test different design thinking tools and the FORTH-innovation method in a concrete case. In this post, I’d like to share some of my findings from the class. I have summarized them as the four things to remember during the ideation process.
The importance of preparation
Comparing some of the best known design thinking models Tschimmel (2012) presents in her article it is clear that the first step to take before ideation is to understand the customer, identify the problem or the opportunity and observe them to get inspired. She concludes that these insights are important for later idea generation session. According to van Wulfen (2013) the reason why brainstorming process don’t bring up any ideas is the lack of preparation. It’s all about getting new ideas from exploring ”customers relevant future problems”.
I must admit that it was hard to produce ideas without deeply understanding the concepts or the problems behind the given topic. And I cannot deny that the lack of preparation had an negative effect on our whole innovation process.
Marc Stickdorn held three days intensive service design workshop for Laurea SID Master of Business Administration students. Workshop focused on how to facilitate service design ideation workshops. This blog post focuses on insights learned during 7th to 9th of February 2013.