Tag Archive | new service development

Can Design Thinking Provide the Breakthroughs We Need to Reduce Global Poverty and Domestic Violence?

 

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Woman cooking next to the port and market in Cotonou, Benin [Image (c) Jeffrey Allen]

By Jeffrey Allen

25 Sep, LONDON – For the past seven years, I’ve designed and managed projects to improve lives in developing countries, focusing on education, health, good governance, human rights, agriculture, employment, the environment… everything that impacts people’s quality of life. It’s a wildly complex field, where managers have to understand business, sociology, communications, technology, innovation, politics, psychology, and more if they’re going to be successful.

I spent the first several years just getting my head around the basics, learning on the job, by trial and error, and by soaking up what I could from those around me. Before starting the job, I had observed international development work – mostly from the outside – for more than six years as a journalist remixing stories published by organizations working in the field. Looking on through my outsider’s lens, I was consistently impressed by the work development practitioners did every day to make lives better and open opportunities for billions of people in difficult circumstances across the globe. Continue reading

Stages, more stages and the same stages all over again

The Design Thinking course on September 2nd-3rd 2016 was very illuminating. Doing Design Thinking by following a specific model really shows how much work should be put in design work itself from exploring to implementing. Doing the same thing over and over again with different methods (moodboard, brainwriting etc.) truly opens up new ideas during the process.

We started our service planning from one idea and through all the steps ended up in something different. Continuing the process further and with more time would have, in my opinion, led to another outcome. Doing so much work in such a short time really doesn’t give space for ideas to develop by themselves.

The difference in similarities

During the lessons we learned especially the use of the Evolution 6² model, which has more stages than other models discussed in class and in the paper Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation (Tschimmel 2002). Nevertheless, all the models can be, more or less, divided in three main stages: first you have to learn the problem (through observing, exploring, understanding, defying etc.), then you develop an idea/ideas based on your observations (through experiments, ideating, reflecting, elaborating etc.) and finally you’ll find a solution that can be made available to public (through prototyping, testing, implementing etc.).

brainwiriting

Brainwrite instead of brainstormWhy? No need to feel ashamed of saying something idiotic out loud while you can write it on a Post-it anonymously.

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Design Thinking – from brain errors to innovations

Have you ever been in a situation when you know your business isn’t going as smoothly as it should? You know that something should be done but you don’t know where to start or can’t identify the business problems or the customers’ needs? How do you feel about failure as a part of innovating? Have you ever thought about establishing an innovation process WITH your customers instead of old fashioned way, FOR your customers? Are you confused?

These are all questions that pop up when talking about Design Thinking (DT).

What is it and how can it help to develop your business?

Design Thinking combines human-centricity and design methods with problem solving and innovation process. It focuses in organization’s ability to produce new content, develop business and make development work cross sectoral and organizational boundaries. DT’s core is located somewhere between human-centered approach, collaborative way of working and co-creation with stakeholders and the end-users.

The work itself takes place in multidisciplinary teams that are facilitated by designers whose expertise consists of the ability to match human needs with technical resources, constrains and objectives of the project or business, and ultimately conversion into customer value and market opportunity by using different DT process and tools. In DT feelings and emotions as well as failures and mistakes plays big role when achieving the results like new processes, services and ways of communication and collaboration.

There are multiple different Design Thinking process models that can be used. The choice depends on various factors, e.g. the characteristics of the innovation project and its context, the team dynamics and the time available for the process. There’s no such thing as a perfect DT process model and pioneers in the field all have their own opinions.

Design Thinking in practice

We had two-day intensive DT workshop where we concentrated on Evolution 62 model developed by Katja Tschimmel in 2015. The name of the process model refers to the six phases that all start with the letter E:

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Hackathon Kickstart / Day 1

On 21st of January Futurice and Kiinteistömaailma organized Service Design Hackathon in Helsinki. I get to participate first time in my life for such a happening. It is all very exciting, as I never heard of “Hackathon” before! Young creative and business minded people have arrived to Annakatu 32, to building called “Kamppi´s top end”. On the very last ( 8th) floor situates Futurice´s colourful office, full of creative atmosphere. It has been one of the coldest winter day in Helsinki,almost -20 degrees, so first of all I must get rid of my winter clothes before I enter for this new challenge. Few young programmer-looking guys are preparing some cappuccinos in the kitchen area, people are chatting with each other; everyone seems to be ready to hit the Hackathon!

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Erkki Heikkinen, Kiinteistömaailma

Programme started with CEO of Kiinteistömaailma, Erkki Heikkinen´s speech. He told us about Kiinteistömaailma´s strategy and history. We got to talk about today´s megatrends of housing and goals, which Kiinteistömaailma wants to reach. Hackathon is here to help them to innovate and create new services with service design methods. It is here to create something inventive and urban. Maybe it ends up even for “Tinder of Living”, who knows! We all know that way of housing and living is going through some major turning points these days. Aging, immigration, urbanization and community housing are not only trends of 21st century but also facts we need to take in to consideration.

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Risto Sarvas, Lean Service Creation procedure

Risto Sarvas, Creative Director from Futurice introduce us to so-called Service Creation checklist. What should you check before you start building up a service? First of all, “you can´t plan the future, you need to build it!” was Risto´s starting point. “And as you can´t know what you build, you need to experiment, fail & learn”. “Always find a problem worth of solving as value is in the iteration” adds Risto. “Love the problem, not solution as solutions you can always change!”. Was fascinating to realize that this is exactly what I have been studying the whole last semester in Laurea. So this is it- Service Design in real life!

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What is your mood today?

Hackathon is working together. We audience were sorted in to groups by choosing different colour post-it. I choose orange: colour for visual mood. As an artist background it seems to be easiest choice for me always. Each group should have at least one post-it colour mood: business, technology, visual and human. Once we were into groups we had to choose a topic of Kiinteistömaailma´s one strategy options. Our group choose “Service of living in the future – 2020?”.

 

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We talked about lot of today’s technology contra people´s wishes of presence. Technology is taking place of daily life. It has it´s good sides but also bad ones. So we started to look our topic from “how people will like to live in the future” point of view. We figured out several good ideas, which I of course won’t tell you yet 🙂 ! Hackthon has started in our group; we hanged our idea boards on the wall – grabbed post-its and pens. Creative ideas started to fly around our table.

To be continued Day 2. (29.-30.1.2016)

Written by Paula Nordfors – Laurea, Helsinki, Finland

Are we speaking the same language?

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In many of the projects that I have been a part of, the process begins right away. In the kickoff meeting you introduce yourself to a number of people, some of them who you have possibly never met before. You usually go over the projects goals and after that you’re off to the races. Even in service design projects, and again this is viewed through my own experience, the common language of the project is often overlooked.

This revelation came to me through participation in a service design project that aims to improve the student services in Laurea. The project is done in collaboration with Laurea staff and students and design agency Kuudes Kerros of Helsinki. There are seven of us students helping in the project. The kickoff meeting began the normal way, but after the introductions we were familiarized to the project’s common language. By agreeing on certain terms that are used in the process, it has been easy during the discovery phase to understand and categorize the gathered insights. We were able to quickly focus on the right things.

I feel that in a lot of projects the team that is gathered for it doesn’t necessarily speak the same language. This might not seem like a major issue but let’s look at it through two scenarios. First, you can outsource the project and then your role becomes that of a participant and source of information. During the project work the facilitators talk about certain topics in ways obvious to themselves. Can you follow and be productive? Is your participation affected by a pounding thought in your head “what are they talking about”? And in the end are you then getting your money’s worth?
On the other hand what if the project is an in-house one? Everyone speaks the same language, right? Possibly, if the company is a smaller one or there has been significant work done to bring down the traditional silos. But in most company, there still are silos and within the silos there are different ways of communicating. And in this case everyone will not speak the same language.

The lesson I’ve learned through the Laurea project is to have a common language set up in the future projects. It doesn’t mean that you have to have a plethora of terms and definitions. Just set up a few common phrases and their meaning and go over them in the first meeting. This will help everyone define themselves and understand how the work proceeds. Possibly this way the outputs of the participants are more coherent and to the point. As an example, in this project there were three phrases set and this helped out tremendously. It pays off having a common language.

Picture and text by Jukka Kaartinen, SID ’14 student

4 interesting things I learned from service productisation

If Video-on-phonesomebody had said in 1984 that he had a vision of people watching Formula 1 from their phones in 2014, he would have been considered mentally ill. In 1994 he could have been hired into a start-up-firm going bankrupt later that year. In 2004 this idea had already landed on Steve Jobs’ office desk. And now in 2014 it’s part of our everyday life! In the end it was all about daring to think in a new way.

I was intrigued to take part in Aalto University’s seminar about Leadership in the productisation of services (LEAPS) a couple of weeks ago. The closing seminar showcased results of the LEAPS –project   that had lasted two years. The project focused on identifying and developing open and customer-driven methods for service productisation. LEAPS-project was carried out in collaboration between Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology and Innotiimi Oy.

Here are the 4 most interesting things I learned during the afternoon:

Everything can be viewed as a service

The keynote speaker, professor Anders Gustafsson from Service Research Center in Karlstad University, Sweden had a really interesting presentation. He talked a lot about service logic and that service is a perspective on value creation. The most important thing is to focus on value-in-use, especially on co-creation of value. He also concluded that everything can be viewed as a service. This was something we all agreed with, after hearing that already 70-80% of our GDP is service related. The service sector is constantly growing as traditionally goods based companies are starting to rely more on the service part of their business.

Big change: yShowroomingou have to get the customers to pay for the services

Anders Gustafsson also talked about companies traditionally giving services for free to sell products. This can generally be considered as a big problem. The companies have to make a transformation: customers have to start paying for the services. As a solution to this problem, Gustafsson mentioned bronze, silver and gold levels for customers as an example. You have to find a way to make the service part somehow visible to the customer.

5 steps for successful productisation workshops

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You cannot innovate alone!

Picture by Leena Salo

You’ve got a great idea, now what? How to get innovation off the ground in your company?

 

“You can invent alone, but you can’t innovated alone.”

– Gijs van Wulfen

 

In the first course of our Service Innovation and Design studies we got to tackle the fascinating subject Design Thinking in an innovation process. In class we developed a new idea to enhance learning at Laurea in groups of 4 or 5 people.

 

Not only did we get a great exercise in team work, but also learned to use different DT tools such as interviews and observations techniques, brainstorming and brainwriting, mind maps and rapid prototyping, which are introduced in Katja Tschimmel’s article “Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation”. In the end we got a chance to present our new service concept to Laurea faculty members.

 

I found the DL toolkit and The FORTH method of Gijs van Wulfen very useful and interesting considering my own work and projects in the company I work for. FORTH is an innovation method for creating new concepts. The chapter titled “Raise Ideas” explains how to develop great ideas and get internal support for them inside your company.

 

Why do great ideas fail?

Picture from The Innovation Expedition by Gijs Van Wulfen

“What’s the use of brilliant ideas if there’s no support within the organization?”

– Gijs van Wulfen

 

Van Wulfen begins his book with words: “innovation is highly relevant to every organization. Yet, eighty percent of innovation projects never reach the market.” Everything might be working for you: it’s the right time to innovate, you are prepared and know the purpose and direction of the innovation, but still the project fails. Why?

 

Often this is due to the lack of support from the management. You might not receive resources to complete your project or the management might not get behind the idea and rejected it. It is impossible to innovate alone in an organization! A great idea needs to be bought by – not only the public – but management, colleagues and employees of your own company as well. Your vision needs to be shared by everyone in your organization for it to be successful and the idea to come into fruition.

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