Tag Archive | service

Service Experience Camp, Berlin 2014

Service Experience Camp 2014 (SXC14) was a two day camp organized by Berlin based service designers on September 13 and 14, 2014. More than 200 service designers, experts, students, and enthusiasts from various countries participated in the event. The theme for SXC2014 was ”Bringing Services To Life”. The focus of the camp was on the implementation of the service design principals in various industries.

The camp activities were divided into three parts:

Keynote sessions, where industry experts shared their service experience with the entire audience. There were few keynote sessions lined up every morning and evening.

Bar camp sessions were the back bone of the event. In bar camps, experts presented/co-created a service experience session with a small group of audience. Any one could nominate to host a bar camp or participate in one.

Networking sessions were the third part. During lunch and coffee breaks and in the evening after the closing of the bar camp session, participants mingled together and exchanged thoughts.

SXC14 had an Android and iPhone app with information about the sessions, map of the facility, lunch timings, and other information. The app was built by Futurice in just two weeks using the agile software development principals.


Screenshot of the SXC14 application.

Keynote sessions

Many experts from various industries were at SXC14 to share their experiences on Service Design implementation.  Below are the some topics I found interesting.

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Engaging stakeholders in the designing of a service: a case study in the B2B service context

Author: Adeyanju Alade. Email: aladeyanju@yahoo.com

The background of this master’s degree thesis was from a Tekes funded project named “Service Innovation through Strategic Stakeholder Integration” (SISSI). SISSI is a joint project undertaken by Laurea University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Hanken School of Economics, Finland.  In addition, there are two case companies as main partners in SISSI project.

l&tThe topic of this thesis was inspired by the definition of service design as presented by Selgelström. The definition says service design is “the use of designerly way of searching for solutions to problems in people-intensive service systems through the engagement of stakeholders” (Segelström 2010, 16). A rhetorical question of “how stakeholders can be engaged” came up on the mind of the author of this thesis. As a result, the academic journey on this thesis then began.

Stakeholder engagement can be defined as the effort or action an organisation undertakes towards understanding and involving stakeholders “and their concerns in its activities and decision making processes” (Partridge, Jackson, Wheeler & Zohar 2005, 6). A quality stakeholder engagement process has the potential to address complex problems in both private and public sector’s service design and delivery (REVIT, 2007).

The literature review of this thesis covered topics such as service, service dominant logic, service design processes and tools, value co-creation, stakeholders, and stakeholder engagements. Some relevant conclusions and speculations from the perspective of this author were also presented in the literature review. In addition, some gaps were identified in the reviewed literature (see thesis report).

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Implementing servitization

Aalto University seminar 20th November 2012.

by Riku Seppälä

I attended Aalto University’s seminar ”Implementing servitization” 20th November at Otaniemi campus. The seminar was part of “Integrating Service Management and Operations Perspectives in B2B Services”- project at Aalto University within logistics research group. According to the project description the ISMO project aims to develop concepts, tools and methods to actively manage the service processes, resources and competences, including the client, in a service production system. The project was started in 2009 and ends in 2013. More information about the project and its content at: http://www.lrg.aalto.fi/?q=content/project-15

The seminar consisted of two separate tracks, the first one called “Managing profits in service business” and the latter one “Implementing full service business models”.

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The Evolution of Service Science

by Jenni Aranko and Ainokaisa Kostamo

This blog post examines the evolution of Service Science which aims to be a new, interdisciplinary approach to study and innovate in service. First we’ll examine what is actually meant when discussed about service and provide a definition of service as a framework for further reading. We’ll continue with arguing why there is a need for generally approved Service Science.

Then we’ll introduce the foundations of Service Science through a selection of chapters from articles and books that were published in the late 1970s. The writers have brought the key elements from their previous studies and reflected those to today’s world.

Lastly we’ll take a look at the modern Service Science which has its foundation in the Service-Dominant logic (introduced by Vargo & Lusch in 2004) and present the most essential concepts related to it. The distinction between services and goods as one of the key questions and sources of misinterpretations in the field of Service Science is also discussed.

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Involving Customers in New Service Development – Avoiding Common Pitfalls

When developing new services or products, interaction with the customers can, at best, result unique, functional innovations, beneficial to both the company and the customer. Still many companies fail either involving customers or achieving the benefits of the customer involvement. (Research suggests that more than 50% of the companies involve customers in B2C context, but their scope is limited to traditional market research techniques (customers as informants), only 6% of the companies involve customers as sole developers, the deepest level of involvement.)

The background for this blog post is the book “Involving Customers In New Service Development” edited by Bo Edvardsson et al. The Book is a collection of some breakthrough researches on customer’s involvement in various industries.

Involving Customers In New Service Development - Book Cover Picture

Roles of the Development Team – Management & Choosing the Right Customers

Successful management of different development process stages enables integrating customer involvement in company’s innovation system. Continue reading

Pioneering in the service innovation & design field

Exactly three years ago, in May 2009, we were living exciting times at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. After a lengthy development process of the unique Master’s degree programme in Service Innovation and Design, it was finally time to select the first group of students. The modern degree programme had gathered over 200 applicants, and we were to select 20 out of them to start their SID studies in September 2009. Now, three years after the first entrance exams, we are arranging the exams for the third time. Since the aim of the SID programme has been to be a proactive pioneer and stay updated, the exams and the whole programme have developed a lot during these years. Let’s now have a look back. This is a short story on how the SID programme was developed.

The Master’s degree programmes in Finnish universities of applied sciences are regulated by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The entry requirement for the Master’s studies is that a student already holds a Bachelor’s or a Master’s level degree and has acquired at least three years of relevant work experience after graduation. The Master’s programme in Service Innovation and Design is a 90 ects credits professional programme training students from diverse backgrounds to become practicing service developers. This Master of Business Administration programme is provided in English and can be completed alongside a full-time job. The process of applying is described here.

Laurea submitted the SID application to the Ministry of Education and Culture at the beginning of 2008. A broad report on the significance of SID competence in international operating environments was drawn up as a basis for preparing the application. The report was established on international and domestic forecast reports, studies and statistics on the development of competence needs (over 40 written sources). Most importantly, the application (and subsequent curriculum development) was carried out together with the stakeholders and networks of practical and academic actors in the field.

Laurea’s SID team had a crucial role in the planning from the start. Four Laurea faculty members established a service design team in the beginning of 2007, which kick-started the design process. This service design team began to actively develop competence in the field through, for example, taking part in international service competence conferences. In autumn 2008, a few more staff members became involved in the team with the purpose of curriculum development, and seven faculty members took part in the Service Design Network seminar in Amsterdam in November 2008. As the SID programme was launched in September 2009, there were ten members in the team of lecturers, and the figure grew to 12 by autumn 2010. Currently, the SID team consist of 16 lecturers. The SID instructors include 8 doctors (Ph.D.), 3 licentiates and 5 masters from Laurea. Each of the instructors has a clear SID competence area.

After receiving approval from the Ministry of Education and Culture to launch the new Master’s degree programme, the SID curriculum underwent further development based e.g. on various reports and methods. At the end of the design process, the SID curriculum was processed at the Service Design Network conference in Amsterdam in November 2008, where Laurea’s lecturers held a workshop focusing on the SID curriculum. The curriculum was developed further with international experts in January 2009, when Laurea arranged its second annual Service Innovation & Design seminar. Moreover, the SID Advisory Board commented on the SID curriculum. After the launch of the degree programme in 2009, updating the competences needs has continued intensively until the present day.

At the Master’s level, the professional expertise of students has to be taken into account and a mechanisms that allows the tacit knowledge sharing has to be applied (i.e. learning from each other and creating new knowledge together). In line with innovation theories, the aim has been to reach a heterogenic group of SID students (i.e. different educational backgrounds, different employment histories and jobs, many nationalities). With students from different countries, internationality and cross-cultural differences are part of everyday life of the SID programme (altogether 10 nationalities presented in the two SID student groups). Furthermore, 1-2 international exchange students have taken part in the degree programme each semester from the start. The students have a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree in business, design, engineering or IT, and they are working for different kind of organisations, varying from star-ups to multinational corporations and public organisations. Heterogeneity of the students is a fruitful ground for creative thinking. That is why team bonding among the SID students has been one of the main targets when the students begin their studies. In the first day (the orientation day) they immediately start working in small groups to get to know each other and to familiarise themselves with the active role of a student (active dialog instead of passive listening). Click here to see what the second SID Master’s group has done during their studies (among other things).

The studies include an average of three days of intensive contact sessions (face-to-face instruction) once a month (one Thursday-Friday-Saturday, at 9 am – 5 pm each day). One of the five-credit study units involves three full days of face-to-face contact sessions usually arranged one month apart. The students complete various assignments between the contact sessions typically at their own organisations. During the contact sessions, students take part into workshops, group discussions, assignment presentations, or any other interactive events, which allow personal knowledge sharing. Also more traditional teaching methods such as lectures are in use, though these events are tried to keep in minimum, and if held, external speakers from companies are often invited to lecture (business case stories). Laurea’s Learning by Developing (LbD) approach stressing the importance of developmental assignments has been taken into account in the design of learning activities. The assignments are chiefly related to students’ own organisations in order to involve them, and transfer and disseminate new knowledge in the organisations. Evaluation has mainly focused on assignment results, learning diaries, active participation or similar. Exams have not been arranged; theory has been studied through application within practical assignments. Here is the curriculum of the SID programme.

“IDEO’s lecture and workshop in 2011”

The SID degree programme has an active and committed steering group, the SID Advisory Board, which diversely represents companies of Helsinki metropolitan area and high-end service research. SID Advisory Board was assembled six months before the first SID students began their studies. SID Advisory Board has convened four times in each year. In its meetings of several hours, the Board has applied diverse methods for processing the needs arising from the SID competence base. In addition, the members have commented on the curriculum, participated as evaluators in the entrance examinations, taken part in the launch of the SID programme at the Design Museum, in the planning and implementation of the annual SID seminars, and in the SID teaching as visiting lecturers.

To conclude this short story, I add here some direct quotes from the students’ feedback forms. In the near future, you will be able to read more students’ stories in this blog that show what the students actually do and what they learn in the SID programme.

  • “It’s really nice to see that the courses are so related to the work I am doing. The courses prepare me for the different tasks within my job. I have been especially enjoying meeting a diversity of people with different backgrounds. I think we have a good group of students. Especially the group works and visiting lecturers’ sessions have been interesting.”
  • “Doing course tasks in groups seems to be working out well. It makes you push a bit harder and it is nice that people with different background can share their views. You get more committed when you have to give something to others as well, not just for you or for the grade”.
  • “Tutoring is good at Laurea, all teachers are keen in helping and guiding, some of them may have very busy agendas but they are always willing to schedule an appointment”
  • “Course Schedule was made clear. -Assignments were prepared and published in advance. -Assessment criteria were made clear from the early beginning. -Literatures and related documents were made available on Optima”.
  • “I am really thankful that deadlines and guidelines for the thesis developing process have been set. Thesis workshop was an excellent way to understand the following actions to be taken.”
  • “I find that workshops, team work and activities in class really encourage better understanding of the topics!”
  • “The course tasks as well as the course contents so far have been relatively interesting and well-planned. The selection of students for the program has been successful. Good personas combined with different backgrounds make it a group that seems to enjoy studying together.”