Service Design Thinking: Thanks to the University of Auckland Business School for the shout out


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Updated: In collaboration with the University of Auckland Business School, get 10% off the course fees for Service Design Thinking at checkout by using this code before the end of 2018: GRAEME10

I blogged recently about the Service Design Thinking course I did through the University of Auckland’s Business School and Executive Education programme.

It was a great two-day programme and I learned a lot. They’ve featured my blog on their LinkedIn Showcase page. Thanks, team…!

For easy and quick reference, here are all the links to the seven posts I’ve written so far on Service Design Thinking.

Introduction

Some Basic Service Design Tools

Got any Service Design Thinking tips or tools? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

What are some easy-to-use Service Design Tools…? Part 3 – Customer Journey Maps


Customer Journey Map.001

Updated: In collaboration with the University of Auckland Business School, get 10% off the course fees for Service Design Thinking at checkout by using this code before the end of 2018: GRAEME10

Customer journey maps are another simple but powerful tool from the Service Design toolkit.

These sit nicely with the other tools I’ve been looking at including Stakeholder maps and using Personas.

The idea is that you map out in a highly visual way the experience of a person (or persona) over time. You can do this for different purposes. Some of these might include:

  • Collecting real-life stories from users. In my case, this might include learners or tutors.
  • Understanding how services work – don’t work as the case may be. A journey map might help you identify pain points and roadblocks or potential inefficiencies that you want to target.
  •  Envisioning future services.

All you need really is a bunch of sticky notes and a decent wall space. I like the style below where you also map the emotional ups and downs of the user journey as well.

I haven’t used this one yet, but I’ve been thinking through how I could use it in the implementation phase of the current project.

Customer Journey Map.002

What are some easy-to-use Service Design Tools…? Part 2 – Using Personas


Persona.001

Updated: In collaboration with the University of Auckland Business School, get 10% off the course fees for Service Design Thinking at checkout by using this code before the end of 2018: GRAEME10

Another easy to use and super helpful tool from the Service Design toolkit is to develop and use personas.

Here’s an alternative definition to the one in the image above from this great website:

Each persona is based on a fictional character whose profile gathers up the features of an existing social group. In this way, the personas assume the attributes of the groups they represent: from their social and demographic characteristics to their own needs, desires, habits and cultural backgrounds.

Personas can be assumption-based or research-based. And sometimes one leads to the other.

For my project, I needed to develop personas that were composites of different kinds of tutors, educators and other support personnel working in the foundation education sector.

My process for this evolved over time and I would modify it based on each group I worked with. But the basic idea was this:

  1. Get a group of tutors together who share common attributes. An example might be that they all work in an ESOL context with refugees and migrants, or that they work with Māori learners in a particular special character context.
  2. Talk about my project in a way that makes sense to the participants. Often this involved telling the story of the most recent personas created from a previous group. And then drawing out differences or similarities to their own contexts.
  3. Set up a task with two or three key questions. In this way, they were able to describe the kind of work they do and evidence that they might bring to the table.
  4. Facilitate a discussion around the emerging categories. Usually, I’m finetuning the categories with each group. By the end, I had a good idea about what categories would encompass all of the different kinds of responses I was likely to encounter.

My questions were specific to the context of my project. For example, we were looking to create a draft professional standards framework for educators and others. This meant that there were three key questions to ask.

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Responses didn’t give me the broad categories I needed for the framework. Rather, the responses allowed me to play with different categories and see how the responses fit.

The result: Now I have a selection of personas that I can use to tell stories about different kinds of tutors who may be affected by the new service that we are looking to design. This cuts across a lot of technical jargon and needless education-speak.

And that makes it easier for me to pitch the work to others when I need to in a very user-friendly way.

What are some easy-to-use Service Design Tools…? Part 1 – Stakeholder maps


Map 2.001

Updated: In collaboration with the University of Auckland Business School, get 10% off the course fees for Service Design Thinking at checkout by using this code before the end of 2018: GRAEME10

The idea with a stakeholder map is that you can visually represent all of the various groups involved in a service. This might include organisations, staff, experts and others.

I got to this late. So the image above is one that I did retrospectively after I did the Service Design course at Auckland Uni. I’d already made a start on my project but it was still helpful. The context for me is education service provision.

What it made me realise, is that when I encounter difficulties it’s because the network of relationships in my field is complex. No kidding, right?

But this helped me realise that it’s a bit like an ecosystem. Which is a polite way of saying that it’s really like a swamp.

Here’s how I mapped my stakeholders:

  1. I started with my project in the centre.
  2. Then I listed all of the key organisations or types of organisations that I needed to work with or talk to.
  3. Then around the outside, I added other influences.
  4. Finally, I added questions that I needed to think about.

What I haven’t shown on here – that some people like to add – is arrows showing linkages and relationships between organisations and groups.

If I did it would start to look like a crazy wall very quickly.

The way I’m using this now is that if I need to, I can structure discussion or thinking around one or more aspects of what I’ve mapped. And at the same time hopefully not lose sight of the bigger picture (which sometimes has a habit of slipping away when you go down a particular rabbit hole).

Key to acronyms in case you read this far.

  • TEC = Tertiary Education Commission.
  • SME = Subject matter experts.
  • ITP = Institute of Technology and Polytech.
  • PTE = Private Training Establishment.
  • WPL = Workplace literacy.
  • NCLANA = National Centre for Literacy and Numeracy for Adults (Now defunct).
  • ESOL = English for Speakers of Other Languages.
  • ITF = Industry Training Federation.
  • ACE = Adult Community Education.
  • NZCALNE = New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education.
  • NZCATT = New Zealand Certificate in Adult Tertiary Teaching.
  • NZQA = New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
  • PLD = Professional Learning & Development.
  • HEA = Higher Education Academy.

 

What is Service Design Thinking…? Part 4


2018 Tu Maia Workshop IMAGES on Service Design.008.jpeg

Service Design Thinking Guidelines

Updated: In collaboration with the University of Auckland Business School, get 10% off the course fees for Service Design Thinking at checkout by using this code before the end of 2018: GRAEME10

This is part 4 of a follow up on the Service Design Thinking short course I did through the University of Auckland‘s executive education programme.

Above are some service design thinking guidelines drawn from the book I mentioned in the previous post.

I’ve put my own spin on this, but there are a couple of things that the graphic above does not show:

  • One is that the creation and concept design phase includes making mistakes. Sometimes you need the freedom to make these mistakes in order to do the learning you need in order to refine your prototype.
  • The other thing is that the process is not really linear. I’ve dropped in the icon with the circular arrows to suggest this. But I think the reality is quite messy as you flip back and forth across different phases in the design process. More like the squiggle image below.

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What is Service Design Thinking…? Part 3


What is SD doing

What’s a good book or reference on Service Design?

Updated: In collaboration with the University of Auckland Business School, get 10% off the course fees for Service Design Thinking at checkout by using this code before the end of 2018: GRAEME10

This is part 3 of a follow up on the Service Design Thinking short course I did through the University of Auckland‘s executive education programme recently.

As I’ve read a bit more about Service Design and bought a bunch of books, there are a couple that really stand out. This is one of above. You can order through the website but also they have a massive PDF file of practical stuff that they are giving away for free. You have to submit your email to get this.

Here are my notes from the first part of this book looking at some basic principles for service design thinking. And here’s a question to consider, if you’re reading:

  • How do these principles and values align with your own personal, organisational or other kaupapa?

Service Design should be…

  1. Human-centred.
    • Consider the experience of all the people affected by the service. This requires empathy, listening, and relationship.
    • And we need to agree on a common language… it’s the language of the service user.
  2. Collaborative.
    • Stakeholders of various backgrounds and functions should be actively engaged in the service design process.
    • Who are the customer groups, service providers, stakeholders?
    • Who are the customers in education? How do we even define “customer”?
    • A customer is someone who pays. But in service design, a customer is someone who is transformed by the service.
  3. Iterative.
    • Service design is an exploratory, adaptive, and experimental approach, iterating toward implementation.
  4. Sequential.
    • A service should be visualised and orchestrated as a sequence of interrelated actions. The best way to do this is to imagine the service as a movie. It takes place over time and has a rhythm. Some parts are slow. Others are fast. Too slow = bored. Too fast = stressed.
    • Storyboarding can help with this.
    • Consider: Pre-service, service, post service.
  5. Real.
    • Needs should be researched in reality, ideas prototyped in reality, and intangible values evidenced  as physical or digital reality.
    • This includes how to make the intangible tangible. E.g Hotel backstage services.
  6. Holistic.
    • Services should sustainable and address the needs of all stakeholders through the entire service and across the business.
    • Cf Te Whare Tapawha for an example of holistic model from Te Ao Māori.
    • Services are intangible, but they take place in a physical environment, using physical artefacts and [usually] generate some form of physical outcome.
    • Also consider alternative customer journeys, touchpoints, approaches.

Any thoughts…?

What is service design thinking…? Part 2


Why do we need service design thinking?

Updated: In collaboration with the University of Auckland Business School, get 10% off the course fees for Service Design Thinking at checkout by using this code before the end of 2018: GRAEME10

This is part 2 of a follow up on the Service Design Thinking short course I did through the University of Auckland‘s executive education programme.

In Part 1 I talked about what service design is and how a service is different to a product. Here I want to outline some of the reasons why we might need service design thinking.

What’s a good definition for service design?

First, though, I want to look at a definition. There are academic definitions, but here’s a non-academic definition that I prefer.

When you have two coffee shops right next to each other, and each sells the exact same coffee at the exact same price, service design is what makes you walk into one and not the other. (31 Volts Service Design, 2008).

Now substitute swap out coffee shops for education providers. And allow for the fact that “right next to each other” in an internet economy includes online and blended education opportunities.

You get the idea… But see the short video above if you need some further elaboration.

How can service design thinking help me?

Drawing from my workshop notes again, here are some of the reasons why I need to embrace service design methods, tools and techniques. I’m not saying everyone needs to, but here are some of the reasons that stand out for me personally.

Service design thinking tools and methods could help me by:

  1. Giving me the tools I need to increase productivity. This includes my own and others that I work with. Actually, we need to increase our national productivity if we want to compete internationally.
  2. Giving me a competitive edge in a world characterised by increasing change. This applies personally as well as in terms of my organisation.
  3. Allowing me to embrace the increasing rate of change in the worlds of education and business and actually gain some leverage off this in my own work. If you’re about the status quo and business as usual then service design thinking is not for you.
  4. Helping me deal with the negative aspects of an educational culture characterised by “she’ll be right” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
  5. Helping me learn how to recover effectively and quickly from adverse circumstances. This is a tricky one. No one wants to fail. But it has to be a given that in a world characterised by increasing change that we’ll all fail more frequently.