The value of consciouslydesigned servicesIain Barker | @iain_barkerService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
The value of consciouslydesigned servicesIain Barker | @iain_barkerService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
1]                                     OUR                                   IMPACTService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
1]                                     OUR            2]                                   IMPACT        INVOLVE          ...
1]                                     OUR                  2]                                   IMPACT              INVOL...
No photos ofpost-it notesNo photos ofworkshops Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
Conversationswith...                                      Faruk Avdi                                             Nick Bowm...
Service design?Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
The best of times            (and the worst of times)Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
The best of times            (and the worst of times)Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
“40% of UKhigh streetshops couldclose within 5years”SourceDeloitte Researchhttp://bit.ly/GEjwW9 Service Design Australia 2...
“we need to use this time now,            as painful as it is, to take the hit            to profits so we ensure we are   ...
Cross channel experiences            Customer centricityService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
Mostbusinesseslook like this Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
To changethe customerexperiencewe need to                                   experiences                             touchp...
Can we stop at the            design of services?Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
TEST &   TIME FOR                                                                 LEARN               SEEINGTHINKING      ...
Podularorganisations Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
“Use your best judgement in all            situations. There will be no other            rules”            from Nordstrom’...
“One doesn’t have to be a            Marxist to be awed by the scales            and success of early-20th            Cent...
AdaptWhy successalways startswith failureTim Harford Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
Nurture those            withinService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
No photos ofpost-it notesNo photos ofworkshops Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
Be confident of our            processService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
Fail fast            Learn fastService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
Shine a lighton duct tapesolutions Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
Forrester’s Customer            Experience Index            winner for 2011 was?Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
Borders Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
An example ofstaff duct tape Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
We pay them                       =               They take what we                  give themService Design Australia 201...
Finally, a case            studyService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
A successstory...                                             59%                                             of all NSW s...
And that’s pretty            much itService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
No photos ofpost-it notesNo photos ofworkshops Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
A successstory...                                             59%                                             of all NSW s...
Thanks            Finally, a case            studyBarker | Meld Studios                    Iain            Finally, a case...
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Value of consciously design services

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Talk given by Iain Barker at Service Design Australia 2012 - 4th May 2012.

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  • \n
  • Hi I am Iain, one of the principals of Meld Studios. We are based in Sydney and have clients all around Australia and overseas.\nWe have been around as Meld Studios for 2.5 years offering a range of strategic design and research services for clients including Qantas, BT Financial Group, and the NSW Department of Education and Communities.\nI have been working in what I’d broadly refer to as customer-centred design for well over 15 years. Originally from the UK, I have been in Australia since 2004.\nNow I won’t keep on going with the background, I know I’m standing between you and drinks, but I think it is always useful to know a bit about who the heck it is standing up in front of you.\n[warning]\nJust before I get into things, a word of warning is advisable. Last time I gave a presentation in front of an audience of this kind of size, I got to the final slide and there was an earthquake. I am not superstitious, but if the same thing happens again, I will definitely hang up my presenting boots. You have been warned.\n[pause]\nMy talk today is “The value of consciously designed services”.\nBy that I mean the value that considered design brings to organisations, their customers and also their staff.\nI set out on the journey of pulling this presentation together with 3 objectives in mind.\n\n
  • So I’ve changed the title to “Evidence of Service Design”. It feels a bit more descriptive of what I have to say.\n[pause]\nI set out on the journey of pulling this presentation together with 3 objectives in mind.\n\n
  • I wanted to collect information about the impact that the conscious design of services is having and the value we bring to businesses, their staff and their customers. And also to identify some of the challenges we face.\nToday we’ve heard many stories about the value we bring, but I don’t think we’ve heard many that talk about the value in terms that organisations that aren’t already making conscious use of design approaches will necessarily stand up and take notice of.\nI suppose I am talking about value in some quantifiable way. Ideally I was looking for some numbers or metrics.\nYou see I’ve spent a bit of time selling what we do and trying to convert new businesses and it can be a hard slog to get them onboard. I know the value of numbers supported by compelling design stories.\n
  • 2) Secondly, I didn’t want to rely exclusively on my own opinions or those of the people I work directly with. I wanted to take this an an opportunity to reach out to people I admired and respected and to ask them about their thoughts.\n
  • 3) And thirdly, I wanted to try to present all this without using any pictures that look like this, or this.\n
  • Not that I dislike post-it notes collaborative workshops, they are essential parts of how we work - and I mean absolutely no disrespect to those that have shown these types of pictures today, but personally I will admit to being a little tired of seeing variations of the same process pictures everywhere I go. \nI didn’t want to retell the process story to the already converted, I wanted to find some stories that would turn the heads of the non-converts. So I could share them with you and we could all go out there and spread the word.\nI was looking for my Billy Graham moment.\n\nSo I started off by reaching out to a range of people from Australia and overseas. Of which I had conversations with:\n\n
  • Faruk Avdi who is here today and whom I worked with when he was managing a team at the NSW DEC, Nick Bowmast who I’ve worked with on/off over the last 5 years, Mike Culverwell of Engine Service Design in the UK, Bas from STBY in Holland and the UK, Dan Szuc of Apogee and the UPA (and erstwhile of Melbourne), Christophe Tallec head of the SDN chapter in France, and Opher Yom-Tov who manages the CCD team at BT Financial Group,. \nWhat follows are my reflections inspired by these conversations around the topic of the value of consciously designed services.\n A bit of a spoiler alert, but just to avoid any major disappointment, I didn’t exactly find what I was looking for, but I think what I found is still interesting to report.\n
  • The first thing I’ll say is an aside, but a not an unimportant one. \nService design isn’t a phrase that many of the people I spoke to said they use very much. I don’t think that will come as a big surprise to many of you here today. \nThis is not necessarily to say that we’re all in the wrong place or congregating under the wrong banner. Just that this appears to be more of a practitioner phrase rather than something that is used prevalently by others. \nEven Mike Culverwell, the Business development director of Engine Service Design, said to me:\n“The companies that engage with us don’t refer to service design - they’re far more likely to talk about customer centred design”\n\n
  • Irrespective of what you call it, everyone I spoke to agreed there are good times to be supplying strategic design services. Not that it is all plain sailing. As many told me, and as we’ve experienced ourselves, you can never really be sure an engagement will actually go ahead until the ink is dried - we’ve been caught out at least twice by sizeable projects that got put on hold at the very last minute and then disappeared completely because funding got pulled.\nI somewhat expected those working in Europe to have tales of hardship and impoverishment to tell, but peculiarly it seems that because of the precarious cultural, political and financial times we’re living in - and factors such as globablisation and commoditisation - strategic use of design is actually on the upturn. \nMike Culverwell told me...\n“The past 6 months is the busiest we’ve ever been...it has just exploded” \nAnd the experiences of those I spoke to in Australia was very similar.\nWherever in the world you are you find banks, energy suppliers, retailers, airlines, telecommunications companies, education suppliers, healthcare suppliers in fact you name it all types of businesses turning to the more strategic use of design to help inform or provide answers to their problems.\n\n
  • Many companies are building significant in-house design competencies with very experienced individuals, while others are making significant investment in bringing consultancies in for elongated projects - and many are actually doing both. In fact our biggest clients are those with sizeable in-house design teams.\nAnd organisations that for years have not only succeeded, but become very fat cats indeed through driving organisational efficiencies, serving the short-term gods of dividends and shareholders\nAnd generally not making much or any consicous use of design services in a strategic way are realising that they need to think and do things differently.\nThere is a realisation in many organisations that they need to look beyond traditional business approaches to help them through these turbulent times, to help them reinvent significant aspects of the way they work to ensure they continue to be relevant.\nBut the irony is that many established businesses have spent the last few decades cutting back on service delivery or outsourcing it completely. \n
  • Around the world the retail sector is suffering particularly badly. In the UK a recent report by Deloitte predicts that up to 40% of high street shops could close within the next five years.\n\n
  • And here we have giants such as David Jones announcing a need for significant re-investment in customer service and the need to “use this time now, as painful as it is, to take the hit to profits, so we ensure we are relevant in the future”.\nThis need for reinvention is not restricted to the retail sector. Across the board organisations that have obliviously operated in business centric monopolies or duopolies are realising they need to think differently to continue to be relevant. They need to adapt or die. And this is where we come in.\n
  • Phrases such as “consistent cross-channel experiences” and “customer-centricity” are commonplace within many organisations these days. \nAlthough easy for an organisation to talk about these things, they are often very difficult for an organisation to do anything meaningful about.\nConsider this for a moment. Most organisations look something like this:\n
  • They are split into business units or divisions that run in a highly silo-ed and frankly often quite disfunctional ways - certainly when viewed by anyone with a customer-centric viewpoint. Each silo pulling in different directions often with different visions, different mission statements, different KPIs and different working practices.\nThe disfunctional nature of an organisation’s customer experience is often merely a reflection of the disjointed, disfunctional nature of the organisation. The service delivered to customers reflects the organisations structure and culture.\n\n
  • But why am I bringing this up at a service design conference you may ask.\nWell although it is easy to talk about cross-channel experience strategies and greater customer-centricity, it is very difficult for most organisations to do these things in a meaningful way without first changing the underlying organisational structure and culture. \nThe silos often need to be addressed. Sometimes it feels like we have to play the role of marriage councillor, helping each part of the organisation have their say, ensuring they listen to the opinions of other silos and encouraging them to come to some happy resolution for the sake of the kids. \n[slide]\nIt is often easy - too easy - to articulate what should be done to resolve the organisations service problems. But I fear that customer-centric motherhood missives aren’t actionable enough for many organisations to know what to do next.\nWe need to give them are action plans for how to operationalise the things we recommend.\n\n
  • In nearly every conversation I had the topic of organisational design came up.\nThe consensus was that organisational design in one shape or form is often an implicit by-product of making the kinds of changes we recommend actually happen. You often can’t make meaningful change to the delivery of a service without at the same time making some fundamental changes to the organisation delivering the service.\nNow this doesn’t mean that we’re explicitly asked to do organisational design - or necessarily skilled to do take on this role in isolation, but by designing a service we can reflect and influence what the organisation needs to be doing and changing to operationalise the service.\nIn my experience, this is often one of main reasons why service design projects of any note can take such a long time to implement and can end up requiring such senior buy-in. Articulating the design solution for the service isn’t the toughest bit, understanding the organisational context and breaking the solution down into coherent, achievable, actionable chunks is often far, far harder and take far, far longer. \nAnd even then you’ve got to wait further years until you can see the value that the service brings.\nHaving spent time 4 years working on/off for the NSW DEC as an external consultant - primarily working on the same project - believe me I understand the issues, difficulties and opportunities that present themselves while operationalising a new service. And I can attest that there is much design done and needed well after us design types traditionally bow out of involvement in projects.\nInvolvement during the long tail of implementation makes a huge difference to your ability to influence the outcome and leaves you open to opportunities.\nHence I found it very interesting to talk to those with experience of leading in-house design teams. Opher Yom-Tov pointed to many examples of the evidence that design is having at BT Financial Group. What was interesting was that so many of them were internal organisational things:\n
  • He spoke of the growing appreciation of the importance of time for reflection for thinking rather than doing throughout the organisation.\nA growing sophistication in problem definition rather than a rush to get started - a realisation that there is a need to solve the right problems rather than rushing to execute\nAn increased level of customer interaction and customer exposure from those working in product teams\nProduct teams asking for CCD involvement rather than it being foistered upon them or heavily sold in\nA greater interest in testing and learning and not launching new products and services blind.\nI was particularly interested to hear Opher describe the growing sense of the value in the insights afforded the company from customer-centred activities. Hence why, much to my frustration, I am unable to tell you some really good stories about some of the work we’ve been doing there and the impact it is having on customers, staff and their bottom line. Hopefully we’ll be able to talk about it soon.\nAnd finally, he spoke of the value that design-led projects are providing back to the organisation. They are closing the loop. But sadly I didn’t get the fabled metrics I was hoping for.\n
  • My conversation with Faruk Avdi touched on a number of similar themes and emphasized a few other points:\nThe importance of getting endorsement and buy-in from senior stakeholders to create space for service design initiatives to flourish\nAnd the importance of delivering something meaningful within the windows of opportunity presented to design teams. \nThe conversation with Faruk also reflected on the topic of different organisational structures and working models.\nThe topic of pods as an organising approach for businesses and for teams led me towards a number of interesting papers.\nThe notion of pods is to arrange people into the small units that each deliver a complete service to customers. This forces each unit to remain customer focussed and provides then with the flexibility and autonomy to make their own decisions.\nI was pleasantly surprised to find so many examples of highly successful businesses that are also highly customer-centred organisations using pods as an organising factor behind their successful service delivery. \nThere are many great examples of this, I’ll focus briefly on two:\nThe American retailer Nordstrom who are known for their excellent service, have a single principle that they communicate to all of their staff:\n\n
  • “Use your best judgement in all situations. There will be no other rules”\nCompare this with a quote from Gary Hamel reflecting on how most big businesses treat their staff:\n
  • “One doesn’t have to be a Marxist to be awed by the scales and success of early-20th-century efforts to transform strong willed human beings into docile employees”\nBy giving their shop staff freedom and flexibility to use their own judgement to decide how best to deliver great service to customers, Nordstrom’s staff take responsibility and use their initiative, they break common conventions in retail outlets, such as following the customer and working across departments, and insodoing have ended up being very, very successful. \nAlthough staff have a basic salary akin to the minimum wage, they can take home a 6 figure salary and the Nordstrom itself is a highly valued Fortune 500 company.\nThis movement of decision making from the corporate office to where services are delivered is a fundamental shift behind many newly successful organisations.\n
  • In Adapt which by the way if you haven’t read you probably should, Tim Harford cites the employee-led management structure employed by highly successful industry trend-bucking companies such as Whole Foods Market where employees decide what is stocked on which shelves and whether to offer deals. \nOverly rigorous processes driven from the centre of the organisation out are often the enemy of meaningful customer experiences. Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it. Surely human delivery is the enemy of efficient processes, hence why so many organisations try to take the human out of service delivery altogether (press 1 for a very long queue and 2 for eternal on hold music).\nThey do this either by actually replacing people with machines, or by so tightly documenting their processes that they are asked to operate as little more than second-rate machines.\nAnd they wonder why their front line staff don’t deliver great service - many customer interactions fall between the gaps in highly procedural environments. You need to create motivated, empowered front line staff to respond to variations customer’s needs. \nThe drive for consistent processes can leave services feeling sterile and those involved in the delivery of the service neutered. Exceptional service delivery requires us to empower those that deliver services by providing them with tools, decision frameworks and guidelines from which their human traits, such as warmth, engagement and empathy, can shine.\nAnd operationalising all of that requires a fundamental shift in how many businesses work. Easy eh! Maybe not, but fun trying!\nAnd so it is that I make the point that as service designers we need to gear ourselves up for the challenge of ensuring the services we design can be brought to life - and this can mean involvement in organisational design and implementation.\n
  • Nearly everyone I spoke to talked about the difficulty of finding people to work on these types of projects. People that can empathise with customers and staff and represent their needs to the organisation, and yet have the strong veins of pragmatism and imagination required to conjure a solution that works smoothly for staff, delivers value to the business and delights customers.\nMany of the people I spoke to talked about the importance of nurturing those inside organisations with the strongest empathy with customers and supporting those that own the ongoing service delivery. Mike Culverwell used the expression \n“helping the droplets of customer interest form into a puddle”.\nThis can be difficult for some organisations because either they don’t own their channels to market, or because for years they have looked down upon those that interact directly with customers, they are often lowly-paid, not consulted and thus highly disengaged from the “clever” folk who make the strategic decisions.\nAt Meld we often begin our engagements with multi-disciplinary workshops where we bring together stakeholders and the staff involved in delivering service to customers. These can often be quite eye-opening sessions.\nWe typically also continue our work by working on site with client teams thus exposing our working practices, collaborating with internal multi-disciplinary teams and our sharing working processes. We believe that successful outcomes on large scale projects comes from “T-shaped” teams, not just “T-shaped” people.\nWe view the journey as an equally important part of our work as the destination. \nI realise I am getting dangerously close \n
  • to this and this here. [pictures]\n\n
  • So I will back away from this now, but point made.\nIn nearly every conversation I had there was a buoyancy, a confidence, a sense that the wider community is finally listening to what we’re saying and that we’re spending less time educating clients, or selling our work and more time actually doing the type of work we most enjoy.\nThis goes hand in hand with a growing sense of confidence in our processes and our ability to deliver meaningful changes for organisations. \nI would be lying to you if I didn’t admit to moments of self doubt on my way to a roomful of business types armed only with hand-drawn sketches and insights from customer research. But it ends up nearly always being overwhelmingly positive.\nBas from STBY said to me:\n“Our processes are effective, but not efficient. We get lost, go down cul de sacs. We need people to hang on in there and trust the process”\nHis comments put me in mind of an anecdote by Tim Brown of IDEO in Design for Change. He talks about the experience of collaborative working for the first time with a senior, but very business-minded individual, who he overhears at the end of the day saying “these people have no process”.\nSomehow they cajoled her into staying with the program and within a few days she was an advocate.\nI suppose there is an insight here - when people experience a service design project for themselves they see the value that the inclusive, iterative process brings fairly quickly, I am just not convinced that all businesses are ready to take the leap of faith to begin the journey without belief in the value of the journey.\n\n
  • On this issue of perception of what we do, we need to be careful of how our iterative approach is interpreted.\nI have long been a fan of the notion of failing fast, but failing fast or slowly isn’t necessarily something that business people look upon fondly.\nSteve was presenting interim results from some testing of new service concepts to some senior stakeholders recently. One of them said to him \n“It has been a long time since someone has so openly presented a failure to me”\nbut quick as a flash Steve responded by saying what we had done was learn something. We hadn’t failed fast - we had learned fast and we now able to do something better because of what we’d learned.\nAlthough subtle, I think it is important for all working in this field and interacting with business folk to be sensitive to our use of language.\n
  • And finally while I’m here, I’ll briefly mention an elephant that is frequently in the room and one which can rile passionate discourse. Should service designers be designers, or people who facilitate the design process?\nThe overwhelming majority of those I spoke to are designers, so it will come as no surprise to report that most saw clear benefits from service design initiatives being led by designers who would use the input from others to inform their thinking, but ultimately they would be responsible for the definition of the solution. \nPersonally I feel the value of a strong shared vision is the most important thing. Individuals need to feel ownership of the solution and understand the implications for them.\nUltimately someone has to take responsibility for articulation of a consistent and compelling solution - and I too would rather that not be a committee decision - I have seen things get watered down too many times.\nDon’t get me wrong, what I am espousing is far from the genius designer model, but I do believe that ultimately a service designer should form an opinion and be able to stand up and justify it, rather than defer to the opinions of others.\n
  • One of the biggest challenges we have is in helping organisations realise that they need to provide the staff involved in delivering service experiences to customers with the tools they need to succeed. There is little point placing customer experience on a pedestal if you give those charged with delivering services to customers with third rate tools.\nThis topic is increasingly a bit of a passion of mine - and one I am not convinced we’ve completely cracked.\nShining a light on the duct tape experiences staff often have to deal with is for me one of the key aspects of service design - and one that often distinguishes us from our slightly simplistic half-brothers who deal exclusively with customer experiences. \nDon’t get me wrong, designing the customers experience is very important, but it is like solving only half of the problem - maybe even less than half of the problem.\nIt is staff who generally deal with the antiquated legacy systems that don’t talk to one another, the band aids on top of the workarounds that have been the way things are done for so long that they can no longer even see how ridiculous their processes are.\nThese situations are often reliant on senior, highly skilled, often underpaid, certainly undervalued individuals, who perform heroics on a daily basis - going above and beyond because they understand the value in delivering a great experience to customers and not externalising the crap they have to deal with.\nAnd these are often the first individuals to get it in the neck if a customer does end up experiencing a less than exceptional experience.\nAnd these situations can occur even where organisations say they are obsessed with delivering great customer experiences. Customer obsession doesn’t actually tell you how sustainable a business is - what’s really going on under the hood - just how good your staff are at covering the cracks and not exposing customers to what they have to deal with.\n\n
  • I was at the Service Design Network conference in San Francisco late last year. At the conference there was a presentation from Forrester at which they presented their 2011 Customer Experience Index ratings. Basically Forrester’s take on who provides the best customer experience based on surveying customers.\nDoes anyone know who won it in 2011?\nAccording to Forresters 2011 survey the best customer experience was delivered by...drum roll\n\n
  • [BORDERS]\nNow as most of you will know Borders went out of business in 2011 - actually around about the same time as Forresters were annointing them the best customer experience.\nI know the book industry is changing, difficult times, blah, blah, blah, the Amazon effect, but I ask, what good is it delivering an exceptional customer experiences if you’ve not got a sustainable business model and/or back of house processes.\nAs service designers we can’t be complicit in focussing exclusively on customer experiences, we must balance it with the experiences of staff and the profitability of the organisation.\n\n\n
  • In the past year I have twice witnessed staff being exposed to the worst kind of duct tape conceivable. Coincidentally both within call centre type environments.\nIn both instances they were the oil making sure the engine still revolved, but few people outside their teams ever stopped to look and understand the tools that they used.\nI observed a call centre staff member use 8 different tools in preparation for an outbound call to a customer. During the call he hand wrote notes on a piece of paper because he felt it caused the customer too many delays if tried he enter the information into the various systems he had to deal with while he was talking the customer, and after the call he had to write up the notes and if the call led to a sale, process the order. \nEach time he did this it took in excess of an hour. \nThe amount of double typing was extreme - and hence the potential for the introduction of errors also significant.\nAt the end of my time observing his work I was about to bid my leave when he told me I should stay to see how his colleagues do it “we all work completely differently he told me” with a maniacal snigger almost approaching glee.\nNot only were they jumping through hoops to deal with this crazy set of systems, but each member of the team had evolved their own way of duct taping the solution together. \nAfter another hour I realised that at least 50% of his colleagues processes were completely different and I realised I was in for a long day.\nNow I don’t want to glib and simplistic and suggest that these type of problems are in any way simple or cheap to solve. In my experience they explicitly aren’t.\nCertainly the simplest solution is to walk quietly away thinking rather you than I. But if we do so, if we enable these people to continue to furiously tread water are we really doing the job of end-to-end service design?\nI think not. As service designers we should be in this for them to.\nNow the truth is the solution to these type of problems often comes down to money. Or to put it more accurately, the lack of a solution to these types of problems often comes down to money.\n\n
  • The simple equation most companies come to is:\nWe pay them so they can just get on with it.\nOr \nThese problems are too expensive to solve just now.\nNow the problem is that these issues are often only tackled once every twenty years or so - and when they do they have such a terrifically high dollar figure associated with them that organisations go running kicking and screaming to the biggest systems integration company they can find to help resolve the problem.\nWe have twice in the last 18 months come within a hair’s breadth of winning these types of projects, but in both cases the organisations ended up deciding that instead of using a service design company to help them understand what their staff and customers actually need, they will instead engage a systems integrator to implement an off-the-shelf solution and then train the heck out of their staff.\nWe (and by this I mean you as well) need to get better at holding a mirror up to the organisations we work with and making them see that they are in danger of simply repeating the processes and cycles they have always had - same solution different colour.\nAnd we have the tools to do it. In my discussions with Opher from BT I was ecstatic to hear him discuss how the involvement of his team and the value that design led initiatives have been seen to have at BT has been fundamental in obtaining multi-million dollar funding for a design-led transformation project within the bank. \nThis is exactly the type of scale of impact we should be having within organisations.\n
  • So I want to finish up with a story from my own archive which is an example of the kind of story I expected to hear more of during the conversations I had. \nOver a four year period starting in 2007 I worked on and off on a program of work with Faruk Avdi at the NSW Department of Education and Communitities.\nThe full story would take far longer than I have today, so I’ll give you the brief version.\nI was initially engaged to lead the research and design of a new service to enable public schools in NSW to create and maintain highly professional school websites that both reflected their individuality and made use of the best aspects of being part of a 2,500 strong group of schools supported by central resources.\nThe objective was to create a service that staff in schools could use without any form of training, and could do without significant investment of their time and effort.\nAnd also to define the central team and processes required to manage the service.\nPrior to my involvement Faruk had already been on quite a journey to obtain initial funding for the program and to conduct a small scale pilot of the service.\nAlthough not entirely without issue, the pilot proved the interest schools had in the idea of the service, and this together with a compelling business case from Faruk, obtained funding for the journey proper to begin.\nFundamental to the way the project was set up was the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the problem space through visits to schools in NSW, including some extensive road trips which gave us concentrated time to chew over the needs of customers and begin to create concepts for the service. \nI want to take a moment to talk about one of the eureka moments we had after many days on the road. As was our usual practice, Faruk, James Hunter and myself would spend the early part of the evening chewing over the things we’d discovered during the day.\nBoth Faruk and I remember one particular such evening standing out above all others. We were sitting on the verandah of our hotel in Polkobin in the Hunter Valley. Over the previous weeks we’d been hearing of schools with already established websites who didn’t want to take temporary hit to the quality of their website if they moved over to the new service.\nWe had spent a lot of time discussing and sketching ideas for how to satisfy the complex needs of this sizeable audience, but were all seriously concerned at the size of the design challenge facing us to do that successfully while meeting the supposedly unmoveable deadline when our funding ran out.\nI can’t remember exactly who said it, but one of us mentioned the idea that instead of designing a service for those who already have a website, we should design the service for those that didn’t have a website. A much smaller potential audience, but one with much lower requirements and expectations.\nOver the next few days we got people to evaluate which of the 2,500 schools in NSW had up-to-date websites, which had websites but had no obvious signs of being up to date, and which had no website.\nAlthough the number without a site was only about a quarter, it was within the project target for uptake of the service within the first year of the service. Provided we could deliver what this audience needed and could convince them to pay, this was a paid service, we had potentially just bought ourselves a lot more time for the design of the more complex requirements.\nDespite many twists and turns during the implementation phase, the project launched in 2009 and in March 2010 was awarded the Australian Federal Government eGovernment Award for service delivery. \nIn 2011 I was asked back to the NSW DEC to conduct a qualitative and quantitative audit of the service and to make design recommendations for what could be done in the future.\nI am very pleased to be able to share with you some of the figures with you and thankful to the NSW DEC for allowing me to do so.\n
  • As of May 2011:\n59% of all NSW schools had signed up for SWS - I am told this figure is now over 75%\nIn total the home pages of the sites had 436,318 visits in the month of May 2011 - and I am told the monthly figure is now closer to 750,000\nOf the schools that signed up for the service, there is a 99% customer retention rate\nAnd 91% of the people that used the bespoke editing system felt it met or exceeded their expectations\nIn a government environment where IT-led initiatives are common-place and they frequently result in worse kind of customer experience imagineable. This is an example of what a design-led initiative can deliver.\nFrequently performing a precarious balancing act between budgets, organisational opposition and a deep understanding of what customers really needed, the project was an immersion into the challenges of service design and what it takes to enable an organisation to implement a service.\nI was but a bit part player in this, and would suggest you talk to Faruk who is here today if you’re interested to hear more about this story.\n
  • As for me, that is about it. Thankfully no earthquakes, but maybe a few things for you to chew on.\nSo did I actually find evidence of the value of consciously designed services? Well certainly all those I spoke with are professionally occupied, proving there is a strong demand for those with our skills, but I kind of knew that going in.\nI also found lots of indicators that organisations are using design in more strategic ways and lots of indicators of more senior engagement with design-led projects.\nBut although I heard lots of allusion to the value design-led initiatives bring to organisations, I didn’t actually receive much tangible evidence of the value our involvement directly brings to customers, staff and the business. \nMaybe I was being fantastically naive to assume companies would share this information. Perhaps the most compelling stories generally stay within companies. I certainly get the sense that few organisations are comfortable with directly associating tangible success with design-led engagements.\nMaybe this shouldn’t be a surprise, afterall if you believed (as I hope we all do) in the beneficial powers of what we do, then maybe you wouldn’t want your competitors knowing about your secret sauce and obtaining snippets of commerically valued insights.\nBut given the often long tail between our work being performed and the business receiving the full value from it, I can’t help thinking that nearly all of us, even those in in-house situations, would benefit from a greater pool of shared success stories to draw from.\nConvincing people to trust our process is always easier if they have a tangible sense of the value they will receive.\nEvidence of service design - yes. Could there be better, more tangible evidence of the value we bring - I think so.\nIn my opinion, to avoid this trend in the more strategic use of design being more than a passing fad - we need to make sure we capture evidence of the value we bring wherever we can.\nI apologise if anyone feels slightly miss-sold between the expectation set of my talk and the reality, but it points to me the need to pull together more compelling quantifiable metrics of the value we bring - connected with the design process story. \nNow maybe it is just those I spoke to, but unless someone can convince me otherwise or point me towards it, I have half a mind to set up evidence of service design dot com or something similar and put out an open invite for anyone to contribute.\nGive me your card afterwards if you’re interested in contributing something.\nYou know what, I may even allow\n\n
  • pictures like this, provided they are joined by \n\n
  • numbers like this\n
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  • Value of consciously design services

    1. 1. The value of consciouslydesigned servicesIain Barker | @iain_barkerService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    2. 2. The value of consciouslydesigned servicesIain Barker | @iain_barkerService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    3. 3. 1] OUR IMPACTService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    4. 4. 1] OUR 2] IMPACT INVOLVE OTHERSService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    5. 5. 1] OUR 2] IMPACT INVOLVE OTHERS 3] AVOID...Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    6. 6. No photos ofpost-it notesNo photos ofworkshops Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    7. 7. Conversationswith... Faruk Avdi Nick Bowmast Mike Culverwell Bas Raijmakers Dan Szuc Christophe Tallec Opher Yom-Tov Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    8. 8. Service design?Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    9. 9. The best of times (and the worst of times)Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    10. 10. The best of times (and the worst of times)Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    11. 11. “40% of UKhigh streetshops couldclose within 5years”SourceDeloitte Researchhttp://bit.ly/GEjwW9 Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    12. 12. “we need to use this time now, as painful as it is, to take the hit to profits so we ensure we are relevant in the future” Paul Zahra, CEO, David Jones http://bit.ly/IyKNwyService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    13. 13. Cross channel experiences Customer centricityService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    14. 14. Mostbusinesseslook like this Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    15. 15. To changethe customerexperiencewe need to experiences touchpoints channels process systemschange the What the customer takes away from the interaction(s) Key moments in the interaction between organisation and customer Medium with which the organisation communicates with their customers Ways of working. The policies that guide how the business is run Technology and infrastructure that a company relies upon to operateorganisation interactions How and where the organisation and the customer meet external internal Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    16. 16. Can we stop at the design of services?Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    17. 17. TEST & TIME FOR LEARN SEEINGTHINKING BUSINESS INTERACTION W/ VALUE CUSTOMERS RECOGNITION IN VALUE OF SOPHISTICATION IN AN INSIGHT PROBLEM REQUESTS FOR DEFINITION CCD Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    18. 18. Podularorganisations Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    19. 19. “Use your best judgement in all situations. There will be no other rules” from Nordstrom’s employee handbookService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    20. 20. “One doesn’t have to be a Marxist to be awed by the scales and success of early-20th Century efforts to transform strong willed human beings into docile employees” Gary Hamel, The future of managementService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    21. 21. AdaptWhy successalways startswith failureTim Harford Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    22. 22. Nurture those withinService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    23. 23. No photos ofpost-it notesNo photos ofworkshops Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    24. 24. Be confident of our processService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    25. 25. Fail fast Learn fastService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    26. 26. Shine a lighton duct tapesolutions Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    27. 27. Forrester’s Customer Experience Index winner for 2011 was?Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    28. 28. Borders Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    29. 29. An example ofstaff duct tape Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    30. 30. We pay them = They take what we give themService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    31. 31. Finally, a case studyService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    32. 32. A successstory... 59% of all NSW schools signed up to the paid for service 430k PER MONTH Number of home page visits across all sites 99% Customer retention rate through the first two years of the service Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    33. 33. And that’s pretty much itService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    34. 34. No photos ofpost-it notesNo photos ofworkshops Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    35. 35. A successstory... 59% of all NSW schools signed up to the paid for service 430k PER MONTH Number of home page visits across all sites 99% Customer retention rate through the first two years of the service Service Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne
    36. 36. Thanks Finally, a case studyBarker | Meld Studios Iain Finally, a case @iain_barker | iain@meldstudios.com.au studyService Design Australia 2012 - Melbourne

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