Designing
future
services,
today
Designing services to be relevant
in a changing world
2
Citizens’ expectations of services have risen. The
demands and considerations faced by service
designers would seem like...
3
Service delivery as we knew it has passed into history in
the blink of an eye and we have entered the era where
services...
4
In 1876, the Chief Engineer of the British Post Office,
Sir William Preece was asked about the increasing
use of telepho...
5
Disruptive mediums are often led by service pioneers—
the innovators and early adopters that enable fads to go
mainstrea...
Designing for a
60 second world
Organisations involved with public
service delivery are faced with significant
challenges....
7
WHY? Truly innovative
services come
from understanding
unanticipated issues, rather
than just the issues you’re
already ...
8
To implement a good citizen experience in a commercially viable
way, we need to shift the way we look at services—where ...
9
what the service should look like
Based on the insights generated in step one, new
ideas can be sketched out in the form...
Good companies accept change; great companies
understand how to deliver it. In one recent case study,
a railway company in...
platforms to deliver
Service designers are able to use an ever-increasing array
of platforms with which to deliver change....
‘NYC 311’ is celebrated as a leading example of how to take a vision and
deliver it. New York’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg w...
13
Case study:
Glasgow Digital City
Glasgow City Council is the largest council in Scotland,
serving 600,000 citizens. It ...
14
In conclusion:
A new blueprint for service design
The ways in which people engage and communicate
with their services h...
1515
Why did we write this document?
There has been a major shift in how people interact with the
services they use, and we wan...
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Serco – designing future services today

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People are better informed than ever. With the technology
and platforms available to them, young entrepreneurs
are illustrating remarkable ingenuity in the development
of applications and programs to supply people with
live information. The growth in use of affordable
mobile phones and tablet computers linked to wireless
networks outside the home, and the implications of their
use by ‘Generation Y’ users, is a major difference for
policy makers and service designers that grew up in
different eras with more stable and predictable service
requirements.

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Serco – designing future services today

  1. 1. Designing future services, today Designing services to be relevant in a changing world
  2. 2. 2 Citizens’ expectations of services have risen. The demands and considerations faced by service designers would seem like a fantasy compared with their counterparts in the 1950s, when people regularly accepted without question the services made available to them. This has now been replaced by a market-driven culture in which people have more varied lifestyles and needs. Today’s citizens expect many of the same services from the public sector as the private sector—choice, convenience and the capacity for services to adapt over time to meet changing requirements. People are better informed than ever. With the technology and platforms available to them, young entrepreneurs are illustrating remarkable ingenuity in the development of applications and programs to supply people with live information. The growth in use of affordable mobile phones and tablet computers linked to wireless networks outside the home, and the implications of their use by ‘Generation Y’ users, is a major difference for policy makers and service designers that grew up in different eras with more stable and predictable service requirements. Who would have predicted, twenty years ago, that people would use multiple devices to achieve the same task? Yet 90% of today’s generation use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time, and 98% of people will move between devices on the same day1 . Different technology platforms are picked and dropped like a set of hand tools. Behavioural changes such as this are occurring with increasing pace and can be unpredictable. Keeping up with the speed of change presents many challenges for those employed to plan services and invest in infrastructure. Processes that were introduced ten years ago are not suited to cope with today’s needs and may indeed be irrelevant to most users. The service users of today 1 Oliver Weidlich, The Six C’s of Cross Channel UX, Mobile Experience, 2012 A new blueprint for service design
  3. 3. 3 Service delivery as we knew it has passed into history in the blink of an eye and we have entered the era where services are in a constant state of revolution, with the status quo continuously challenged by technology, live information and citizens’ expectations. Many organisations are catching up, but are they reacting to the change of today or yesterday? Service design is the new frontier where traditional models of service delivery, technology and customer service need to be proactive and not reactive. Services need to mould and adapt to the changing behaviours of the citizens; they need to be flexible, adaptable and accessible to customer needs. Services need to be designed for the future, today. Image by TheeErin on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theeerin/369424730/) 3
  4. 4. 4 In 1876, the Chief Engineer of the British Post Office, Sir William Preece was asked about the increasing use of telephones as a form of communication. Preece responded, “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” Fifty years later, the Post Office introduced the famous red telephone booth, connecting millions of Britons with family, friends and foreigners alike with the dial of a few numbers. The lesson here is that the way in which change occurs can be unpredictable, even for those best placed to predict it. The past century has seen an incredible pace of change in technology and communications. A myriad of channels and options have been used and then disused. The next one hundred years is likely to produce more paradigm shifts and at a quicker pace that would seem possible now. New forms of engagement take little time at all to become global communication mediums, disrupting the status quo and changing the way communities and individuals interact. These revolutionary advances are helping to create a new breed of businesses that challenge every aspect of existing models. These continuously shift the landscape, challenging traditions and providing opportunities for those willing to compete on innovative revenue and cost models. Traditionally, Western multinationals have innovated and developed leading services to sell to the world. However strategic thinkers like Vijay Govindarajan have suggested that the impact of developing nations increasing their capacities to develop new products and services, then selling them across in the opposite direction—so called ‘reverse innovation’—could pose even greater revolutionary change2 . Market-breakers in the East will become market-makers in the West. Technology and communications – accelerating the pace of change 2 Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere, Harvard Business Review Press, 2012. Image: Statista, 2013, with data sourced from McKinsey Global Institute. The rapid rise of social media Time to reach 50 million users worldwide (in years)
  5. 5. 5 Disruptive mediums are often led by service pioneers— the innovators and early adopters that enable fads to go mainstream. These people are typically mobile, highly technologically adept and at the forefront of the innovation curve. Market-breakers and market-makers such as Google and Facebook innovate and deploy new services and models in market at speed. If they are not already doing so, established business leaders should be looking over their shoulders for new and disruptive forms of competition. In the hotel market, Airbnb disrupted the status quo by introducing a product that turns spare rooms into a worldwide bed-and-breakfast chain; privately-owned properties became unique hotel experiences. Since it was launched in 2008, Airbnb has entered 192 countries, processed over 10 million bookings and listed 300,000 properties across 33,000 cities. Airbnb estimates that it has made over 848 million social connections, enabling its owners to refer to the company as more than a service, but a community marketplace. Airbnb succeeded by building a reputation for transparency and trust that allowed customers to feel comfortable about staying in a stranger’s home. It facilitated social connections which prove the notion that people will buy products and services from those they trust. A strong technology base and a good product allowed Airbnb to grow into a company that has changed the way people look at hotel services. Crucially, the company was able to design a blueprint for success by understanding the individual. The company’s CEO, Brian Chesky said: “We start with the perfect experience and then work backward. That’s how we’re going to continue to be successful.” Who is leading the constant revolution? Image: Android: An Exercise in Ship It - Airbnb Engineering. 2013. Available at: http://nerds.airbnb.com/android-2-0/. [Accessed 02 August 2013].
  6. 6. Designing for a 60 second world Organisations involved with public service delivery are faced with significant challenges. Service designers must plan services for 5 –10 year timelines, or longer, and often in the knowledge that these services will not be delivered for a number of years due to infrastructure constraints. Yet the pace of the outside world presents service designers with a critical question: how can we expect these services to remain viable in such a dynamic 60 second world? Recent Serco research suggests that some organisations that deliver crucial services to the public are ill-suited to innovate and improve their offerings to citizens. Aside from constraints relating to policy, infrastructure and finances, a key issue lies in the design stage of these services. There is a lack of confidence in what may be called the ‘traditional service blueprint’—a one dimensional approach to service design that does not take into account future changes in behaviour. Are organisations designing their ICT systems from a user perspective or through the limits of the technologies available to them? For service designers, there is a simple question: are they spending the majority of their time designing a process or a service? If the answer is the former, then something needs to change. Encouragingly, leading organisations are exhibiting a desire to change and reinvent the concept of service design, and a new approach is now emerging. Graphic: What happens online in 60 seconds? Qmee. 2013. Available at: http://blog.qmee.com/ qmee-online-in-60-seconds/. [Accessed 02 August 2013]. What happens online in 60 seconds? 6
  7. 7. 7 WHY? Truly innovative services come from understanding unanticipated issues, rather than just the issues you’re already planning for. WHY? We must challenge ourselves to define a genuinely new approach in order to delight customers and create loyalty to the service. WHY? A design without a plan is no use to anybody, and balancing the two is critical. Remember to make it easy for your employees to embrace change. WHY? Platforms can accelerate the benefits of change—so make sure they are flexible and adaptable for the future. HOW? Get to know what really challenges citizens. Ask difficult questions and listen carefully to the answers. HOW? Re-imagine the service blueprint based on findings. Think: How can our service help people in new ways? HOW? In tandem with design, investigate how your new service blueprint could be seamlessly delivered. Test and tweak. HOW? Use the most suitable platforms to deliver change—but align technology with strategy, commercial drivers, people and processes. A new look at the service design process
  8. 8. 8 To implement a good citizen experience in a commercially viable way, we need to shift the way we look at services—where citizens are viewed as customers, with diverse desires and needs. There is an array of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies that can be applied in order to gain insights about the preferences and motivations of people who use specific services; yet understanding does not always have to be done through expensive market research. The rise of new communication channels like social media gives new opportunities to gain insights into how people feel. Many years ago an unhappy customer may have written a letter of complaint and waited weeks to receive a reply; now people can get their problems resolved much quicker through an online forum or platform such as Facebook or Twitter. Whilst this exposure to new channels and touch points generates new challenges to respond to, it also provides opportunities to gather a wealth of data about what drives and motivates, or detracts and deters citizens. citizens UNDERSTAND 1 2 3 4
  9. 9. 9 what the service should look like Based on the insights generated in step one, new ideas can be sketched out in the form of journey blueprints across various touch points. These blueprints should be used to inform service design; but they are not the answer in themselves. Service design is a multi-faceted continuum of functions informed by various inputs. It is a complex process that takes time, patience and careful consideration of key factors. In a transformation project, the complexity is exacerbated because current delivery considerations often conflict with desired and future needs. Particular conflicts can stall service enhancements; however the intelligent designer should be assured that resolutions are within their power and reassured that reductions in the costs of service justify the difficulties associated with moving to new operating environments. In more complex projects, a clear and unambiguous view of what needs to be undertaken is therefore critical. At right, we set out a helicopter view of the key elements for consideration by service designers. DESIGN 1 2 3 4
  10. 10. Good companies accept change; great companies understand how to deliver it. In one recent case study, a railway company invested to expand their sales channels into mobile phones. One challenge was that the company kept opening new channels without closing any old ones, leading to a significant organisational effort being expounded on ever-increasing channels. The organisation did not consider the implications of delivery during the design process. In tandem with design, we need to understand delivery— balancing the two is critical. Implementation should not negatively impact existing service delivery standards. Plans must be developed to cope with change, including contingencies where necessary. Transition periods must be clearly thought through and account for the adverse effects that change programs inevitably produce. In particular, organisations must look after the people who they depend on to deliver the services. They are, after all, the ones we depend on to deal with citizens, and to gather information and analyse it. Without them, service designers cannot effectively plan without understanding how employees will deliver those services and manage engagement with service users. Before, during and after the design process, employees will extract critical information from citizen behaviour and use it to inform how services can be reconfigured or replaced to produce better outcomes. Organisations must therefore provide their employees with excellent infrastructure and technology platforms to engage people. Everyone needs a good set of tools. There are three principles which designers should follow when planning change. When undertaken together, they strengthen the chance of success. 10 for change PREPARE • Foster a culture of openness Implement feedback mechanisms that enable good information flows to better inform decision-making • Engage employees in the details Engage a wide set of stakeholders from across the organisation who can give an accurate reflection of delivery concerns • Build a collaborative governance framework Create a formalised governance framework that builds confidence and emphasises collaboration, from executive level right through to delivery 1 2 3 4
  11. 11. platforms to deliver Service designers are able to use an ever-increasing array of platforms with which to deliver change. For service- oriented organisations, the single biggest platform area is technology. It should be viewed as an enabling function that gathers and collates information, allowing users to map trends and better understand citizen requirements; however it should also be understood through the prism of usability and flexibility in delivery. An over-reliance on technology without an understanding of how it is being applied can lead to weakness in the long term operation of an organisation. Dynamic platforms can be utilised to deliver better services, enable innovation and keep track of interactions; yet service designers should be wary of inherent challenges that exist in the delivery of technology platforms. On too many occasions technology is seen as a silver bullet in addressing structural reform issues. Surveys have reported that more than 30% of technology failures are as a result of poor planning3 . There are numerous examples of large systems being procured outside of proper planning and controls associated with people and processes. Without clear strategic direction, and an understanding of how the systems will facilitate change at a detailed level, service implementation can fail. In the worst cases, procurement costs have doubled or tripled at implementation phase because the natural limitations of the systems being procured were misunderstood from the outset. The consequences of mistakes at this stage can be profound; affecting finances, operations and reputation. When undertaken outside of a cohesive service design process, technology can reduce a company’s ability to compete. Successful projects have clear vision, strategy, commercial drivers, and clarity around the value that is intended to be derived. When undertaken in conjunction with changes in people and processes—and critically an understanding of user needs—technology projects can be seen as wider transformation projects, helping an organisation to overcome key challenges and realign its operations to deliver better services. Service designers should see technology as an evolving function that changes as the needs and behaviours of services users change. Future needs can be difficult to forecast, yet those companies that are built to meet the future are those that best succeed. For service designers, different platforms can be excellent options for delivering change. Success lies in the planning stages— understanding what the citizen wants, designing the service around that, then building a plan to prepare for change. UTILISE 11 3 For more information see http://www.galorath.com/wp/software-project-failure-costs-billions-better-estimation-planning-can-help.php 1 2 3 4
  12. 12. ‘NYC 311’ is celebrated as a leading example of how to take a vision and deliver it. New York’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg wanted to offer New Yorkers convenience in how they use their services through an effective, efficient and appropriate new government service which not only engaged the public, but brought together the different services provided by the City of New York under one all-purpose facility. All New Yorkers would have to do is call 311. This new service design and technology initiative became one of his biggest achievements as mayor. It has now been running for 10 years and cities around the world have looked to this case study to improve their own service design for their communities and citizens. We have since seen excellent new platforms delivered by organisations such as Service Ontario and Service Canada. In the creation of a digital roadmap for New York, the public now has easy access to government services and information whilst maintaining high levels of customer service. 311 also provides service designers with an insight into ways to improve government through accurate, consistent measurement and analysis of service delivery citywide. 311 has received more than 158 million calls and logged around 7 million visits on its website to date since 2003. Case study: NYC 311 Image: Sunrise across 34th Street, Manhattan, by Joiseyshowaa on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/30201239@N00/3116951494/) 12
  13. 13. 13 Case study: Glasgow Digital City Glasgow City Council is the largest council in Scotland, serving 600,000 citizens. It is a Council with a vision – to grow the local economy and improve the lives of its citizens. In January 2013, the Council was announced the winning contender in the UK Government Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Future Cities Demonstrator’ competition. The Council won the £24m Future Cities grant to showcase how UK cities can make the most of new technologies by integrating and connecting city systems. The Council is now developing the Glasgow Digital City Management System that will enable monitoring of city systems from traffic lights, CCTV, journey planning and public services. It will integrate city systems and data across multiple agencies for the delivery of improved and responsive city services, and assist in wider engagement with Glaswegians. The City Dashboard will be the common city operational management platform detailing a consistent view of how Glasgow functions as a city. Information will be pulled through in the form of ‘widgets’ from the Glasgow Integrated Operations Centre, as well as from service areas such as transport, street lighting, energy efficiency and active travel spatial analysis. This will help to inform the design and delivery of infrastructure for sustainable modes of public transport and travel services. The City Dashboard will enable monitoring footfall and retail demand to see which parts of Glasgow are doing well and also which areas need more support. For example, it will allow members of the public to plan a shopping outing by judging where is busiest or quietest in the city. Serco will support this initiative through our joint venture with the Council, called ‘ACCESS’, to deliver architectural assurance, procurement of IT and services and programme management of the Operations Centre. The ACCESS contract has created a corporate centre of excellence for the delivery of ICT and property services to develop a number of transformational vehicles that will support service reform in line with the Council’s key objectives. The Glasgow Digital City model provides the world’s leading cities a roadmap on the engagement of citizens in a digitally enabled world. In the months and years to come, many cities will break out of their traditional service models to provide citizens with access to relevant and timely information on living in their communities. Image: The armadillo sleeps, by O Palsson on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/45713725@N00/7823504818/) 13
  14. 14. 14 In conclusion: A new blueprint for service design The ways in which people engage and communicate with their services have not remained stagnant; they are constantly changing. Direct communication with citizens can be made within seconds through an increasing variety of mediums. Whilst this does present challenges for established businesses, a greater amount of information should enable service delivery organisations to better plan the services they provide. Indeed, policy-makers and service designers should be ambitious in their visions. The benefits of success outweigh the dangers of complacency. Although the future is uncertain, we can be assured of one thing: whilst people will articulate their views and make their voices heard in an increasing variety of ways, it is up to organisations to react, or risk being left behind. The application of the new blueprint for service design we have articulated should prepare service designers, and ensure they are designing services fit for the future, and practicable today.
  15. 15. 1515
  16. 16. Why did we write this document? There has been a major shift in how people interact with the services they use, and we want to help your organisation to adapt to meet those changes. We understand the nature of change and what it means for citizens, employees and organisations. At Serco, our people are delivering critical front-line and back office services for millions of people in Australia and across the world. Our commitment is to bring service to life. We can help citizens receive better services, and ensure change is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient way. For more discussion, debate and thought leadership, go to http://www.serco-ap.com.au/our-insights/ or get in touch with us at thoughtleadership@serco-ap.com.au Compiled August 2013

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