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I recently discovered a Youtube video called, “What is Service Design?” that accurately describes the work we do at Propel Solutions. If a picture is worth a thousand words this video says it best!

They referred to the work of improving the processes of the service industry as Service Design (or it should more accurately be called Service Redesign as most of our clients have existing processes) which I thought was a fantastic way of describing the way that we assist organizations.

The new name is more approachable than the previous names for this methodology that are commonly used to describe our services to customers such as Lean Process Improvement, Business Process Reengineering (BPR), or Business Process Improvement (BPI).   All of these terms sound like large projects which they can be but don’t necessarily have to be.

Service Design sounds fresh and friendly, and it accurately reflects the value that we “Service Designers” provide to our clients. Starbucks is a great example of a service-oriented company applying Service Re-Design to streamline the ordering process by creating an app to add value to their customer.

In the video the goals of the redesigned process are defined as:

  1. Desirable – creating a process that your customers want.
  2.  Enjoyable – ensuring that the process is enjoyable for both your staff as well as your customers.
  3. Effective and Efficient – making sure that your process works the way it is intended and that you are servicing your customers well.

This is in line with Lean thinking which designs the company’s services from the viewpoint of the customer and defines all other activities in the process as waste. In the video, these engagements are described as, “Highly effective group therapy sessions where symbiotic relationships are formed once the team is unified behind a common goal” (Yosef Shuman).

As described in the video, Service Design is an iterative act of five stages. This also coincidently lines up with the Scientific Theory proposed in the “Lean Start-Up” as well as traditional Lean Thinking which follows the Define, Measure, Analyse, Implement, and Continuously Improve (DMAIC). The five steps identified in the video are:

  1. Research
  2. Brainstorm
  3. Testing/Prototype
  4. Repeat
  5. Deliver

In essence, what this video really promotes is that Service Design is essentially Lean Manufacturing for Service Businesses. However, I like the fresh name for it and I think this video does an excellent job of explaining the value we bring to our clients with our systematic approach.

If you are interested in having our experienced Service Designers conduct a free analysis of your service delivery process, contact us today.