As my first post, I thought I would explain some of the drivers behind the creation of “Design for Services” and what I hope to achieve with the site.
A major driver has been a long standing sense of a disconnect between a range of business design approaches, due to the tendency for these to be packaged-up and promoted under a given label, or ‘brand’, with their attendant (and sometimes vociferous) communities of practice. Examples inc. Lean, Six Sigma, Deming, Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) and Business Process Management (BPM), to name but a few.
The site seeks to bring together the best from each of these, setting them within what I see as the unifying framework of Systems Thinking. It also seeks to provide a more holistic coverage of the theories and techniques that need to be applied to the design of businesses, in a form that is easy to understand and apply.
A further driver for creating the site is to help address what I see as a lack of attention to design in the way services are often conceptualised, created and operated. To expand on just one aspect of this, all good design seeks to achieve simplicity and elegance, often rendering this from what appears at the outset to be something highly complex (what System Thinkers call “Apparent Complexity“). This is as true for services as it is for products. Well designed services should be simple and easy to use and operate. But so often this rendering process does not happen, resulting in highly costly service implementations, that are also costly to operate and fail to met the needs of their customers.
A final key driver is a very practical and personal one. When I’m delivering consultancy work, an important element is to transfer skills and knowledge into the organisation and improve their internal capability to deliver business change. This is rarely a formal element of the delivery (although it should be) and tends to get squeezed for time. What better then to have a site that underpins this task – making life just a bit easier for me!
Overall, I hope to bring some clarity to what is an often confusing landscape of different approaches to the design and improvement of services.