Service Design and Change Management
Updated: Jun 7
Delivering new services into the market, or improving existing ones, often means fundamental changes within the service provider itself. As organisations grows larger, evolve, and change – or the services become more complex and multidimensional – more and more roles are touched by service design work. The latest edition of the Touchpoint magazine from the international Service Design Network explores the relationship between service design and change management and challenges service designers and design-led projects often face in large complex businesses. Precisely because this challenge may feel very different than ‘design’ activities, service designers often feel out of their depth. Yet plenty of service designer professionals have tread this path already, and have recognised the importance of having an understanding of organisational change processes, as part of their projects and involving change management function early in the design journey. This issue of Touchpoint, brings their learnings and advice to the fore.
Service design work does not ends when design of a proposition is completed and ready for roll out. It continues with the oversight of deployment of new services, testing the experiences with a test research group, implementing further iterations, ensuring the handover of design vision and empowering internal stakeholders with the tools and skills needed to learn and perform new tasks with confidence. Service design project teams become agents of change in any organisation that focuses on client-centric transformation.
In my work at Coca-Cola, Fidelity International or Royal Bank of Scotland Group, I found the close collaboration with change management function not only helpful in design-led delivery beyond the second diamond (Double Diamond service design model), but also inspirational in helping define a new proposition or required changed to the existing products or services. While managing the service design program of work at Coca Cola GBS I engaged the change management function from the head office in Atlanta early in the process, including senior change management participation in design thinking exploratory workshops and then having a dedicated change manager as an integral part of the project team. Together we defined the change management strategy and co-created videos and internal communication that was critical in the success of the program roll out and stakeholders buy-in.