How to work with anyone as a service design

Collaborating with people and forming new teams and departments is critical to any service designer, no matter their level.

You can’t just simultaneously push a service blueprint or journeys map in front of your team as an answer without understanding the precise needs and motivations, whichever one you are working with to design or improve service.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with different teams and organisations. Get me the number of other people with different roles and characters. I can’t confirm 100% accessory with all my collaborations over the years. There are several types of people I’ve found it easy to work with. As collaboration is on the rise as according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, team collaboration has doubled over the last twenty years.

While working on a complex service as a service designer, it is essential to remember that you should design with everyone and design for everyone. A multidisciplinary team is a key to working within, across, and influencing is fundamental to your success.

While working on a project, a positive collaborative environment should involve facilitating conversations to cooperate and understand the problem space collaboratively with your team, business, and the users to generate measurable opportunities for change existing services or re-imagining new services.

This post will highlight how you can collaborate better with these people and understand how to best deliver as a service designer.

The first leap to collaboration is admitting that you don’t understand everything. It is by being surrounded by subject matter experts who know their domain of expertise. The first part of learning is admitting you can’t figure out all the answers.

Organisations run on relationships!

Good service designers do not make it about themselves, but they base everything on the decisions about the business and customers’ needs. This often means you have to understand your team’s history and understand the dynamics of the people you interact with across the broader organization.

As a service designer, you will need to interact, motivate and engage with many different stakeholders:

  • UX or User researchers focuses on planning, designing, and carrying out research activities with the user who will interact with the service. They help the whole team, including yourself, build a better picture of people using the service. You can collaborate with them to understand how the research will inform the service proposition, service content, and design so that services will work well for users.
  • Product managers — They will understand the product and the user’s needs. By collaborating with them, they can help you set goals and prioritise features that can solve service user problems.
  • UI or interaction designers — They work out the best way to let users interact with the service. This relates to the overall flow and the level of individual design elements. They will help us to understand house designs or reflect the problems we are trying to solve throughout the product and service level. You will also work with them to create prototypes and make experiments to test the need of the service.
  • Content designer or copywriters — Depending on the business, you could be working with content developers. You may need to work closely with these specialists to develop the end-to-end journey of the service to help users complete their goals. This can be specifically important when you’re working on heavily regulated services involving policies and standards.
  • Business analysts — I will support you by articulating user and business needs and produce user stories that accurately reflect constraints and requirements for the service to succeed. It is helpful to work with them to develop different customer journey maps: user journeys, customer flows, and future state maps.
  • Project lead or project sponsor — as they are accountable for the success and quality of the service you deliver. They will have varying roles and involvement throughout different stages of the process. It is vital to collaborate closely with them to define the outcome, understand stakeholders and their dependencies.
  • Solution Architects/ developers — they’ll be involved in understanding the technical challenges across any system or service. They will provide you with an understanding of the service opportunities and constraints from a technical perspective. They can support you in developing the backstage elements of a service blueprint.
  • Other stakeholders — You also Encounter other subject matter experts and business stakeholders that will be influenced and impacted by the solution you are working on. It can be essential to keep them engaged in parts of the process by using demos, workshops, and sharing artifacts.

How are you connecting with their needs and the best way of working as a team or one to one?

Asking questions and focusing on the problem rather than the solution

Not just designing services for people but with people. How vital people are within the design process while building empathy for who they work with.

What designers sold to the world has moved on. As organisations start to embrace human-cented design, there has been a shift from an individual or group of design members working on an idea in isolation and a monthly providing a big reveal to show the rest of the stakeholders.

You can’t just show your stakeholder a service blueprint at the end of a project and expect them to understand why and how it can benefit the project. The most important things you would need to consider are an ongoing conversation to uncover the goals, challenges, and how we measure success.

Involving stakeholders and the right members of your direct and indirect team will help you develop artifacts and output. As well as communicate the role you play as a service designer concerning each stakeholder’s needs.

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