The Secret to Services

The secret to success in service delivery is not simply the deliverable, it’s the experience.  Service is an intangible thing.  It’s an experiential thing.  It’s a human thing.  If you don’t design the service with that in mind, you create mediocrity.

We have a tendency in information technology to focus almost exclusively on the information flows, the data, the technology, ignoring the fact that everything we are designing is ultimately intended to provide something of value to another person.

Sometimes, in my systems engineering courses, I conduct classroom sessions on process design and organizational design without ever introducing technology into the discussion.  I want my students to see that the information systems we design emerge from underlying discussions and dialogues between people.

Deliverables are important, no doubt.  But the secret to good service design is to create the best possible experience for the people you are serving, respecting their time, reducing their anxiety, anticipating their needs, and looking out for their interests.