Achieving Readiness for Change for Successful Implementation of Service Design Projects: Learning from Change Management

DS 85-1: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 1, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Lřnvik, Siri Bjřrnsund; Pettersen, Ida Nilstad; Verhulst, Elli
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Department of Product Design, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
Section: Service design
Page(s): 002-011
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


The design of services is usually project based. The transition from project result to operational phase is critical, and can be seen as requiring organisational change. In service design literature however, the shift from project to practice is an underdeveloped area. While service design comes equipped with tools and methods for involving stakeholders in the design of services, other fields explicitly focus on the process of achieving organisational change. Change management is one of those. This article concentrates on the activity of “anchoring” or achieving organisational readiness for change, which here refers to the activity of grounding projects in the organisation and gaining support for it. The article asks what can be learnt by combining insights and approaches from service design literature and the field of change management.

The article first provides an overview of service design tactics relevant to achieving organisational readiness. Next, it introduces relevant concepts from the field of change management. It does that to explore how they may supplement and strengthen service design implementation. Against this background, principles for achieving organisational readiness are proposed: a) stakeholder management and involvement, b) journey over destination, and c) change from within. The article concludes that the implementation of service design projects may be treated a type of change management, and suggests that change management literature could provide resources for strengthening service design literature in the area of implementation.

Keywords: service design; implementation; change management


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