License to Serve
Service design may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the British Secret Service and their iconic Double O agent, James Bond. Read on, and you’ll find that Bond works at a successful and still unknown service design agency. If you don’t know anything about service design, don’t worry, let Mr. Bond lead the way.
In nearly every Bond movie, James pays visit to “M”, his boss from the British Secret Service, to define the problem. They agree about the need to handle the villain, identify the stakeholders in the CIA, and finally come out with a plan to learn about their target.
Once fully briefed, James heads to the field to learn more about the subject. He observes, interviews, and even wears the right clothes to blend in – a tuxedo, glass of Martini, and a night out at the casino – ethnographic research at its best. By the time the night is over, James has gained a pretty good understanding who he is dealing with.
The plot thickens – it is time to solve the problem. James and his allies from the CIA come up with several creative ways to deal with the villain. They try fast and fail fast, often a number of times. Eventually, after several iterations, James and his friends finally nail it.
In the end, the service and its delivery are made visible, there is always sufficient physical evidence, whether it be a wrecked ship or crook’s space station blasted into oblivion.
The British Secret Service and their Double O agents have productized their own service for their clients, Queen and Country. The steps James needs to take – from definition to delivery – to solve the customer problem, are the very same that any service designer takes when improving an existing service or creating a new one.
Unlike in Ian Fleming’s vision, where James Bond is a mere blunt instrument wielded by the British Secret Service, our hero in service design resembles the Bond played by Sir Roger Moore – a person with great social skills and an eye for beautiful outcome.
Service design provides a practical framework to develop great digital services for the customers. It engages all stakeholders, customers too, to ideate and build great services that are desirable, viable, and feasible.
We use service design process when we build and host services for our clients, and it also helps us to develop our own service model. Just last week, as an example of the latter, we used service design tools to create an ideal workplace concept for Futuriot.
Shaken or stirred, we have the license to serve.