Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Perspectives on Services Innovation

After dumping my SIM model in the previous post it's time to start rebuilding. 

One of the major mistakes I've made over and over again is to see new services from the perspective of a developer. It is so entrained to say "oh, there is a need for (something new) at customer X, we need to start a project to develop it. WRONG!

There are numerous examples where new services or modifications of existing services arise naturally. Sometimes from the daily operations, in other cases by delibarate efforts of the services people. If have found that for R&D people it is very difficult to acknowledge that new stuff emerges without them.

But the facts are there. Recently we found that over 15 instances of new services were sold in our organisation without any central decision to develop the business in that direction. From this we can learn (or see) that in distributed organisations - and many services-operations are distributed - where there is enough autonomy to develop new practices a variety of initiatives will lead to an increased diversity in the services field. 

And that happened to us too. We also found that under the same notion (in this case digital mailroom) at least 4 completely different implementations were found (and counting). 

Ofcourse there was at least one thing similar: mail was opened and scanned, but the reasons to do that, the operational proces, the purpose, the hardware used, the types of documents scanned and the way the digital mail was delivered gave little evidence that these four implementations lived under the same name.

From an R&D perspective the development of these new services seemed to be totally chaotic and unrelated. And yes, maybe they are unrelated but chaotic? Not for the services people and customers involved. For them the services were simply fact of life.

This observations must - I think - form a basic ingredient for the new SIM model that is under construction.

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