How can you handle complexity in Service Design projects?

In this short article, we’ll share with you the video recording, miro board and some notes from the workshop that took place on Thursday 6th of April 2023, co-organized by the "Design And Critical Thinking" community, "Owtcome" and the "Swiss Service Design Network Chapter".

Rewatch the full event

You can watch a recording of the two-hour workshop.

About the workshop

In this workshop we discovered the beta version of a new framework to navigate complex environments.

The framework uses metaphors which interconnect and help draw a map of realities & possibilities, and highlight relationships to foster new narratives.

This is a tool to help organisations do either diagnosis or prospective work about a current situation and/or a potential challenge/problem. The aim is to enable organisations to find direction, develop a portfolio of strategies, or simply make better decisions.

It is built around 4 main concepts:

  1. Oceans – The type of environment(s) the organisation is navigating in (eg. market);
  2. Archetypes – The type of organisational behaviours and related heuristics;
  3. Landscape – The type of contextual structures that exist within/around the organisation and provide capabilities and constraints;
  4. Monsters – The type of challenges and obstacles.

Insights for Service Design: from monolithic to multilayered

One of the main insights from this event for service designers is to think about services as real organisms that have multiple sides. In fact, services and organisations are much nearer to how a person behaves than how an object behaves.

So instead of categorising one organisation or service in one "Ocean"(1), we should recognise that one service or organisation can play multiple different roles in many different oceans. One part of your service might be competing in an existing market full of competitors, when another feature or part of your service might have nearly no competition.

As humans, services can play different roles in different settings. 

(1) Traditionally a company is either competing in a red ocean, an existing market with many competitors, or in a blue ocean, a market yet to be discovered with no competitors.


Access the framework and Miro board

You can discover the Framework and the workshop exercises and results in the Miro Board of the event.

Thank you

A big thank you to all the participants that made this event so inspiring and to the speakers that shared their knowledge. Thanks to:

Kevin Richard - Host

Founder of the Design & Critical Thinking community and Customer Experience Manager in the Swiss Health Insurance industry.

Krasi Bozhinkova - Guest Speaker

Strategic Designer at Owtcome, Netherlands.

Daiana Zavate - Guest Speaker

Design Lead at Owtcome, Netherlands.

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