Jan 09 When Service Design Meets Business Architecture

Recently, Rêve’s Co-Founder Brad von Bank was invited to speak at the 2016 Business Architecture Summit. Brad lead a session called “Strategy to Execution via Service Design”, discussing key service design principles such as empathy and consumer-centricity, and presenting tools that align business and technical architecture with customer experience.

Why were you invited to a Business Architecture conference?

I was invited to speak at the inaugural Business Architecture Summit by one of our clients who has extensive experience with architecture through the lens of technology. He was a part of a project we led and was impressed with how we merged strategy with service design and then connected it to both the business and technical architecture for the organization.

Why should service design be of interest to business and enterprise architects? What are some of the key-value drivers of service design?

My speech focused on how service design can be the bridge between corporate strategy and business + technical architecture. It provides the customer perspective of the service delivery through an empathetic lens. It also comes with a set of tools that connect disjointed disciplines and bridge the chasm that keeps individuals and teams from being able to provide holistic solutions.

What kind of synergies have you observed in practice between the two fields? 

Unfortunately, by and large, I have not observed as much connectivity as we would like to see, given that service design enables organizations to make sound strategic choices and to develop a framework to implement value-added services for customers. It’s what’s at the essence of the work that we do with our clients: we use tools such as current state service blueprints to not only fully understand the consumer journey, but also the role of the people, processes and tech that operate at the front and back office to support this journey. Identifying hot spots across this service blueprint allows us to uncover opportunity areas for redesign while taking into account current state system and tech limitations. One of our clients now leads all of their strategic planning for architecture conversations with the consumer experience to which all changes and their impacts are mapped back to.

What are some of the challenges organizations face and how is Rêve positioned to help them?

The biggest challenges are a lack of internal capability with regards to the service design methodology and perhaps even more prominently, the disconnect across key functional areas such as strategy, innovation, product, process, and technology that prevent the organization from the seamless execution of a great customer experience. Our capabilities—strategy, service design, capability design, and technology—are aimed at helping people and organizations grow and innovate by bridging this divide and co-creating with clients, all in service of providing outstanding experiences for customers.

Where do you suggest business and enterprise architects look for resources?

There are some great books, including This is Service Design Thinking and its sequel, This Is Service Design Doing, that provide a practical guide to some of the tools. The discipline continues to grow from three years ago when Rêve was one of only 23 service design firms in North America. This is a positive trend that increases options for organizations looking to engage practitioners with a high degree of expertise.