Lean Services: the new Context, the new Audience

The concept of producer and consumer has changed radically in the last decade. Accordingly, the expectations and needs of customers have dramatically changed too – a fact Paul Sims (//madebymany.com/”>Made by Many) referred to as “the new audience” in his keynote at NEXT Service Design.

This development has been accompanied by a drastic change in the economy. Companies work in a new, altered context. They have to leave the beaten track, to rethink their business, the way they plan and operate.

Sims believes that companies have to be aware of how both the audience and the context have changed in order to create great services. Services that people really need instead of inventing beautiful ideas. Service design plays an important role in this process, because organisations that use this approach are augmenting people’s behaviour, and not trying to change it.

The core idea is to add service layers and not to alter behaviour. And there are already technologies that allow us to add such layers, even to non-digital products. Andy Hobsbawm, who also spoke at NEXT Service Design, introduced the idea to the NEXT12 audience in May.

Paul Sims is Service Designer at Made by Many – an agency that uses lean, agile and service design concepts to support its clients. Not as dogmas, but rather as a set of tools from which to pick and choose, as Sims explained in his talk. So, they already have their equipment packed in order to advise clients on the exciting journey off the beaten track that lies ahead of us. At NEXT Berlin 2013, we’ll discuss where it could lead to and which continents we may discover.