Most organisations make decisions based on indicators. And this is great! We call them data-driven and we admire them for not being managed on hutches or mere opinions. However, metrics are tricky: they tend to focus on what is easily measured. In digital product organisations this means production and customers’ interactions with products. As a result, decisions are biassed towards technology and short-term, small-scope changes to products.
Designers and design researchers in product organisations do bring in other types of data —qualitative and ethnographic. When their qualitative research simply goes deeper into interactions, their insights are well received —especially if they manage to fit into the short-term work cycles. But if they come back with more contextual insights and a longer term vision of what is valuable for customers… That’s very difficult to swallow! And very easily dismissed. Not on the dashboard, not in the decision. But isn’t this making it harder to provide a basis for great experiences and for achieving the outcomes that customers want?
There’s a lot to fix here —the whole structure of how decisions are made, what is considered to be knowledge and even the notion of how value is created. No less! Well… we can’t claim to do it all with our workshop. We’ve been exploring if bridging service and product design makes any sense, especially for product people. And we’ve come up with a little hack for shifting —or at least tilting— the focus of decisions through introducing new indicators, in a taxonomy that is based on customers’ journeys.
We’ve been researching how to measure value in context. And we’ve been creating, extending and improving a workshop in which participants:
—Are exposed to definitions of value from a service perspective.
—Map value streams within their organisation, while interacting with users and as a diversity of outcomes for customers in their own context.
—Frame ethnographic and other design research as the appropriate methods for understanding and characterising value in context.
—Work on how to measure outcomes for customers and on how to introduce those indicators in their current dashboards along with traditional product metrics.
The workshop we’ll be conducting is a new iteration of what we have been previously presented in the SDN conference, Rosenfeld Advanced Research and Service Design days. Will participants also think that our little hack can have long term implications on the culture and design maturity of organisations?