Thursday, April 21, 2011

What Would You Vote For? 5 Topics for Service Innovation & Design Research

 Ok, I'm about to start my thesis for masters in service innovation and design and I'm also reactivating my PhD initiative for Service Design.
For your own information, The masters is in business administration so it's a business school more than design school. For the PhD initiative in service design it's a design school.

I do need your vote for what topics you see are the most needed and valid for service Innovation & Design. You can be as detailed or as brief as you wish. Again, masters project shouldn't be that long while I'll have more time for the PhD. Following is 5 topics I came up with and I do appreciate your input. For voting you can just arrange them from the most that you like and descending (e.g. 3-5-4-2-1). Following is the way I shared them with potential sponsors from business so the language is more copywriting oriented :)

1-Service Design Meets Service Design
There’s currently 2 main approaches for service design who’re not integrated and don’t work together. We’ve the operations management and product innovation approach led by six sigma and TRIZ and we have the design thinking-inspired approach as known in design-inspired service innovation. Both are needed but they’re never applied together and the gap between practitioners of both fields is huge. If you need inspiring and engaging radical innovation, yet measurement-oriented approach that facilitates the implementation complexities, service efficiency and productivity, you surely need this outcome.

2-Sustainable Experience Networks Through Diamond Touch Points
Experience flows in networks. Brands get created in the relationship between the firm and the staff and come alive in the interaction between the staff and the customers. Current service design tools are customer-centered. They rarely address the experience of the other stakeholders involved in the value network who surely affect the experience network. If you believe we’re in need for diamond touch points that would consider the design and alignment of the experiences of those stakeholders and support the sustainability of the experience network, then you surely need this outcome.

3-Is it too intangible? People and Physical Evidence in Digital Services
Intangibility is one of the main attributes of services, especially when compared to the so-called tangible products. But as we moved to digital and e-services, we started to realize that services used to actually be tangible. We used to shake hands with employees, drink coffee, like or hate ambiences, pay cash, line in queues and so on.
Now these aspects are vanishing with the penetration and revolution of the e-services. We remain human beings and touch points can’t be all touchless. Customer experience in digital services is not all about UX. How can we extend e-services to cover the tangibility gap in physical evidence and people? If you’re digitizing and enabling the technology in your service interface then you need to consider this outcome.

4-Service 2.0
Ok, Tomorrow as a business you may getup from your sleep not too late as you would think then, to find that your industry is not the same anymore. Your customers do have the tools to create their own experiences and share it with each other. Moreover they believe you’re unable to deliver their experiences, as they should get them. It’s when your industry becomes more shared, more co-created, more personalized, more crowd-sourced, more democratized, more long-tail oriented, more design-for-generosity themed and more customer-generated.
You would step-back to focus on serving as the best platform for them to deliver their experiences on, while they decide how it should look like. How will your business model be? What would your organizational requirements be like? How would you compete? And what would be the market landscape? If you need to know a bit more on that, then you need this outcome.

5-Service Innovation Body of Knowledge

Service innovation encompasses a wide collection of knowledge areas. The fast development and growth of the field requires the development of a structured body of knowledge that would define the basic knowledge areas. Unlike other BOKs that get created to standardize domains, SIBOK is required to support the growth and adoption of service innovation on the practice level. This body of knowledge would create a room for improvement in this critical area of organizational excellence and business competitiveness. If you’re in need for a structured framework for qualifying your internal service innovation leads, then you’re in need for this outcome.


  1. 4-5-3-2-1 . Take care.:)

  2. Topic arrangement can be 4, 5, 2, 3, 1.

  3. 3-2-1-4-5
    وفقك الله تعالى لمايحب ويرضاه
    Best wishes

  4. On Service Science Group on LinkedIn:

    Jim Spohrer • All good topics for sure. My favorite from a "service design" perspective is #4 Service 2.0.

    I think the future of service design is changing fast and new platforms will change it even faster.

    My one quibble is your use of "businesses role" -- the future is more government, industry, academic, social-sector collaboration in holistic service system design. See or

    Doug Morse • I am with Jim, #4 is my first choice.Current business structres are not well designed to deliver services.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • @Jim,
    Thanks for your interest in commenting and discussing the topics. I've read the article and it's great to see the idea of considering service thinking in such domains. I think this article in addition to other discussions taking place on other groups on the same set of topics started to make me think of service 2.0 as an all-embracing concept to some of the other topics and other topics I didn't mention like experience-dominant logic.

    My challenge now is more of what and how. I started to get some inspirations already from all the awesome and fruitful interactions and involvement from group members like yourself.

    Will surely need help from all members very very soon. I think research on service 2.0 should be done utilizing research 2.0 tools and techniques.

    Thanks for your comment. It confirms the need to look at this challenging topic.

    Discussion URL:

  5. On Healthcare Innovation by Design Group on Linkedin (Part1):
    Lee Brennan • I would be interested in 1 and 4. So my case for number 1 is based on the fact that as architects we have latched on to the process innovation bandwagons and yet have not yet connected the dots between how design thinking adds value to that equation. My case for number 4 has more to do with a societal question- what happens if the medical chart/ information belongs to the patient instead of the hospital/ health care system. I believe a patient should own their own information/ chart, and it should be transportable , easy to read / decipher and be tied into a larger public health conversation that results in healthier communities. Good luck with your decision and thesis.

    Mike Plishka • 3,4,5,1,2
    3 and 4 are close to being tied.
    for 1:perhaps kansei is a bridge?
    All the best!

    Luis Bastos • I would vote 4 and 5.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Lee Brennan,
    Thanks for your comment and response. I do see clear needs to get benefits from both sides. Sometimes i wonder on the end result and the practicality. Are designers ready for complexities of what the other approaches may bring? Or can we envision new design tools derived from simplifying the tools from the other school. I think this will be a huge addition to the currently available tools.

    For the number 4, let's try to intensify the picture and think of it in a more extreme setting, let's get it saturate it with tomorrow's colors and dream.

    I would see tomorrow as a world of more health problems and demand on health services, more older generations and more unhealthy younger generations. More availability, accessibility and mobility of sophisticated medical equipments and self-service stations. Instant, remote diagnosis, open-data exchange, worldwide instant access to doctors. A shift from the basic delivery of healthcare service to convenience of the service as a part of day to day life. Focus on boosting the experience, it can't be healthcare anymore, it's healthcare+something. More empowerment to doctors as intrapreneurs, the integration of healthcare institutions with other types of institutions from other industries like hospitality, retail, transportation and entertainment.
    Do you see this happening? What would healthcare service 2.0 be like then?

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Mike Plishka,
    Thanks for your response and ranking. You're right, I think service 2.0 will make e-service more human and make the human service more digital so we'll settle in somewhere in between. I think 2 and 4 could also work together, it's when the focus moves from the customer the end-customer to every customer in the network.

    Thanks for the note about the Kansei. I never heard about it before. I looked it up and it sounds very interesting and will look more into it. I was wondering if it could be one of the approaches to include and bridge based upon my current understanding of its concept.
    What do you think?

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Luis Bastos,
    Thanks for the ranking #4 is the most popular here on this group and on other groups' discussions. Would be glad to hear your insights and why you chose 4. What do you expect to see?

    Discussion URL:

  6. On Healthcare Innovation by Design Group on LinkedIn (Part 2)

    Tom Ludwig • My first choice is #5. We must define what the expectations are, as well as what tools will help to reach those expectations. MGMA/ACMPE did this with a body of knowledge for medical practice administrators ( and it has really helped those associations focus on what will best help their members.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Tom Ludwig,
    A very important note. I remember once having this discussion about what's it that we need a body of knowledge for? is it service design or service innovation. I think it depends on the scope we set for ourselves. I like the examples you shared. PMBOK is a very famous example. When PMI created PMBOK they created another separate standard for project managers called Project Manager Competence Development Framework, which tackles the knowledge and competence of implementation related to the body of knowledge.

    I do believe that BOK is very crucial and needed aspect to the growth of this domain and would gladly be interested to contribute to an initiative in this regard.

    Lee Brennan • I agree, but I would call it wellness 1.5.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • I meant this would be the scape. What we can envision as a solution then would be the service 2.0. The question remains "What would healthcare service 2.0 be like then?"

    Luis Bastos • Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman
    Thanks for your comments. A deep discussion here is not easy due to space limitations on posts. However, we always have to be synthetic.

    Concerning to 4-Service 2.0:
    With the evolution of personalized medicine in one hand and the deep revolution driven by nanoscience and nanotechnology as enabling fields on the other hand, a constellation of specific and totally on-demand service providers will appear. The processes chains as well as the value chains will be more complex (with more intercalary steps and alternative paths). Also more complex will be the number and variety of service providers along those chains. Let’s consider some innovations in the pipeline (just to mention a few): remote control of diagnostic devices; remote transmission of information between the patient and the “doctor”; remote control of nanocarriers in the process of drug delivery. Just those 3 examples will imply a world of support service providers, from high performance computing to telecoms, from MEMS and NEMS design, production, improvement and maintenance to personal and portable medical devices.

    Concerning to 5-Service Innovation Body of Knowledge
    Due to reasons presented above in this comment, innovation will drive the future of healthcare (I have no doubts about that) and will be more needed even in the future: massive highest quality innovation and a strong, concrete body of scientific & technological knowledge. Even more important than Body of Knowledge will be a Body of Knowledge standing in deep principles of science integration or integrative science. We are reaching the point where Medicine or Biomedicine just don’t have future while isolated sciences. Interchange of knowledge and collaborative R&D will be more than necessary: will be crucial and decisive.

    Mike Plishka • Mahmoud,
    I think that the methodologies behind Kansei are a bridge of sorts. This slide by Dr. Nagamachi is a great starting point for discussing how Kansei can function as that bridge.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Luis Bastos,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. For the Service 2.0, I totally agree. My trial to envision the future on my comment to Lee was more of imagining, I'm guessing yours are knowledge-driven.

    I think the development of BOK in general does help domains grow and mature. I was always wondering what would happen if we were to develop a Body of Knowledge Development Framework which could help all new domains affiliate develop their domain more.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Luis Bastos • I thank you, dear Mahmoud. It's allways a pleasure to brainstorm in those fields.

  7. On Healthcare Innovation by Design Group on Linkedin (Part 3):

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • @Mike I'm interested to read more on Kansei. Would appreciate it if you could share some resources on the methodology details. Thanks

    Mike Plishka • @Mahmoud

    There are a couple of books that I think would be apropos; they're all
    recently published.

    There is the two book set edited by the father of Kansei:

    'Innovations of Kansei Engineering' by Mitsuo Nagamachi,

    'Kansei Engineering: Kansei/Affective Engineering

    This book looks *very* interesting: 'Emotional Engineering: Service
    Development' by Shuichi Fukuda

    I've leafed through it and I haven't had time to get through it in detail.

    Good info paper on describing and systematizing Kansei studies:

    Great understandable paper on Kansei and products:

    Hope this helps and all the best!

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • @Mike
    Thank you very much. I tried to look for resources yesterday but didn't get to these treasures. I really appreciate it.

    Mike Plishka • Anytime Mahmoud! Glad I could be of service! If I come across anything
    else, I'll send it your way.

    Lee Brennan • In response to your question about the scape of 2.0, I think Luis did a great job outlining and would only add that most of the discussion is about how to use technology to continue to move care to less expensive settings, be less invasive and to reduce cost to the individual or the system. None of which I have issue with. My hope is that it will also create a holistic system, networked around interconnected data, that is mined for public health benefit as well. Sharing of the health information across platforms combined with a new incentive model around wellness, will also help us create healthier communities. Resulting in a population that in the long run will result in less chronic care and thereby lowers our healthcare costs and affords us the ability to continue to create the technologies and remain innovators.

    Luis Bastos • Thanks for your kind support, dear Lee.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Lee, great clarification on the scape and where efforts may be directed to. I like the idea of the incentive model for healthier communities. It would be interesting to start ideating on how other industries may look like if we considered similar or close approaches.
    Thanks again :)

    Terri Zborowsky • Sorry to be slow in getting on board but in my opinion #5 is needed most. I think what is needed most right now is a recap of where we are all are in this area. This framework is greatly needed to help us all see how all the part fit together and the general areas of this discipline in which we lack data. See the above comment re: all the books on....I really encourage you to step back and look again at these topics. However, when I advise graduate students in either their Masters or PhD (btw I am not a full-time academic, but a practitioner as well) my first advise is to follow your passion. Having said that, understand which topic provides a "fire in your belly" and go for it! If you want to chat off line, I am happy to do that, if I can help you at all.

  8. on International Service Design Network Group on Linkedin (Part 1):

    Arnold Beekes • I vote for service 2.0

    Emilie Verbeek MDM • I vote for service 2.0

    S. M. Waliur Rahman . • Service 2.0

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hi all,
    Anold, Emilie and S.M. thanks for all your thoughts.

    It's amazing what discussion can really bring up.

    Service 2.0 was never highly ranked for me as a research topic. Until now here on this group and on other groups as well service 2.0 is the most voted topic. It's really amazing!

    Would be glad to here more insights on why you selected service 2.0 and what do you expect to see there.

    Gary Burt • 1-Service Design Meets Service Design

    Not sure whether the title gets over your intention here, but organisations have adopted process-inspired service design because it was delivered measurable, repeatable improvements to the bottom line of businesses. Design-inspired service design whilst having some great successes often lacks the repeatability and guarantee of impact - so for me, understanding this would be incredibly relevant.

    ... but probably much less fun than Service 2.0

    The challenge for a PhD will be identifying an original research question that is forward looking, distinctive, relevant - but enjoyable to immerse yourself in. The challenge is narrowing this huge topic to something that you can focus on - so I'd consider qualifying this more.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Gary, Very interesting input and I fully agree.
    I was discussing SD meeting SD on other groups, and I would say integration is badly needed and will have a huge impact on businesses and domains, it remains unclear what would be the best way to do it. design-inspired affiliates would feel it's much and irrelevant for them to deal with the complexities of the other approach. I was thinking if we can come up with a new generation of design-thinking tools that benefit from the techniques of the systematic approach. I think this will have a huge impact.

    For the service 2.0 I totally agree. Envisioning the future that would lead to the service 2.0 itself is a scope of a research. It requires a lot of work on foresight and futures studies side to build the case of the future landscape that would enable and lead to service 2.0. After that we can raise the questions of what's service 2.0 and so on.

    I think may be we can relate some of the work on the new age of innovation as envisioned by Prahalad where he spoke about the N=1 and R=G. This general setting may serve as a beginning for the need to focus on one customer experience at a time (N=1) and the resources available being all the globe resources (R=G).

    This can be pretty much the scape skeleton I guess.

    Would be glad to hear your thoughts. Whenever you have the time to share them.

    Abdullah Al-Badawy • ِAbokhaled, Firstly, waheshny gedaaan. Secondly, let me go for an option that is not mentioned in your options which is the application of the SD concepts and practices in a country like Egypt that lacks this concept badly, but this may be through some of its organizations or people (Influencers) to improve a lot of negatives that arises basically from lack of awareness and understanding of the service concepts

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Abdullah, How are you doing?
    Thanks, I hope to see you soon. I agree. And I think this could be utilized on 2 levels. One of them on the business level as you addressed i your comment.

    The second is about presenting design thinking and service design as a handy tool for community development. A community design lab could be established as a place for people to get together, envision and design solutions for their community's specific problems.

    Discussion URL:

  9. On International Service Design Network Group on LinkedIn (Part 2):

    Arnold Beekes • I really like this idea of the community design lab. And I would suggest with a focus on the youth. The unemployment level is more than 25% so something needs to be done, urgently.

    Re: service 2.0. I do think that after saying it for decades, the customer has now really become king. This means a huge mindset shift in corporations and governments. They need to learn to quickly adapt to this new reality. Designing new services is one of the few possibilities to create a sustainable income for the youth.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Yes definitely Arnold. When I think of the community design lab, I see creating new job opportunities, I see addressing very local, specific needs, I see economies of scale on collaborating to solve problems of the community more than each family on its own.

    For the Service 2.0, I believe if we considered models similar to what happened in web 2.0 then we may envision new layers more focused on the experience delivery while the traditional service platform serves as a low-level platform for the experience layer. Again, this can create many jobs and way enhance the experience.

    I would like here to share an article I wrote a while ago that envisions new concepts in hospitality from that point of view. I only wrote the first article of the series so far. I think this can serve as a basis at least at this specific industry. The first article focused on the introduction and community engagement in service design and delivery.

    Hospitality 2.0: Intro and Community Engagement In SD and Delivery

    Kathryn Hautanen, MBA • I am with Gary #1

    As an engineer who has transitioned into service design I think there is a need for a bridge between to two methodologies. Alone, they each have something to offer, but I would love to see what can be made possible when they are working in concert. And yes, probably less fun, but infinitely more valuable.

    Arnold Beekes • Mahmoud, I love your article. This is a real example of out of the box thinking in the context of community engagement.
    There is a huge need and opportunity here.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Thanks Arnold. I'm happy you liked it. What I miss is how to get this into action. I think It'll take time until hotel or service organizations in general start to realize that it's more than a basic service that we're expecting. I think if we were to consider the same way of looking at things with other industries this could create a huge change and transformation in job creation and in experience.
    I guess the boost in experience with such methodologies doesn't equal higher prices, which even makes it more of win-win-win proposition.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hi Kathryn. Thanks for your comment. I fully support this thought. I'm thinking to work on this issue even if not during my thesis work. I do see a lot of benefit there. It's against the way we should be working and thinking as designers. We should be more open, holistic and progressive. This gap can't continue to be there. Thanks again.

    Arnold Beekes • Maybe the CSR people are interested in this approach.

  10. On Cambridge Service Alliance Group on LinkedIn (Part 1):

    Andy Neely • I think you need to start by considering the type of service you are thinking about - services offered in mass B-2-C markets are very different to those offered in B-2-B markets. In the former case I would vote for service 2.0 (platform enabled services designed and created by customers). In the case of B-2-B services then I would suggest topic 2: aligning interests of the stakeholders in the service.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hello Andy,
    Thanks for your response and thanks for sharing your thoughts and choices. Let me start with the last one. Why did you choose the sustainable experience networks option with the B2B in particular. Surely the same topic is valid for study with the B2C as well. I understand that this is your choice, just wanted to get more insights on your choice.

    For the service 2.0, I was thinking about looking at it as an all-embracing topic for major changes in the service thought, practice across many service research domains. I mean the re-design of e-service falls under that, the experience network and focus on stakeholders fall, having engaging yet efficient and mature services also does fall under that, even other topics I wanted to dig into like experience-dominant logic can fall under this all-embracing service 2.0. The challenges here would be the what and how. I was thinking that to research service 2.0 we may need research 2.0 which I started to have some sort of idea on what could be done to get.

    For the scope I addressed, I've wrote an article about an example of service 2.0 which was on hospitality 2.0. It's no way about utilizing social media, it's about the industry itself being 2.0, and social media may be one of the aspects for sure. I only wrote the first article about community engagement in service design and delivery with some example concepts. When you have time you can have a look at it here:


  11. on Cambridge Service Alliance Group on LinkedIn (Part 2):

    David Hughes • Hi Mahmoud

    At the risk of taking you off at a tangent there seem to me to be two more issues which will still outlive your PhD timespan where insights could make a real difference.

    First is Government policy on service innovation. As far as I can see this is totally missing from current UK innovation policy which is still dominated by the push model of technology development. What do we have to do to accelerate the diffusion of new ideas on service innovation to enable UK to take a leadership position and what is the role of Government (and Government agencies like the TSB) in this.

    Second relates to management in the 21st century. We are still working on old management models which will need to change dramatically if we are to harness the creative power of all the workforce. So the new management approach will reflect the accelerating change in the business environment so that companies can adapt at the pace of change, it will ensure that innovation is the role of everyone in the company (not just the R&D department!) and it will inspire all employees to give of their best towards the success of the company. We are a long way from that.

    Good luck. David

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • David,

    Thanks for your comment. Since I started this discussion on another group and I'm amazed of the different angles everyone come to the topic from.

    For the government policy, I'm not that surprised. I think it's something we're causing in business and we need to take care of.

    In many parts of the world including where I live, services are not really considered when certain aspects are raised for discussion. It's more on products and technologies. This surely includes innovation policies, national plans, research parks .. etc.

    I think we're in research and practice in services are a bit behind when compared to our real potential and this causes such things to happen. This is my honest opinion that I don't tend to share much as it offends some people.

    For management in 21 century, I always like to think of it as visualized by Prahalad in the new age of innovation; Companies being competitive based on their rapid acquisition of the new knowledge and immediate response to new challenges.

    In accordance, resources are hired and evaluated not based on expertise but on how creatively they're able to solve problems, how reusable those solutions are, how effective and how contributing to the advantage. And around that velcro organization is built where dynamic reconfiguration of resources is continuously going on to respond to business needs.

    All the time teams are being assembled and dissembled with the least loss. Deskilling of jobs is a main requirement. And it's surely about access to resources more than ownership of resources.

    I don't know how far or close we currently are from this reality, but it's breathtaking and very challenging.

    Thanks David for the thoughtful insight.

    Discussion URL:

  12. On Cambridge Service Alliance Group on LinkedIn (Part 3)

    On Cambridge Service Alliance Group on LinkedIn (Part 3):

    Allan Mayo • Mahmoud,

    You pose some interesting questions. As a policy maker I am interested in 1. because I sense the UK has a comparative advantage at in both areas and establishing a stronger link between the two would help UK business to capitalise on those strengths. I suppose this is already in evidence in the context of the modern built environment and digital devices where it is the combination of aesthetics and performance which provide for an enhanced experience. Are there other areas where this applies?

    I am also interested in Service 2.0 - how is it developing? But perhaps most importantly of all (and linked to Service 2.0), policy makers and, I suspect, businessmen need to have access to a body of knowledge about the main developments taking place in the field, the tools and methodologies for developing service oriented strategies, the challenges and pitfalls and case studies in a wide range of areas to give decision makers the confidence to promote the service agenda.

    Hope that helps,


    Allan Mayo • Mahmoud,

    What have you started?.......there is the danger that my quiet week after Easter is going to be consumed in a debate with my former boss!

    We seem to be faced with something of a paradox: where Government appears to have no explicit policy, the knowledge intensive part of the service sector is globally competitive, while in the technology driven manufacturing sector, where Government innovation policy has been more pronounced (in traditional terms), performance appears to be mixed. However, while we tend to think of innovation policy as a supply side phenomenon, in relation to services, Government policy has been demand oriented and highly active.

    Two major policy initiatives have resulted in London and the SE becoming the world's pre-eminent cluster or ecosystem for service innovation:

    - the opening up of the City and a proactive inward investment policy for corporate HQs saw a massive expansion of demand for high quality services and consequent specialisation in HR, legal services and accounting services, computing and consulting services, marketing, architecture etc.

    - the Government's own policy of outsourcing an increasing amount of services at local and national level (amounting to 6% of GDP) has provided the knowledge intensive service (KIS) sector with a wide range of challenges which have required innovative solutions.

    This attracted the best people from around the world to come to London and immigration policy has been accommodative, and the KIS sector has been among the most vociferous in raising concerns about recent policy measures in this area.

    But I would agree with David that the language of Government and the focus of supply side policies tend to be stuck in the R&D/technology development paradigm when, according to McKinseys, the productivity challenge for the UK is not so much in manufacturing (or KIS sectors) but rather in low value added "local" services. It seems to me that the challenge here is how to capitalise/industrialise these services, just as ICT eventually transformed retail banking services. Government can continue to take a leading role by transforming public service delivery as local authorities, such as Newham, are trying to do. But that may be where your Topic 1 and Service 2.0 could play an important role, with a public services twist.

    Now back to the day job!


  13. On Cambridge Service Alliance Group on LinkedIn (Part 4):

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Allan,
    Thanks for that thought-sharing and quick discussion and elaboration on the topic and relating it to the government policies in UK. The discussion here was the first one to raise and focus on that aspect.

    I can't say I really started on something.
    I did some collection of literature on the diamond touch points.

    Started to read on the other school of service design as the topic really interests me regardless of being in thesis or not.

    Have started to develop an approach for researching service 2.0. I have previously wrote this article about hospitality 2.0 which I shared above with Andy.

    I had a couple of discussions on the body of knowledge and did a small layout on what it should include and how the research can go.

    Nothing to mention on tangibility in e-service but I plan to write few articles on that on my blog.

    For your comment on #1, design-inspired approach focuses more on enhancing the service interface but doesn't focus that much on the service engineering required to deliver such an experience. There's not that much of tools and knowledge to help you benefit from measurements in the sense of understanding, generating, visualizing and realizing your sought experience. When the human factor (at least front-line employee and customer) is a part of the equation then you're talking about a higher level of deviation in regards to applying the service blueprint, being less close to deliver the service brand promise. The deviation is less in the case of customer only on a self-service.

    If we were able to come with tools that would simplify TRIZ Systematic invention tools for service designers which will result in a new set of tools for designers, this will boost how maturely we innovate new experiences. If we could come up with tools that would help designers immediately test their generated concepts to see where problems will mostly happen based on statistical scenarios and models this will be invaluable I guess.

    I do agree that we need the Body of Knowledge. and I think it could be worked on as a collaborative project more than a thesis. I did see a huge need for it among the discussions.

    There's a lot of discussion on the service 2.0 on other groups. I'll try to group them on the blog so we all can have access to them.

    It's great that he's your former and not your current boss or you'll be taking a huge after-vacation risk :)

    I'm interested to read more on the SE case if you have something to share I'll really appreciate it.

    Best Regards,

  14. On Service Design Network Group on LinkedIn:

    Andrew Karpie • I can't really provide input about would be important, valuable, interesting, or trendy from an academic research perspective, but I can share my perspective as a long latent practioner and new student of Service Design (for what it's worth). I think topic 1 (which partly ties to 5) is very important for the establishment and actual adoption of the Service Design paradigm/discipline. How Service Design is like, not like, and/or related to other existing disciplines/methods already being applied in the service domain is important for Service Design to become an applied science and not just a theoretical one. This comparison should be accompanied by a range of real world examples of how Service Design has been applied and how it and its results differ from oither approaches.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hello Andrew,
    Welcome to the group and the domain. Thanks for your comment. That was a nice linking between both topics. When addressing the topic of the body of knowledge I think we'll have to clear on what the body of knowledge is for; is it service design body of knowledge or is it service innovation body of knowledge. Again, if we said service design body of knowledge, we'll come to those other approaches that come from out of the design school yet they're contributing in practice.
    In the same discussion on other groups other ideas were shared including thoughts and insights on those 2 topics I'll try to share some here.


    Gorm Simonsen • Hi Mahmoud.
    I can give my immediate input. In my view your Service 2.0 is pointing towards one of the important future learnings. Obviously, the customers/users have always evaluated/co-constructed the service aspect of a delivery, but I think producers in an increasing degree take that fact into the (product-)design process. Therefore, the orientation towards the indvidual customer/user is of importance for servicedesign.
    My second priority, among your list, would be no. 2 to focus on the range of actors. One of my favorites is Bryan Lawson's "How Designers Think", where the range of actors are one dimension in the analysis of the design problem, and also among the quality oriented design thinkers, the total range of actors is incorporated in models. Whether it is only the actors experiences, or also their aspirations, might be a point of closer scrutiny.
    These would be my priorities.
    Regard, Gorm

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hi Gorm,
    Thanks for your comment. Customers have always been known to have more on the knowledge of usage, while producer has the knowledge of technology. They're also co-creator of the service. I guess currently there's more focus on the basic service. The more we shift towards focus on the customer experience in the service, the more the customer will be empowered.

    If we need to focus on the experience of one customer at a time then the customer should be highly empowered to contribute to his own experience and the experiences of other customers. this includes aspects in design, delivery and information flow on the service.

    I've written an article once on hospitality 2.0. The article addressed the first aspect on community engagement in service design and delivery. I would like to invite you to have a look at it when you have time.

    Thanks for the recommendation of the book. I had a look at it on Google books and will try to get a closer look at it again. I was always looking for theories to help studying this aspect. I was told about knotworking and the activity theory. I'll consider this source as well. Thanks :)

    Discussion URL:

  15. on Experiential Marketing and Brand Experience Group on Linkedin :

    Francisco S. Machado • I think n# 3 is more interesting. It is a great challenge. For example, how do you make Linkedin more tangible?

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hello Francisco. It's amazing how you get different ways of seeing things with each group. I've posted this in other service-focused groups and it's the first time we start to discuss #3. I guess you also brought another frontier here of looking at it.

    I only meant the e-services in the sense of digital interfaces for services like shopping, hotel reservation, banking .. etc. Now you raised the case of purely digital services or even social networks and content-based services. But I believe there's a big room for closing this gap even in this category. Thanks again :)

    Francisco S. Machado • Hi Mahmoud, it´s so funny :)!

    I´ve worked with service a long time and the great challenge is become the services more tangible. When we sell a service, actually, we are sell a promise.

    Por example: if i buy a book on Amazon, I bought a promise to receive a book and this promise become tangible when I receive my book. There are other cases.

    Now, about Likedin as I suggested, I see this service very dry and, of course, very, very intangible. If you think, the social networks don´t exist, except when we turn on our computers and acccess the Internet, that don´t exist too. :) It´s so crazy, no!?.

    Well, in Brazil, some times, some groups on LInkedin hold meeting with its member, for exchanging business card and know each member. It is tangible.

    At Linkedin I can see only your profile and picture, maybe some presentation and ended. I have a suggestion for Linkedin become this social network more "tangible": create presentations on video/voice or only voice.

    Yes, to make services more tangibles is a good challenge.

    Good luck!

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hello Francisco,
    Thoughtful insight and argument.

    I would like to extend also the idea about the service promise to include not only the delivery but also the offering of the service.

    Also, The fact that service is produced during consumption is another aspect that makes it more complicated.

    This leaves you unaware of how your actual service encounter is going to look like, even if you saw the service 50 other customers received before yourself. Even the service organization can never tell you and guarantee how your service is going to look like.

    Again, If we added the co-creation aspect and the fact that you as a customer define to a certain extent how your actual service encounter is going to look like through your involvement, then this is another aspect.

    The example you gave for Linkedin is an example which was highly more adopted by xing, the less popular business network. They hired ambassadors who do such roles and plan such activities.

    Another example is LiveShop:

    They try to close the people gap.

    For sure the media and technology development is a main determinant. Until now, you'd feel more comfortable reading/ writing comments more than listening or watching/ recording them. You're faster in processing your networks status updates in text than in audio or video media.

    For sure it requires a holistic thinking on how we produce, consume and share media.

    Now if we took an example of how a digital service of reserving your hotel stay may look like, there're other aspects and thought. Seeing your actual room? Viewing the view from your window, talking to the reception desk, may be actually stepping in your room, or get your current office reprojected as your room to feel how it would feel like. Again some technology will be needed to feel the bed, use the facilities, Taste the breakfast .. etc :)

    I think it's still partly doable today. What do you think?

  16. on KSRI & Friends Group on LinkedIn:

    Cheryl Kieliszewski • I think you should ask yourself which of the 5 topics you have a strong passion for because the PhD will require you to become intimately familiar with your choosen research. If you don't feel a strong natural pull towards your choosen topic, something you'll also become known for, it'll be hard to find motivation and satisfaction in doing the work.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hello Cheryl,

    Thanks for your response, I guess there wasn't much opportunity to get in touch with you at the KSRI summer school, but it's never late.

    Those are the 5 topics I'm interested in. So I did some sort of filtration and excluded some topics I'm less interested in like experience-dominant logic, design for incubation ,,, etc.

    At this phase I'm trying to draw a general understanding of the needs in the research and practice world on those topics.

    If we looked at the thesis as a product, you don't only need to validate the existence of a considerable market but you need to also plan your portfolio and launch strategies accordingly. This is what I'm generally trying to do here.

    There're some active discussions on the topics going on some other groups including Cambridge Service Alliance, International Service Design Network, Service Design Network, Healthcare by Design, Service Science and few other groups.

    It's taking me a lot of effort to facilitate the discussion on all those groups but the outcome is really invaluable.

    Being a researcher in the field, I'm interested to get your insights.


    On Cornell Center for Hospitality Research Group on LinkedIn:

    J. Bruce Tracey • I'm a big fan of any effort that integrates research and practice from different disciplines and perspectives. For example, I think there would be substantial value in combining what we've learned about operations management, innovation, and branding to better inform our understanding of service design and delivery.

    Mahmoud Abdur-Rahman • Hi J. Bruce,
    Thanks for your comment. I fully agree.
    Does this mean you'd go for #1? :)

  17. Hi, Mahmoud
    it is rather difficult to give any specifically well-justified rating, but this is however my personal preference;