Part of my role at Co-op over the last few months has been leading our service design community of practice. I really enjoy planning and facilitating sessions, as well as getting others to contibute and lead too.
One recent session was around the skills that people in our multidisciplinary teams expect service designers to bring to the work. I wanted to help service designers understand what others expected of them and where they may need to focus their development, which we could then plan CoP sessions around. I also wanted to help shape the definition of what being a service designer means at Co-op. Beyond that I just thought it would be interesting, after sharing the outcomes on twitter it seemed others might do to, so I’m writing them up more fully.
After our usual check-in I asked the 18 people present to split into 3 groups of 6. Each group was a mix of UX designers, user researchers, software engineers, learning designers and others. I made sure there was a ‘service designer’ by role in each group to offer support and help guide conversation.
The statement I asked the group to respond to was…
<aside> ❓ When I work with a service designer, the skills I need them to bring are:
I had provided all the skills that are documented in our current design progression framework. In that framework they’re divided up in individual role types but I removed those categories for this activity to try and remove chance of people just using what was already labelled as service design skills. They could also add any they felt were missing.
All the skills in the Co-op design progression framework & some blank post-its for extras
I then asked each group to drag the skills onto the ‘skills onion’ I’d created - a butchered version of the ‘team onion’. I wanted them to consider which skills they’d expect as ‘core’, ‘related’, and ‘less important’ to a service design role. I also expected there to be some that didn’t even make it onto these circles at all.
You can see the results of the activity from each group in the images below - or read on for the analysis of it (click to full-screen each image & pan around).
Results from Group 1
Results from group 2
Results from Group 3
After this initial sort, the final activity I asked the groups to do was identify the 5 top priority skills in their view for a service designer. The results were: