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Service Thinking

We believe the creation of organisations that embrace and structure themselves as services is transformational – creating joined up responsibilities across change and run, a focus on customer value and cost efficiency, and creating a space for empowerment, innovation, and the delivery of meaningful impact.

The introduction of digital service thinking, for example as facilitated by the Government Digital Service (GDS) in the UK, has driven significant changes including:

  • The use of cross functional teams that can take end to end responsibility for both the delivery and operation of digital services.
  • A focus on user needs, for example through the use of User Experience (UX) practices.
  • New ways of measuring success, based on user enablement and usage for example, in addition to traditional cost measures.
  • The introduction of new (Agile) ways of working as a standard within Government

However, we believe it’s now time for Government organisations to take these learnings and benefits and apply them to both non-digital services and to the wider organisation.

We’ve helped Government organisations do this, based on some key principles:

  • Bringing together change and run into an organisation that has end to end responsibility for a service across its entire lifecycle and across all change (projects and programmes).
  • Rolling annual budgets and budgetary approvals – for example based on a five-year forecast covering all change and run activities, with commitment on an annual basis – including the ability to flex funding across operational platforms and different change initiatives.
  • Governance based on new measures of success – customer value against cost and performance (efficiency and effectiveness) – in addition to traditional change and run (operations) metrics, incentivising reduction of costs (e.g. through decommissioning), investment in performance, and customer centricity.
  • Taking ownership of solving customers’ needs – building a deep relationship with their customers and users, introducing an innovation pipeline to identify potential solutions, and involving them intimately in all decision making.
  • The use of Lean Portfolio Management to manage change (projects and programmes) within the Service, introducing the ability to pivot based on changing requirements and context, prioritise based on an economic analysis of benefit and cost, and effectively govern innovation activities.
  • Creation of cross functional Service Leadership Teams that can take end to end responsibility for every element of the Service, and that are empowered to take ownership of the Service, for example through delegated decision making.
  • Ownership of supplier relationships, exploiting agile delivery practices using new agile commercial contracting mechanisms, and creating true partnerships based on the Service acting as an informed and empowered customer.

Get in contact if you’d like to talk to us about Service Thinking, the potential benefits, and how we might be able to help you.