Eva-Maria Kirchberger, course tutor for Design Management (Online), gives us an insight into her chapter “Specialist Service Design Consulting: The end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end?”, co-authored with Professor Bruce Tether and featured in Designing for Service: Key Issues and New Directions.

“Service Design has become a well known practice and established methodology which has enjoyed a wide adoption since its commercial deployment over ten years ago. This success has not only been on the client side. Rivals, mostly big management consultancies, are also showing interest and setting up service design departments or buying respective design consultancies.

In our article, we are particularly interested in what this means for established firms in the field, such as the co-pioneers Engine, livework and IDEO.

Although this brave new world is full of opportunities, from changing entire airports and large dealership chains in huge transformational projects worldwide, this new scope and scale goes way beyond what service designers are used to do.

In short, while design capabilities are necessary to develop new ideas and experiences, management consultants enjoy a reputation among clients which puts them closer towards reliable large scale projects.

Engine Service Design during Dubai Airport event

But what does it mean for the companies in the space, such as one of the co-pioneers, Engine and their designers? Is competition good or bad, and what should they do?

In our chapter, ‘The End of the Beginning, the Beginning of the End’, we explore this question, based on one of the author’s long-term study within the firm and the comparison to others.”

Find out more about Designing for Service: Key Issues and New Directions, edited by Alison Prendiville and Daniela Sangiorgi.
Find out more about Design Management (Online)