In this blog post we are learning from Taneli Hukkanen the importance of human centricity in technology projects. This is the third post in our EDS Touchpoints series.
- I work in the Enterprise Design Services team and I have an educational background in economics and information systems science. My focus areas at KPMG are process mining and process optimization, business development as well as service design and human centricity in technological development.
- In March 2019 when I joined KPMG, there was not much service design existing, just the concept being discussed upon. It’s great to see how the human-centric design of digital solutions has become from a mere concept to one of the main components of the team. What it means is that we put the human in the core of any development of any solution. So, we’re designing and developing with people, for people. In short, we don’t simply create some solution ourselves and then try to fit it in every problem, we design personalized solutions for people which they can use to solve their problems. Every situation is different.
- Usually, when we have a new project we start with questions, not with answers. It’s a lot of interviewing and talking with clients or the target group. For us, the participation is important – we do it with the client. In action, it's interviews and often various kind of workshops together with participants that are hopefully from many different areas so we can acquire many viewpoints regarding the solution we're trying to find.
In these workshops we have many different tools and exercises that can be used to find the optimal solution personalized for the customers and their specific problem. There's no one tool for one solution, so it's hard to define the exact process - it depends so much on the case. Therefore, we follow the service design process and pick the tools we need for each case, so there is no one way of doing things.
For example, when developing a new digital solution with a client for them to sell to their customers, it is important to creatively analyze all the variables such as markets, customer needs, capabilities, the most important use cases etc. to find the optimal solutions for that particular situation. The point is not to have an existing template that can be then copy-pasted everywhere, which has too often been the case.
If done like that we often notice later that it hasn’t really been the best solution. It's always personalized!
- We had a one big IT system acquisition and integration case, which we started with Service Design. That involved interviews and workshops with every group that would need and use the upcoming IT system.
In these different workshops we found out different motives for example what each user group wanted to achieve with the system. We were then able to have a very detailed overview from many viewpoints how the system was required to perform in addition to understanding how each user group wanted to use it.
After this we had a really good idea what the system needed to be in order to get things right from the beginning.
1) Solutions are personalized to your specific needs.
2) It really is resource management and effectiveness, because the point is to find the right solution right away, so we don't waste energy and money creating wrong solutions.
3) It allows continuous improvement, because people have been involved from the beginning, so they understand the solutions better and are able to continue the improvement themselves in the future.
- Firstly, I don’t assume anything. I understand that I need to actually listen first and thoroughly understand what people want and what kind of problem they are trying to solve. Only then, I can know what the solution might be and not just assume there is already an existing solution.
The point is, that I have to take the step out of my own point of view and acquire the viewpoint of the customer in every solution possible. It is an attitude that needs to be constantly present in every action.
- Do you start by asking the right questions first or do you rely on thinking that there is an existing solution already? Do you have the attitude to always be open and flexible enough to approve the fact that the assumed solution may not the best one?
Check out also out last week's post about the benefits of defining a common language in large IT transformation by our Information Architect Riikka Huttunen and our very first post explaining Enterprise Design Services (EDS) in a nutshell by the team lead Kristian Backman.