A proposal for a structured approach for cross-company teamwork: a case study of involving the customer in service innovation
Journal article, 2011
This paper outlines the results of a project aiming
to develop and apply methods for service co-creation
with customers, focusing on the early phases of service
development. The project is collaboration between a manufacturing firm in the automotive industry, one of their B2Bcustomers (a transportation firm), as well as a university, all in Sweden.
The research team selected and developed
methods and work practices for problem analysis, idea
generation, development and evaluation of services. Thus
doing, methodological influence was taken from the area of
engineering design. The proposed approaches were applied
in a service development experiment mainly based on
workshops. The experiment was followed up by an analysis
of the resulting output, an interview series, and an evaluation by peers in focus groups. The goal of this article is to answer the following research questions: (1) What is the industrial applicability of co-creating services using a structured approach, e.g. what are the benefits and challenges?
(2)What do the different actors contribute with using this
approach, and what possible factors influence the nature and quality of the actors’ contributions? (3) Based on the
answers to the questions above, what aspects should be
considered to support situated planning and execution of
future service co-creation projects? A central conclusion is that a structured approach is industrially applicable, but it is also evident that there is no completely universal recipe for service innovation. Addressing these insights, the paper also contributes with guidelines to support the situation-adapted set-up of future service co-creation projects.