Service Science – awful name, interesting idea

IBM have recognised the skills gap of people unqualified to manage service-based institutions. So they created an acronym – SSME – Service Science, Management and Engineering. This is basically service design, but fascinating that a technocratic company like IBM have turned it into a science- based practice. If you were to go now and get a degree in service management – would you expect a Bachelor of Arts, or a Bachelor of Science? Does it matter? I’m an arts grad so to me, yes, it would. And also service is a creative activity, which relies on the service provider creating a good customer experience at every moment, tailored to specific customers. It’s not a science.

But let’s be honest – IBM’s expertise is in selling to their services, and they’re savvy enough to know that service “design” would be too fluffy for them to stomach. Make it a science, with predictable process and methods, and then you put your captain of industry clients at rest. But I doubt very much whether SSME could be transformational.

Oh – and they have a pretty good definition of service design. Perhaps we could all sign up to it before the next SD conference! Save ourselves a lot of debate.

1 thought on “Service Science – awful name, interesting idea

  1. Qin

    Actually Raymond Fisk and Stephen Grove are pushing the concept of ‘Service Knowledge’ to replace IBM’s SSME, in order to make it more inclusive to all disciplines… they are writing the first chapter of ‘the Service Science Handbook'(ed James C. , Paul P. Maglio and Cheryl A. Kieliszewksi). The book is gonna be published in 2009 – worth keeping an eye on it :)Qin


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