5 x 5, In-house Service Design, Pam Nyberg

Interview with Pam Nyberg, Director of Experience Design at Humana

by Thomas Brandenburg

We’ve positioned ourselves well at this point by developing a strong reputation for success in taking on the toughest, most complex problems and playing well with others along the way.

1. What are couple of the key ways you go about training or educating the rest of the organization in service design?

In addition to educating project teams while working with them, we’ve developed immersive environments to simulate experiences, assembled case studies of past successes, and lead exercises during key leadership meetings to continually familiarize leaders with the benefits Design enables.  Additionally, we’ve developed a series of short courses on key topics, most of which are a combination of short videos, checklists, tools, and small assignments, to reinforce practices taught in the courses.

2. What are couple of important factors needed in order to successfully set up and integrate an in-house service design practice?

3. As we know, at the heart of service design is collaboration and co-creation—how do you go about finding allies in-house?

We’ve positioned ourselves well at this point by developing a strong reputation for success in taking on the toughest, most complex problems and playing well with others along the way.  Given this, people approach us for help, and we work closely with them to ensure their success.  Many of our most frequent collaborators have either worked with us previously or been trained by us so our network of collaborators expands with every project and training session.

4. Tell us about the metrics that your team works toward.

Since our Design group partners with teams in lines of business and across the enterprise, we adopt the metrics that are important to those particular groups and incorporate any additional operational or experiential metrics that may be missing.  In addition, we prioritize work based on Humana’s strategic goals / metrics.

5. What myth about (in-house) service design would you like to dispel?

MYTH:  Helping teams identify issues and generate solutions to problems will position you for success.

REALITY:  We’ve heard stories about similar groups in other organizations who are frustrated by their limited success in having concepts implemented.  The primary reason this may be happening is because they transition out of projects before the work has been sustainably scaled and operationalized.  Service Design work is new to many, and we’ve found that, without Design’s active involvement through the Pilot stage, decisions can accidentally be made by others that adversely affect implementation of the desired experience.

To see Pam Nyberg at our upcoming SDN US National Conference register here

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