Critical success factors in service design projects for IT consultancy company

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
International Design Business Management
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Master’s Degree Programme in International Design Business Management (IDBM)
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Companies have embraced innovation in the form of building digital solutions for supporting their internal and external activities. Digitalisation process has posed multiple challenges: shifting a business model from production to the field of services, internal organisation requiring new roles and processes, adapting strategies according to customer insights, forecasting and KPIs, technology optimisation, and many others. All the above challenges make the digitalisation process complex and difficult to manage. Consultancy firms promise to help clients create products, experience, and business through new capabilities and design approaches. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how service design was applied in the process of designing and implementing digital services and how this can help organisations to realise successful projects. This qualitative research was conducted as a multiple case study. The primary data were based on collecting project documents and field observations. The secondary data consists of a total of 12 semi-structured interviews; six individual interviews with the client representatives and six group interviews with consultancy team representatives. The cases were selected based on outcome polarity, success or failure, and uniqueness through the difference in the case contexts and type. The literature was used to construct a theoretical framework based on previous literature and the data was analysed with the theoretical framework. The research aimed to identify what are the critical success factors in service design projects for IT consultancy companies, what are their impact and reasoning behind, as well as validating if the success factors are connected to the service design practice. The secondary objective of this thesis is to understand what roles service design methods play in the realisation of the services and what is the overall experience of clients’ and consultancies’ when taking part in service design practice. The findings show that the most prevalent CSF in service design projects are clear project scope and vision, the level of collaboration and the right estimates in terms of time and effort. Where communication acts as a ‘catalyst’ for excellent outcomes as well as representing the root cause for not getting clear objectives. Customer-insights appeared to be an important success factor along with two new factors, user adoption and visual documentation. Service design was acknowledged to serve two roles: developing new services and preparing the organisation for it. The benefits of service design is claimed to enable creative thinking and help translate complex architecture into simple user journeys. Service design is perceived as an excellent opportunity for learning and building a customer-centric mindset.
Vartiainen, Matti
Thesis advisor
Sustar, Helena
critical success factors, service design, IT consultancy, new service development, design services
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