The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Applying SFIA skills to service design

Each SFIA skill is detailed with a specific application to service design, illustrating how these can be applied in the analysis, design, development, implementation, and management of services.

For service design leaders, this is a guide to understanding the critical skills required to execute effective service design. 

  • Clarifies roles and responsibilities: Helps in defining the roles within their teams and aligning skills with specific service design tasks.
  • Support skill development: Provides a framework for identifying skill gaps and developing targeted training programs to enhance team capabilities.
  • Facilitates strategic planning: Assists in strategic planning by linking skills to service design outcomes, ensuring that team capabilities are aligned with organisational goals.

For organisations developing service design capabilities: For organisations aiming to build or enhance their service design capabilities, the document offers:

  • Guidance on skill requirements: Acts as a blueprint for the skills needed to develop robust service design practices.
  • Framework for capability building:
    • Provides a structured approach to developing service design capabilities, from identifying necessary skills to applying them effectively.
    • Understanding whether learning is about new skills or about re-focusing existing skills
    • The focus on a cultural/mind-set shift in how service design is perceived / performed versus a focus only on the artefacts of service design
    • Having different approaches to service design to effectively address the different use cases for service design 
  • Benchmarking and Assessment: Serves as a tool for benchmarking current capabilities and assessing progress in service design maturity.

Skill code

Skill name

Illustrative application to service design


Feasibility assessment

Evaluate feasibility: Assess options for financial viability, technical feasibility, and strategic context, using iterative prototyping and testing.


User research

Plan research: Design activities to gather insights into user needs and behaviours.

User engagement: Conduct interviews, surveys, and usability testing with diverse users.

Data analysis: Identify themes and insights to inform the design process.


Business situation analysis

Understand needs: Analyse business processes to identify issues and opportunities for service improvement.

Propose Improvements: Develop and propose solutions that align with business goals and enhance service delivery.


Requirements definition and management

Gather and analyse requirements: Collect and document requirements for new or improved services.

Align with objectives: Ensure requirements are aligned with business objectives and user needs, facilitating effective service design.


Financial analysis

Evaluate financial performance: Conduct cost-benefit analyses to inform decisions on service design investments.

Support investment decisions: Provide financial insights that guide the development and sustainability of services.


Business modelling

Develop business models: Create models that represent business processes, helping to understand and improve service design.

Analyse scenarios: Use models to analyse different business scenarios and their impact on services.


User experience analysis

Gather and analyse user data to identify pain points and opportunities for service enhancement.

Provide insights to improve the overall user experience of services.


User experience design

Design user interfaces: Create user-centric designs that meet user needs and preferences.

Develop prototypes: Build prototypes to visually represent the design and functionality of the service.

User feedback: Engage users to test the prototypes, gathering feedback to refine and improve the design.


User experience evaluation

Evaluate usability: Conduct usability testing to assess the effectiveness of the service design.

Gather feedback: Collect user feedback to continuously improve the service based on user experiences


Business process improvement

Identify inefficiencies: Analyse current business processes to pinpoint areas of inefficiency.
Propose improvements: Develop and recommend changes to enhance process efficiency and effectiveness.
Implement changes: Apply improvements and monitor their impact on service delivery.


Solution architecture

Define architecture components: Develop multi-dimensional solution architectures to deliver business outcomes.
Ensure compatibility: Ensure that solution components are compatible with existing systems.
Address concerns: Tackle security and scalability issues in the architecture design.


Systems design

Define system components: Design systems that meet requirements and are scalable and maintainable.
Align with needs: Ensure designs align with user needs and organisational goals.
Interface design: Specify system interfaces and data structures.


Capacity management

Forecast needs: Predict future capacity and performance requirements.
Align with goals: Ensure capacity planning aligns with business objectives.


Availability management

Monitor service availability: Ensure IT services meet agreed service levels.
Identify risks: Detect potential availability risks and plan mitigation strategies.
Implement measures: Apply measures to ensure continuous service availability.


Organisational facilitation

Co-creation facilitation: Plan and manage co-creation workshops with stakeholders to collaboratively design services.

Design thinking promotion: Engage stakeholders in design thinking exercises to foster innovation and creative problem-solving.

Ensure communication: Provide effective communication and training throughout the design process to ensure all participants are aligned.


Market research

Identify opportunities: Conduct research to understand market needs and trends.
User insights: Gather data on user preferences and behaviours to inform service design.
Competitive analysis: Analyse competitors to identify gaps and opportunities.


Customer experience

Map customer journeys: Design and refine customer journeys to enhance satisfaction.
Touchpoint analysis: Evaluate all customer touchpoints to ensure a seamless experience.
Feedback loops: Implement mechanisms for continuous customer feedback.


Accessibility and inclusion

Inclusive design: Ensure services are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
Compliance: Adhere to accessibility standards and guidelines.
User testing: Conduct testing with diverse user groups to identify and address accessibility issues.


Portfolio management

Align projects: Ensure service design projects align with organisational strategy and goals.
Resource allocation: Manage resources effectively across multiple projects.
Performance tracking: Monitor and evaluate the performance of the service design portfolio.


Acceptance testing

Define criteria: Establish clear acceptance criteria for service features.
User involvement: Include end-users in the testing process to validate functionality and usability.
Iterative testing: Conduct testing in iterations to identify and resolve issues early.


Animation development

Visual storytelling: Use animation to convey service concepts and user journeys.
Engage users: Create engaging and informative animations to enhance user understanding.
Prototype visualisation: Develop animated prototypes to illustrate service interactions.



Foster creativity: Encourage innovative ideas and approaches in service design.
Prototype quickly: Develop and test prototypes rapidly to explore new concepts.
Collaborate widely: Engage with a wide range of stakeholders to gather diverse perspectives.


Benefits management

Identify benefits: Clearly define the benefits of service design initiatives.
Track realisation: Monitor the realisation of benefits throughout the project lifecycle.
Communicate value: Communicate the value and impact of service design to stakeholders.


Content design and authoring

Design content: Create content that meets user needs and enhances the service experience.
Structure for usability: Ensure content is well-structured for clarity and ease of use.
Edit and refine: Continuously improve content based on user feedback.


Content publishing

Manage publication: Oversee the scheduling and distribution of content across platforms.
Ensure quality: Maintain the accuracy and quality of published content.
Coordinate efforts: Work with various teams to ensure timely and effective content delivery.


Product management

Define strategy: Develop product strategies that align with service goals.
Gather requirements: Collect and prioritise user and business requirements.
Oversee lifecycle: Manage the product lifecycle from development to retirement, ensuring it supports the overall service.


Delivery management

Plan and coordinate: Manage resources and timelines to ensure successful service delivery.
Ensure requirements: Verify that services meet specified requirements.
Monitor progress: Track the delivery process to stay on time and within budget.


Data analytics

Collect data: Gather data on user interactions and service performance.
Analyse insights: Extract meaningful insights to inform service improvements.
Report findings: Present data analysis results to stakeholders to support decision-making.


Stakeholder relationship management

Identify stakeholders: Determine who the key stakeholders are for the service design project.
Understand needs: Gather insights into stakeholder needs and concerns.
Maintain communication: Ensure continuous and effective communication with stakeholders to address their needs.


Information systems coordination

Align systems: Ensure information systems support the business processes and service goals.
Manage interdependencies: Coordinate between different IT systems to ensure smooth operation.
Support business goals: Align IT initiatives with overall business objectives.


Organisational capability development

Identify gaps: Assess the current capabilities of the organisation and identify gaps.
Plan development: Develop initiatives to enhance organisational capabilities.
Monitor progress: Track the implementation of development initiatives to ensure they meet business needs.


Risk management

Identify risks: Recognise potential risks that could impact the service design project.
Assess and mitigate: Evaluate the risks and develop mitigation plans.
Monitor risks: Continuously monitor risk factors and adjust strategies as needed.



Establish frameworks: Create policies and practices to guide the service design process.
Ensure compliance: Monitor adherence to governance structures and policies.
Provide oversight: Maintain effective management and oversight of the service design initiatives.



Plan audits: Develop plans to assess the effectiveness of controls in service design.
Conduct assessments: Evaluate the adequacy of processes and controls.
Report findings: Document and communicate audit findings to relevant stakeholders.


Customer service support

Resolve issues: Address customer-reported problems and incorporate solutions into the design process.
Gather feedback: Use customer interactions to gather feedback and insights to improve the service design.


Customer engagement and loyalty

Understand needs: Collect detailed information on customer needs and preferences to inform design decisions.
Build loyalty: Develop features and services that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty from the outset.


Brand management

Develop strategies: Create a brand strategy that aligns with the service design and enhances the overall brand perception.
Monitor perception: Monitor how the new or redesigned service impacts brand perception.
Promote the brand: Ensure that the service design reflects and promotes the brand’s values and identity, strengthening brand loyalty.