The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

SFIA skills for service design

A list of SFIA skills with examples of service design activities and artefacts.

Skills breakdown

"The industry is notorious for spinning out new practices, processes, weird and wonderful job roles and creating a heavy debate about where one discipline stops and where another one begins."  from What the £@*^ is Service Design? | Spotless

The table helps to identify and clarify the skills needed to do effective Service design. 

  • A key message is that there is not a single SFIA skill for "service design" - instead service designers use a number of SFIA skills to perform their role
  • This does not imply that all Service designers need all these skills.
  • SFIA is flexible by design so we would recommend that SFIA skills and skill levels should be aligned to jobs, roles and people - according to your specific organisational context, organisational design, job design etc

SFIA skills

Service design - specific examples of the skill in practice

Strategic planning ITSP
  • Understand the wider organisational objectives, issues, risks and activities. Represent them in any discussions about the service. 
  • This could include representing policies, standards, competitors during planning and research. 
  • Lead strategic planning for the service to ensure it meets business objectives. 
  • Articulate strategic goals for the service and share the story through artefacts like roadmaps, vision and mission statements or service blueprints. Identifying and classifying stakeholders, understanding their communication needs and communicating and engaging with them appropriately during the project.
Consultancy CNSL
  • Providing advice and recommendations on potential approaches to organisational problems
  • Looking at the context of the organisation in its ecosystem
  • Leading service-specific workshops around organisational value and change 
  • Bringing in industry best-practice in terms of tools, approach, processes
  • Definition of different service models
  • Reach out effectively across organisational, technical and situational boundaries. 
  • Simplify complex, cross departmental information and processes, making it understandable to all
  • Facilitate co-creation by building a successful team where everyone involved in the service is represented and contributes to the bigger picture   
User research URCH
  • Defining research goals according to service needs
  • Undertaking observation, shadowing or similar with a view to understanding user needs and behaviours. Use of qualitative and quantitative elicitation and investigation techniques to understand users’ perspective.
Research RSCH
  • Competitive benchmarking
  • Domain and market research
  • Proofs-of-concepts as a form of experimentation
  • Defining and comparing various service models
Enterprise and business architecture STPL
  • Assessing the current capabilities and strengths and weaknesses of an organisation, determining what new capabilities are required to fill a gap and working with stakeholders to align change initiatives with the organisation’s vision and mission.
  • Defining a new service architecture (the front-stage and back-stage elements that make up a service) 
  • Understanding new target operating models and helping to determine the changes required to achievement.
Organisational capability development OCDV
  • Working on holistic analysis with significant focus on assessing the current organisational capabilities, working with the project team to generate options and working with a team to facilitate the implementation of a chosen option (which may involve people, process, organisational, and information and technology changes).
Business process improvement BPRE
  • Conducting analysis and documentation of “as is” processes, and putting those processes against a map of the overall service (tasks fit in processes, processes fit in services) 
  • Analysing and defining value across the service map  
  • Development of “could be” and “to be” service processes 
  • Assessing impacts on people, organisation, information and technology (as well as the process itself)
  • Solve complex problems and services through evidence based decisions. Tell the story of how it will be solved so that it can be implemented successfully 
Product management PROD
  • Managing aspects of the product life cycle, and championing the voice of the customer in projects. Ensuring features are prioritised based on the value that will be realised once they are delivered.
Emerging technology monitoring EMRG
  • Conducting environmental and competitive analysis, and thence to stand in the available technology (and what competitors are using).
  • Assessing the feasibility and desirability of implementing new technologies.
Requirements definition and management REQM
  • Understanding organisational and stakeholder objectives and needs, and distilling these down into detailed solution requirements. Ensuring that requirements are appropriately managed and traced.
Business situation analysis BUSA
  • Investigating the situation, understanding stakeholder perspectives, defining requirements and assessing potential solutions.
  • Understanding the outside-looking-in perspective (rather than the typical inside-looking-out view) of the organisation, its aims, the value it generates, and its context). 
  • Understanding a businesses resources and mapping how they work together to directly or indirectly affect the employee or customer experience 
Business modelling BSMO
  • Creating various models, including conceptual models, process models, organisational methods, data and information models, and so forth.
Data modelling and design DTAN
  • Defining the information that is relevant for the organisation and the relationship between different types of information.
User experience analysis UNAN
  • Understanding end users context and motivation, shadowing users to appreciate the challenges that they face, articulating the user flow and challenges
  • Balancing the needs of the organisation with needs of the users, and also stakeholder organisations in the surrounding ecosystem
  • Understanding stakeholder roles.
  • Using techniques such as personas, journey mapping and prototyping.
User experience design HCEV
  • Defining the service flows, inputs and outputs, checkpoints and general high-level (L1, and L2) process maps
  • Articulating various service aspects - producing artefacts to represent these such as service blueprints, process maps, ecosystem maps and so on
  • Facilitating discussion of important areas such as the tension between user needs and business needs, project compromises, and the prioritisation of value 
  • Co-creating viable solutions for features, interfaces, touchpoints and experiences 
Benefits management BENM
  • Working with the sponsor, benefit owners and project teams to understand the desired outcomes and benefits, ensuring these are clearly articulated in a business case.
  • Working closely with the project manager to act as the “project conscience”, ensuring that benefits are kept front and centre, and that the scope does not stray.