How to measure results in Service Design?

The suggestion is a simple approach using cards

At the end of the Service Design process it is important to measure the increment after implementation in some way. After a long (or short) design session, what is expected is that the ideas generated will be brought to completion and reach the final destination: the human being and his experience on a journey. However, even the most relevant and well-applied design process creates iterations that require a time of experimentation with the target audience with the intention of rolling the Lean perspective of learning. To facilitate this iteration control, I created two elements that make life easier for teams involved in creating and executing services: the Service Backlog Item and the Test Evidence.

The idea is that these cards greatly assist teams in (in) validating a proposal, allowing them to capture insights and deepen understanding of the experiment / MVP. In addition, and not least, the possibility of creating a “breadcrumb” style “Evidence File” with the cards to evaluate progress of different iterations, whether of design sprints or Scrum.

Understanding SBI Cards and Test Evidence

Based on Tenny Pinheiro’s acclaimed book “The Service Startup: Design Thinking gets Lean: A Practical Guide to Service Design Sprint”, the main points of follow-through in the service design process structure have been extracted to be transparent to both the service design sprint for Scrum.

On the Service Backlog Item card, in addition to the base data such as the release, sprint and deadline, in-depth understanding information such as:

1- “Avatar Type”

They can be of three types:
T = Threshold (or basic increment for the user experience),
P = Performance (increases basic service levels), or,
E = Excitement (something that causes the WOW moment).

In any case, the type of improvement that this increment is adding to the service is defined.

2- “Avatar Scale”

As a suggested valuation of the avatar are:
$ = Value for the business,
E = Effort (time / money / technology),
Heart = Positive impact to user / consumer / client.

All these data are taken from the design sprint itself and help the project run by the agile team, earning time by having a summary of the increment in relation to the drawn design.
After the increment is implemented, both the design team and the scrum team can use the Test Evidence card as a way to obtain fundamental and reliable information, and depending on the result of the test, continue its improvement with other increments or open a new opportunity to (re)design.

Included in the Test Evidence card are the following criteria for an efficient experiment and learning:

1. The hypothesis being tested,

2. The test itself,

3. The metrics that will be used to measure success, and finally,

4. The criteria of success of the increment.

How to use the Service Backlog Item and the Test Evidence

As soon as the service design sprint has reached its peak, it’s time to bring the chosen ideas to life. The first step is to build the Build Backlog (equivalent to the Product Backlog in Scrum) with the prioritization of the items for the next sprints and this is where the first card comes in: Service Backlog Item. In practice this will be done either by the Service Owner (or if you prefer, Product Owner) or in some cases by the team responsible for the project. Once prioritized, the SBIs will greatly facilitate the negotiation inside the agile team in the construction of the sprint backlog, as it explicitly explains to the agile team in an in-depth way in which moment of the journey of the user/consumer/client that item fits, what type of increment is it and what’s his value to the business.

It is clear that the ideal is that the agile team already had knowledge, and preferably, an effective participation in the design sprint to help in negotiating the levels of value, impact to the service and technical difficulty related to SBI.

After delivery of Scrum, it is time to step in the Test Evidence card, which will be used as a basis for a careful evaluation of the increment for inspection. The card will provide clear information on what and how to measure the level of success of the improvement, and at the end of the stipulated measurement period, it will be able to bring evidences of the avatar’s usefulness to the intended experience.

Evidence file

The Test Evidence card can also be organized as a breadcrumb-style visual file to simplify the evidence of a deployed service increment, thereby completing the project operations board to nourish people as much as possible with information of all things that have to be done, such as a “group memory”.


The Service Backlog Item and Test Evidence can be excellent tools for people involved in creating, executing and delivering services (and why not products) to fulfill their functions of delivering value to the audience in a transparent, collaborative and reliable manner of desired value.

Now it’s up to you. Comment what you found about the tools and what is the outcome of your experience using these cards. ;)

Contact me on LinkedIn.

To create these elements, in addition to the book quoted in the text, I have used lessons from books like “Direto ao Ponto” and “Lean Inception” by Caroli, “Value Proposition Design” by Alex Osterwalder et al. and “Visual Leaders” by David Sibbet.
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