Story about our Service Design Self Development Group @ Budapest Part 1.

Few months ago, we started the Service Design Self Development group @ Budapest with Fanni, and I would like to share my experiences with you about this multi-part series blog post.

Motivation and the first steps

First thing first, I met with the concept of service design via one of my candidate. We were talking about professional things, daily activities, future plans until in the middle of the conversation the guy mentioned that his new role is a service design consultant. The story was so impressive, I started my research about the topic. After a few weeks (or months) I made a decision, ‘Let’s look for a service design coach’ or a good source in order to learn more about the topic.

Nowadays, I prefer real mentors with active pet projects instead of online courses — you know that I learn programming in the same way — , so I started to look up professionals on LinkedIn and also called my friends “Please, help me to find a seasoned guy, because I want to know more about service design!!” Finally, one of my dear friend helped me out with contacts and I wrote all of them a nice introduction about me and my plans, how I’d like to change the world.

My goals are:

  • clarify the concept of service design, because I haven’t got any experience with it
  • listen and learn — talking about experiences with others and share stories
  • explore new tools, form groups, find projects and use the methods
  • organize an enthusiastic professional community and have fun in the long run
  • iterate

I was on the right track because I received promising messages and set up two meetings in order to grab a coffee and got a chance to get to know each other. Both of the guys were kind and open to move forward, but after the second meeting we bet on a group work sessions, instead individual coaching sessions. We started to organize the local Service Design Self Development Group.

Let’s do it

The concept is really simple, Fanni and I will run a 5–6 months long workshop series, in order to teach and learn about service design and share our experiences. Fanni is the professional facilitator and mentor while I set up all of the other requirements such as communication channels, different venues for the events, get ‘sponsors’ and so on. We set up an application form (we were curious about the applicant’s motivation, background and future plans…) and shared it among friends. This was a trial period and our goal was to be a closed and small, 12–15 person group focused on learning and meeting every second or fourth Saturday. The feedback was great and the number of applicants were beyond expectations, so we had to assign a headcount.

Finally the Service Design Self Development Group has launched with 15 guys, 6 events and 5 various hosts. Participants attended from totally different industries and roles, we have a Trainer, Product Manager, UX\UI Designer, Service Designer\Researcher, Recruiter, Event Organizer, Design Thinking Coach, Business Developer.

About the program

Our goal is to spread the word about service design, and start a free community there you could work on a project with others. We form a small groups (3–4) and share our knowledge and experiences while using the techniques on real projects. The whole session contains five formal events plus one open presentation session. Every “meeting” has a strict timeline that covers:

  • feedback loops (on milestones, progress, difficulties…)
  • brainstorming sessions (reflecting on the topics and other’s problems)
  • presentations (3–4 pre-defined topic)
  • discussions and other activities (open discussions and real life examples)

With this syllabus we would like to deal with both the theoretical and practical parts while you can work with your team on the project. Facilitating this group is a challenge, because we need a deep motivation to be a part of it, actively take part in the events, share experiences and inspiring our environment while you do your daily job.

The first event @ Emarsys

The first event was hosted by Emarsys, and we focused on the baby steps, like introductions, concept clarifications, choosing projects and forming groups as well as define the goals for the next meeting. I was happy at this stage because we organised a new community with shared values, willing to take part in the activities and able to receive new input. By now we also have started our projects and have had weekly meetings. These occasions look like hipster brainstorming sessions, placed in a downtown pub, drinking beer and sketching, discussing our ideas while move forward to the next session.

Picture about my co-created introduction

This is the entry, and I will come forward with new stories about the second and third meetings. If you have any questions or comments about my posts, feel free to contact me LinkedIn or Twitter.