Service Blueprinting Research & Process Design

Service blueprinting is the method of simultaneously depicting the service process, points of customer contact, and evidence of the service from the customer’s point of view. Service blueprints describe all the activities for designing and managing services, including schedule, project plans, detailed representations, and design plans, or service platforms.

How it works: A service blueprint describes a service in enough detail to implement and maintain it carefully. The service blueprint becomes a map of the service journey, identifying processes that constitute the service, isolating failure points and establishing the timeline for service.

G. Lynn Shostack, former VP of Citibank, developed service blueprinting as a way to plan the cost and revenue associated with operating a service. A blueprint can be used by both business process managers, designers and software engineers during development, and as a guide to operating services on a day-to-day basis.

Challenges: Currently, the biggest challenges in blueprinting revolve around ways of depicting services in a holistic way, from branding and user experience to back-end technical and business processes. Also, blueprinted sequences become challenged when there are multiple options or paths through the service process or when the planned process goes awry. The danger is that too much rigidity in service blueprints does not allow for flexibility in meeting consumers individual needs.