This list represents a summary of the past forty years of service design literature. The citations were compiled from the Emergence conference at Carnegie Mellon University as well as the Designing for Services project in the UK, service design syllabi at CMU and independent research. I've included the abstracts and introductions to the papers and cross-referenced examples and concepts so that it's easy to follow the development of ideas such as "service blueprinting" across multiple papers.

Select any underlined term to filter the list, showing only papers that share that particular concept, example, author, journal or decade. If you'd like to help fill in the gaps by suggesting other canonical papers, e-mail the citations to service at Thanks!

Filter: Papers that mention "Value Stream" | View all papers
The Barista Principle: Starbucks and the Rise of Relational Capital
Strategy + Business, 2002
Ranjay Gulati
From the article: "From coffee bar to caffeine kingdom, Starbucks proves relationships are as important as physical assets."

Example: Starbucks

The Service Concept: The Missing Link in Service Design Research?
Journal of Operations Management, 2002
Susan Goldstein
From the article: "The service concept plays a key role in service design and development. But while the term is used frequently in the service design and new service development literature, surprisingly little has been written about the service concept itself and its important role in service design and development. The service concept defines the how and the what of service design, and helps mediate between customer needs and an organization’s strategic intent. We define the service concept and describe how it can be used to enhance a variety of service design processes. As illustrations here, we apply the service concept to service design planning and service recovery design processes. Employing the service concept as an important driver of service design decisions raises a number of interesting questions for research which are discussed here."
The Lean Service Machine
Harvard Business Review, 2003
Cynthia Swank
From the article: "Lean production is built around the concept of continuous-flow processing--a departure from traditional production systems, in which large batches are processed at each step. Jefferson Pilot Financial (JPF) appointed a "lean team" to reengineer its New Business unit's operations, beginning with the creation of a "model cell"--a fully functioning microcosm of JPF's entire process. This approach allowed managers to experiment and smooth out the kinks while working toward an optimal design. The team applied lean-manufacturing practices, including placing linked processes near one another, balancing employees' workloads, posting performance results, and measuring performance and productivity from the customer's perspective. The results were so impressive that JPF is rolling out similar systems across many of its operations."

Examples: Jefferson Pilot Financial, Insurance, Toyota

Compare with:
R&D Comes to Services: Bank of America's Pathbreaking Experiments
Lean Consumption
Blueprinting the Service Company: Managing the Service Processes Efficiently
Journal of Business Research, 2004
Sabine Fließ
From the article: "Service processes require the participation of the customer: Without the customer, service processes cannot take place. The fact that the service provider is dependent on customer participation causes difficulties in managing service processes efficiently and effectively because customer's contributions can only be influenced by the provider up to a certain extent. The article will stress the management of service process efficiency. Therefore, a production-theoretic view will be used to identify the sources of efficiency problems. Based on this approach, we will differentiate between customer-induced and customer-independent acivities for a better efficiency management. The well-known blueprinting technique will be used in a revised version based on the production-theoretic approach to identify starting points for improving process efficiency."

Examples: Banks, Acquisition

Compare with:
How to Design a Service
Designing product/service systems: A methodological exploration
Service Blueprinting: A Practical Tool for Service Innovation