I am also very interested in this topic, as the bulk of my product management experience over the years has been with B2B service providers, including resell of third party technology and related services around them. I have never come across specific resources for service development within the realm of product management and development, however if you do find some, please share! Perhaps it's because, in reality, a lot of the same approaches still apply. Personally I would deem any customer-facing offering is the "product" of the organisation and as such I would use the term product management and development to equally apply to service development.
What I can share is my experience on the matter, and in summary, I would say that a lot of the concepts and approaches of building products from the literature are also applicable to service development and introduction. Constructs that I have seen stand the test of time in service development include
1. Stage gate methodology - minimum of a three gate process for 1. Concept Proposal -> 2. Design/Business Case -> 3. Development/Ready for launch/go-to-market
2. Need for customer insights to drive new product and service concepts and enhancements and also ongoing voice of the customer initiatives
3. Concept prototyping, testing and iteration
4. Formalised checklists for development to ensure the whole organisation is lined up behind the initiative - the service organisation is key as they require significant training and enablement for any materially new service you want to introduce
5. Strong go-to-market planning so sales and marketing are aligned in terms of messaging, USPs, target segments etc.
Some of the key deliverables of product development for services in my experience are
1. Service definition (internal source of truth as to what is in the service and what isn't) including SLAs etc.
2. Technical design (in the case the service relies on technical infrastructure) and if so, the build and test thereof
3. Service processes and the all-important customer journey
4. Operational training and enablement
5. Creation/updating of IT systems (CRM, service management, billing, financial, etc.) and testing thereof
6. Pricing model
7. Sales training and collateral (sales deck, proposal template, pricing tool, competitive battlecards)
8. Marketing materials (brochure/datasheet, marketing plan to include events, website, webinars and other launch campaign air support)
8. Contractual elements (service schedule, terms and conditions/service agreement, order form)
There will be more for each individual organisation, which is why I advocate the idea of a stage gate process with relevant templates and checklists to ensure the right elements come together during the process and everyone signing off pre-launch is assured that all the components to successfully launch and deliver a good customer and staff experience are in place. Note that this does not preclude iteration in the concept and design phases to build and test prototypes prior to full build. It often makes sense also to secure friendly pilot customers first to bed in the new processes and structures and iron out any unforeseen glitches before scaling up.
Sent: 07-23-2020 14:29
From: John Eaton
Subject: PD in a service industry
Hi all, I've moved into a service organization (reseller of medical technology) and am trying to pull relevant service-oriented PD resources together to lead my team(s). I have more background in companies that do their own Product Development but want to instill similar ways of thinking/doing in our environment where we don't design/build our own stuff.
Anyway, all perspective are welcome.
John Eaton, NPDP
Sr. Group Product Manager
Innovative Medical Systems
Grand Rapids, MI