Balancing Value with Alignment Diagrams

20 January 2013

I’m proud to be publishing a short article on alignment diagrams in Touchpoint: The Journal of Service Design (vol 4, no. 3, pp. 70-73) called “Balancing Value with Alignment Diagrams.”

Touchpoint isn’t available online, but you can download the PDF of my article here.

Here are some excerpts from the text:

We can view value creation as an equation with two halves: on the one side, there’s the business perspective, including service provision mechanisms and the benefits the organisation obtains; on the other, we find the customer perspective, including the customer’s experience
and the added value a service brings to a market. Accordingly, alignment diagrams also have two parts that mirror these perspectives. Where the activities of the two halves meet gives rise to touchpoints – where value lies, as illustrated in the diagram below.

Strategic and tactical projects within any organisation often witness conflicting perspectives. By focusing on value creation – the overlap between customer activity and business offerings – we potentially harmonise this conflict. This is first step in achieving co-creation
and positioning an organisation to collaborate with customers.

While no silver bullet, alignment diagrams instil a sense of balance back into corporate thinking. At a minimum, they start a conversation towards coherence, bringing actions, thoughts and people together while fostering consensus. More importantly, they focus on creating value – for both the customer and the business. Moving forward, businesses will need to look at value as a balanced the equation. Alignment diagrams are
diagnostic tools already in the design repertoire that let us do just that, bringing new relevance design work. By understanding the underlying principles of alignment, designers can leverage their skills in ways that better serve businesses and ultimately help redefine value creation.

Download the full text of “Balancing Value with Alignment Diagrams.” Touchpoint (4/3), 2013.

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