Service Engineering/Service Design – two different approaches to the same topic?

We had an interesting discussion lately: When trying to find a differentiation between Service Design and Service Engineering we were struggling with the approach. Shall we look at processes? Shall we look at Methods and Tools used in both disciplines?

We finally came up with a matrix (see matrix below) where we started to look at the following attributes:

Attributes Service Design Service Engineering
Domain knowledge background Primary Non-Engineering (sometimes art) background. Primary Engineering background.
Characteristics of methods and tools in use High affinity with methods for co-designing with customers (Tassi, 2010) e.g.: Lego serious play ™, Role Play, Storytelling and early design of services with mock-ups or screencast/storyboarding. High affinity with engineering tools e.g.: Process modeling with UML, BPMN, EPC. Quality evaluation with QFD, FMEA. Primarily focus on customer requirements but rather from a technical point of view.
Case study research about projects Services in public sector, financial, media and technology, health, research & education.
e.g. (live|work, 2010) (Mager & Gais, 2009) (Mager, 2010) (Uscreates, 2010)
Services combined with technical products or enabled with IT.
e.g. (Bullinger, et al., 2006) (Fähnrich, et al., 2008) (Herrmann, et al., 2005)
Deducted “Philosophy” Customer experience comes first. (Information) Technology is enabler for high quality services for customers.

We invite you to discuss with us: What is missing?
We generally are interested in asking the following question: When is Service Design and when is Service Engineering the lead process in Service Development. Both have excellent methods and tools. A mix of them can for sure improve any Service Development. For this we would find it very helpful to have a better and deeper understanding of both disciplines.


Bullinger H.-J. & Scheer A.-W. (2006). Service Engineering – Entwicklung und Gestaltung innovativer Dienstleistungen. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York : Springer, 2006. – 2. Auflage. 
Fähnrich K. P. & Van Husen Ch. (2008). Entwicklung IT-basierter Dienstleistungen; Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag.
Herrmann T., Kleinbeck U. & Krcmar H. (2005). Konzepte für das Service Engineering – Modularisierung, Prozessgestaltung und Produktivitätsmanagement. Heidelberg: Physica Verlag. ISBN 3-7908-0237-9.
live|work (2010). live|work Studio Ltd [Online]. 10 29, 2010.
Mager, B. & Gais, M. (2009). Service Design. UTB.
Mager B. (2010). service design. [Online]. 10 29, 2010.
Tassi R. (2010). Service Design Tools – Communication Methods supporting Service Processes [Online]. 10 30, 2010.
Uscreates (2010). uscreates [Online]. – 10 18, 2010. –