Nokia C3LM @ Service Design Week


“Service Design is big. Being holistic, it includes the researching, envisioning and orchestrating of service experiences that happen over time and across multiple touch points with many stakeholders involved, both frontstage and backstage.”

“At Service Design Week, we seek to strip away any fluff, examining service design methods and processes at their core, and unpack the practical tools and skill-sets, hard and soft, needed for this way of working. Service Design Week will gather service design leaders from various functions and disciplines across all flavors of Service Design. With content for all levels of Service Design maturity, we look forward to drawing both fledging and experienced service designers.” 

 www.servicedesignweekusa.com

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I am looking forward to joining Service Design Week and I would like to thank Michel DeJager and the team at the International Quality & Productivity Center for their kind invitation. My talk will discuss C3LM, Customer Co-Creation Lifecycle Methodology, in the context of Blended Service Design, which I will take care of defining and demystifying in my talk.

I am proud to share that C3LM is the recipient of a Nokia Innovation Award. My work seeks to interweave a set of known and brand new interdisciplinary practices to best address end-to-end solutions for complex and dynamic environments, also known as soft systems given their organic and morphing nature. And, most importantly, achieving that by optimizing for the delivery of quality experiences while humanizing low and high tech in the process.


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Widespread digitalization in our everyday activities is not just far reaching, but is also leading to a renaissance in Human Factors disciplines. The delivery of “effective quality services” with “highly efficient end-to-end solutions” is the reason for being and rationale behind creating C3LM. This new brave world entails Blended Services that intersect Data Science, Automation and Programmability, all orchestrated with Human Centered Design in mind.

My talk will also cover how we can best experience Artificial Intelligence and how to make it transparent to Blended Services. That will be a sneak preview in advance to another talk that I’m giving early next year. In case you have already heard what Elon Musk has to say about AI, let me share that Human Factors Engineering has been revisited and redefined to come to the rescue. More on that when we get to meet at Service Design Week : )  



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Here is the event’s registration page. See you in Boston : )

Pictures courtesy of Service Design Week.


Nokia HFE17 Human Factors Engineering Conference May 23-24 2017

“We celebrated HFE’s 70th Anniversary at Bell Labs, the home of the creative technologists who pioneered this inter-disciplinary field. We are also encouraging our community’s renewed efforts to shape innovations that enable the human possibilities of technology in today’s connected world.”

“This year’s agenda featured guest speakers from AT&T and Verizon, practitioners in diverse industries from NASA, IBM, Information Builders and Lab Z, experts from MIT and IIT, as well as Bell Labs and Nokia flagship and award winning innovations. This event is organized by Nokia’s Technology Leadership Council in partnership with Bell Labs.”



The above file delivers the event’s agenda and topic abstracts. First, there is a need for thanking everyone involved: speakers, participants, volunteers and sponsors, as well as Nokia’s IT and Real Estate staff. Our conference involved 20 fast paced sessions over two days. 300+ of us participated in this conference from multiple worldwide locations as well as online. Approximately 150 people registered with NokiaEDU, Nokia’s training platform.


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I am happy to share that feedback received during and after the event was very positive and encouraging beyond expectations, some of it was incredibly passionate. If you are a peer at Nokia, note that you now have access to HFE17’s communications, conversations and files and the recordings.

Moreover, we are now working on jumpstarting a company-wide community of interest centered on Human Factors and are also gearing for HFE18, which will feature the John E. Karlin Recognition Award. John pioneered HFE at Bell Labs in 1947. He passed away four years ago and his contributions paved the way for user centered innovations.


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Nokia’s legendary journey has already passed the 150 year mark and, interestingly enough, more than 95% of us did not carry a Nokia badge four years ago. There are more than 100,000 of us embarked in this endeavor and we all collectively represent 160 nationalities working in more than 100 countries.

Our customers are the world’s communications service providers, governments, enterprises and consumers. We deploy the industry’s most comprehensive set of products, services, as well as licensing opportunities with a patent portfolio featuring in excess of 30,000 inventions.


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But, most importantly, our innovations and collective know-how make a decisive difference when we “shape technologies that truly transform the human experience” as technical prowess alone does not suffice. HFE17 was sponsored by Bell Labs and supported by our Technology Leadership Council, a grassroots organization formed by volunteers whose goal is to help foster a culture of innovation that honors Nokia’s renewed commitment to “enabling the human possibilities of technology.”

Humanizing technology is the core belief of those of us working in Human Factors Engineering, whether the job focuses on UX, User Experience, or CX, Customer Experience, dataviz and graphical interfaces or natural language interaction, services or operations, software or hardware, HCI, Human Computer Interaction, or HITL, Human in the Loop Computing, with AI, Artificial Intelligence.

HFE2017’s main objective was to get our community connected so that everyone’s good efforts become as meaningful and impactful as they can be.


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I would also like to take this chance to highlight Betsy Cowell’s leadership. I had the pleasure to co-chair this event with her. Betsy’s discipline became instrumental given the scope of the effort and unexpected challenges.

Some of you might recall our first attempt to get HFE off the ground last year. Back then, we encountered technical and scheduling shortcomings when being asked to switch to a new webcasting system yet to be deployed. So, we ended up postponing.

Betsy managed to re-energize this undertaking with the turn of the year. She engaged a small army of volunteers who became key to HFE17’s success. Some just wouldn’t give up even when facing technical and organizational intricacies in the eleventh hour. TLC makes a difference by taking down silos and fostering a culture of collaboration across the company.

Nokia’s First Prize for Product Innovation goes to LeanOps


“Inventing the Future with a focus on groundbreaking innovation, Nokia has been a catalyst for the world’s most powerful, game-changing technology shifts. We are committed to innovating for people and developing new technologies and solutions for the world we live in. With our Technology Vision 2020, we are helping operators deal with extreme traffic growth, simplify network operations and provide the ultimate personal gigabyte experience.”  https://networks.nokia.com/innovation


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Last month I joined the Chicago’s Science Fair as a judge in the Computer Science category. I am glad to share that received a plaque for my fifth year of service. Then, just a month later, I found myself on the other side of things as a contestant at Nokia’s Innovation Event in Espoo, Finland.

This year’s competition registered about 500 submissions worldwide. LeanOps qualified among the Top 3 Finalists in the Product & Solution Innovation Category. Ted East and I made the trip from Chicago to present on behalf of the team. We all were happy enough with LeanOps’ Finalist position. Moreover, any of the other finalist and shortlisted projects deserved being recipients of the first prize anyway. That speaks to Nokia’s renewed ingenuity and technical prowess.

But, those of us scheduled to be on stage could also feel the kind of mounting pressure that comes from making the most of this sort of high visibility opportunity. So, Ted and I spent a considerable amount of effort crafting and improving our delivery until the very last minute. We had the benefit of invaluable coaching and genuine advice while gearing up for this event. That should not be taken for granted and, therefore, we are humble and grateful for it. The fact is that Barry’s, Fabian’s, Kelvin’s, Corinna’s and Tuuli’s consideration and words of wisdom paid off. We came back home with the First Prize and our gratitude should be extended to everyone making this year’s event happen. My apologies for not having listed everyone’s names here.

Communicating science and technology is a challenge: any of us can risk alienating audiences willing to listen and individuals who would otherwise be excited about what our project entails. Information overload, convoluted jargon and failing to convey what the actual impact would be can jeopardize anyone’s good work due to lack of clarity. Moreover, it can compromise funding opportunities and drive collaboration and talented people away. So, it shouldn’t be hard to concur with Alan Alda, founder of the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, when he states that “science communication” is as important as science itself (watch min 01:20 onward):



On my own note’s cover page I always scribble a couple of Einstein’s quotes: “if you cannot explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” and “everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” The former reminds me about the negative effect of self-defeating complexity. The later cautions about the diminishing returns of over-simplification and nonsense. Audiences can spot either issue right away, which negatively impacts speakers’ credibility and reputation. Recovering from that bad impression becomes an uphill battle and, unfortunately, bridges can be also burned for no good reason.

Communicating science and technology works best when striking an equilibrium point with (a) a well structured flow populated with (b) meaningful and engaging information of interest that is (c) purposely abstracted at the right level for each audience. Admittedly, by being in Human Factors Engineering, I cannot help but thinking that Information and Cognition Theory principles which serve us well when addressing the design of UI, User Interfaces, also become of the essence in any activity where we happen to be the medium to disseminate concepts, achievements, possibilities, constrains and what’s needed to move forward with a given project.


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There also is a need for working with visual communication that can effectively deliver far more information than what words alone would be able to. We created backdrops of infographic quality that helped set the stage at each step. Half way of the talk we played a short video clip that illustrated a key and differentiated project element.

Our discussion flow followed a basic creative brief breakdown, which covered: what, why, how, who and when and the Q&A section helped us provide the next level of detail. Long story short, relevant content of substance remains “conditio sine qua non” – which means distilling indispensable items down to need-to-know, anything you-cannot-do-without.


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We also had an impactful demo station at the so-called bazaar area, which had been unveiled and praised by experts at Mobile World Congress 2017 back in March. Last but not least, full credit for this award goes to one of the best teams in our industry. These are craftpeople who put their diverse talent to work by solving new and hard problems and, most importantly, making stuff work in no time.


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Tim Goldrein on Behavioral Sciences and Breakthrough Innovation at Nokia’s Chicago Technology Center, May 8


“Innovation is a risky business and the failure rate is high. Traditional approaches to consumer research may exacerbate the problem. There are many shortcomings with traditional research approaches, and one of the main ones is that data collection focuses on what people say they do, rather than on what is actually driving behavior.”Behavioral Science – Do people do what they say will do? by Innovia.


imageI would like to thank Tim Goldrein for accepting my invitation to discuss the impact of Human Factors in tech innovation with our Solutions team in the Applications & Analytics Group.

Tim works for Innovia Technology and will be visiting Nokia’s Chicago Technology Center, Naperville Campus, on Monday, May 8. He is a physicist from University of Cambridge, UK, with a research background on ballistics who has spent the past 15 years addressing human factors led innovation.

Tim will share insights from recent projects as well as highlights of work done for Nokia back in 2003. About 15 years have gone by and he will conduct a retrospective to unveil who ended up implementing those concepts in today’s market.


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Post May 8 Session Notes –  Tim’s talk covered the need for gaining a deeper understanding of people as both individuals and collectives to best inform the design of new products, services and business models. Tim emphasized the value of a holistic approach to problem solving and a focus on behavioral drives. He stated that conventional research solely looking at attitudes and beliefs can miss critical insights.


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Nokia’s community can access Tim’s presentation and recording on my work blog.


imageI am now taking the chance to share my thoughts on this topic and, whether we call it “stated vs. observed behavior” or “reported vs. actual paradoxes,” the point is that those of use working on Human Factors Engineering and/or leveraging Design Thinking cannot just rely on product or service requirements as described by customers and end users themselves.

Therefore, on location ethnographic research coupled with instrumentalizing objects, tools and environments to gather telemetry as they are being used over their useful lives are also of the essence, given user permission as this entails privacy concerns.


“According to Alan Mulally, former Ford Motor Company CEO, Henry Ford said that if, when he founded his company, he had asked potential customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”Quote Investigator.


imageSpeaking of ethnographic research, on my very first day as a student of Human Factors Engineering at BarcelonaTech, we covered the so-called Hawthorne Effect.

Hawthorne Works was a Western Electric factory in the Chicago area, which is part of Bell Labs’ outstanding legacy.

I’m now inserting a side personal note: I now live Chicagoland and have worked with Bell Labs, now part of Nokia.

More than a century ago, going all the way back to the 1920s and 30s, Hawthorne Works undertook a study to assess what lighting levels correlated to higher productivity levels.

However, research findings revealed that (a) worker’s awareness of being observed in the context of (b) paying attention to their needs in the workplace elevated their motivation and productivity, which trumped other factors such as lighting levels whether they would be set low or high.

I would also like to share another interesting observation. This one involving Bell Lab’s own John Karlin:


image“The Times, who refer to Karlin as widely considered the father of human-factors engineering in American industry, relates an amusing story of an earlier project–one that demonstrates his keen understanding of human behavior: an early experiment involved the telephone cord.”

“In the postwar years, the copper used inside the cords remained scarce. Telephone company executives wondered whether the standard cord, then about three feet long, might be shortened.”

“Mr. Karlin’s staff stole into colleagues’ offices every three days and covertly shortened their phone cords, an inch at time. No one noticed, they found, until the cords had lost an entire foot. From then on, phones came with shorter cords.”

John E. Karlin, “Father of Human-Factors Engineering in American Industry,” Passes Away by Core77.


Once again, I’d like to thank Tim for his talk and for the also interesting discussions that preceded and followed that session. We both agree on the positive impact of holistic and interdisciplinary practices, which lead to a disciplined and robust approach to defining value based outcomes.

This is about innovative solutions humanizing technology in everyone’s best interest. So, it definitely pays to leverage Behavioral Sciences and Behavioral Economics when addressing serial innovation programs.

MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS)


“The mission of IDSS is to advance education and research in state-of-the-art, analytical methods in information and decision systems; statistics and data science; and the social sciences, and to apply these methods to address complex societal challenges in a diverse set of areas such as finance, energy systems, urbanization, social networks, and health.”  – MIT IDSS.


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I just came back from IDSS’ last Advisory Board workshop and would first like to thank Prof. Munther Dahleh, IDSS Director, for his leadership and all of the information shared and exchanged this week. I would also like to thank Elizabeth Sikorovsky, Executive Director, and Jackie Willburg, External Relations Officer, for all the help and a welcoming and productive atmosphere, which one gets easily accustomed to and can, therefore, inadvertently take for granted. Admittedly, I need to state my apologies for missing quite a few of the names of good people involved in the planning and support activities.

During the workshop, I couldn’t help thinking about the similarities between MIT IDSS and the charter of Solutions & Partners, the business unit that I am part of at Nokia’s Applications & Analytics Group. Both happen to be tasked with creating new offerings by working across different university departments and product portfolios respectively. Both are expected to make a difference by enabling the greater value of the whole. That entails a silo bursting approach and figuring out how to best innovate at the intersection of, otherwise, disparate domains.

These two organizations’ ability to (a) remove barriers, (b) pave a common ground, (c) enable integration speed and (d) achieve critical mass happen to be critical success factors. Whether we call it cross-pollination or cross-fertilization, the goal is to set up an interdisciplinary environment and, most importantly, an organizational mindset and workstyle leading to breakthroughs otherwise hard to attain. There are two kinds of professional profiles involved: domain experts with deep know-how in their specific areas and creative technologists who can define vantage points, connect dots and work across domains.

There is one more thing worth highlighting: MIT’s IDSS seeks to address humankind’s societal challenges and Nokia’s S&P leverages Human Factors Engineering, both happen to be “people centered,” focus on complex environments and strive to humanize technology in the process. So, I am proud to be involved with both.


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MIT IDSS Advisory Board