Better user-developer communication in service development by collaborative physical modelling

Pia Helminen*, Samuli Mäkinen, Mari Holopainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Making the service use experience visible and facilitating the communication between the users and the provider organisation are persistent challenges. We present a proof of concept for utilising a physical modelling approach called collaborative physical modelling (CPM) to reveal the different stakeholder interpretations of a service and to extract these interpretations in a format that can be easily shared and compared, thus facilitating user-developer communication. To demonstrate the use of this method, CPM is used in three differing cases. Our proof of concept brings relief to managers who understand the need for involving users in the service development but who are constantly bound by limited resources. We encourage managers to take advantage of this low-cost, time-efficient and easy-to-adopt physical modelling approach before jumping into more complicated and resource-intensive methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-186
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Services and Operations Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Collaborative physical modelling
  • CPM
  • Physical representations
  • Service development
  • Service management
  • User involvement
  • User-developer communication


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