SSME wiki archive – course materials


Created in 2007, these modules are introductory and oriented to the undergraduate level.

Introduction to Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) Course Overview

This set of introductory informational materials is about Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME), a concept for a multidisciplinary educational foundation for graduate and undergraduate students in science, management, and engineering. SSME is the application of scientific, management, and engineering disciplines to the tasks (services) that one organization beneficially performs for and with another. SSME has the goal of making productivity, quality, performance, compliance, growth, and learning improvements more predictable in work-sharing and risk-sharing (co-production) relationships. SSME is the study of service systems, and it aims at improving service systems.

These materials were developed by IBM Research and include seven modules with three case studies. They are intended as raw materials that can be used by instructors, who can choose which ones might be appropriate to enhance their current courses and update their curriculum over time. Our intention is to make this an open course, a kind of community course. So we welcome your comments and contributions. If you use the materials, let us know. If are thinking about using them, let us know. If you don’t like them for whatever reason, let us know.

Module 1: Overview of Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME)

The welcome and overview module describes the group of SSME modules, how they fit together, the format and contents found in each. Modules can be read in any order. Parts of them can be used to supplement existing courses or to create new. This overview contains a short history, a description of Service Science and why we think it is important. All the modules contain pointers to web sites of related or supporting interest. Note: There is a great deal of related materials among the modules. You may find that you need to reference more than one at a time.



Module 2: What are Services?

This module focuses on introducing a comprehensive set of definitions of services. The module includes materials that provide early definitions and thoughts on services. This brief history is and survey of services is also meant to provide some context around the burgeoning study of services and impact on modern economies.



Module 3: Service Systems

This module focuses on the general description of systems and their relevance to services. Services can be viewed as socio-technological systems and differ somewhat from a manufacturing system or economic system. All three systems include elements, interconnections, attributes, and stakeholders. These components can be represented by an input, throughput, output process model where, in a services system there is a feedback loop that defines a service engagement. The service engagement is characterized by client and provider interactions that create value for all parties as a co-productive relationship. This co-productive relationship is what differentiates a service system form other socio-technological systems. General system characteristics and the notion of a service system are explored in this topic.



Module 4: Considerations for the Management of Services

The focus of this module is to introduce you to the notions about what differs in the management of services versus traditional operations or manufacturing management. We assume you have foundational knowledge about techniques of business management; and refer you to various sources to read up on these subjects. We’d like you to think about why these activities are different:

Creating a services strategy and the unique aspects of services management planning

The competitive role of information in services

Services development

Process analysis

Diverse marketing challenges in services



Module 5: Productivity and Innovation: the Productivity Paradox

This module invites you to gain a frame of reference about productivity conundrums, develop a point of view and be able to discuss this with others. It discusses how services measurements might be developed to be useful. The module explores some thinking about the “new economy” and these questions:

– Why do services resist productivity gains?

– Is services productivity an oxymoron?

– What are some relationships between innovation and productivity?



Module 6: Introduction to Methods

This module includes some considerations for the use of methods in the services lifecycle from engagement through solutions design and delivery. The primary context for the discussions in this module is an IT services business. The module depends on the reader or student to have an understanding of today’s increasing globalization of business and familiarity with the “What are Services” and the “Overview” modules in this Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) series.



Module 7: SSME Challenges, Frameworks and Call for Participation

This is the call to action for Services Sciences, Management and Engineering. This module introduces some questions we think are worth thinking about, and requests you to get involved. In particular, this module will require the reader to review these notes and most likely go to other sources to enlarge the context. We want to encourage global participation and contribution to this discussion. We would like to stimulate thought about the nature and complexity of providing services. Of course, we particularly are interested in information technology (IT) services due to the nature of our business, but by no means should this discussion be limited to one type of service.