Methods for Conceptualizing Product Service Networks (PSS 101) was about developing a framework of methods, techniques and tools that improves conceptualization and communication between all those involved in design and development, across industries.

Products are no longer just products, Services not only services. Take Océ; once they used to sell printers.. and now they ‘support document management across different departments.’ Exact, well known for its Financial and Administrative software, now produces business service systems for SMEs, enabling them to integrally support and manage their business, including relationship management.

This type of thinking requires new design and development structures, moving people out of their traditional compartments, meeting the needs of an often diverse and evolving group of end-users. Product Service Systems (PSS) are designed in highly dynamic network environments, mixing people and parties, models, interests and goals.

What questions were answered?
Teams from TU Delft, the Design Academy Eindhoven and Industry partners were working together to answer the questions:

What are the demands that networks of users impose on providers of PSS?
How can the provider cope with the organizational changes needed?
In which way can networks of Creative industries facilitate this process?

What have the teams achieved?
A Framework and Toolset that will help design-partners better understand the needs, values and ambitions of end-users in their networks. Together they have formulated a shared vision for a PSS proposition, leading to a documented, context-driven PSS concept.

Timeframe and communication:
PSS 101 startedin 2011 and finished in 2015. Throughout the project, we have communicate information and results via this website, Master Classes, and Workshops. We have organized an annual event for the creative industries, and integrated our findings into educational programmes.

Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Delft University of Technology and the Design Academy Eindhoven;
Creative and Industry partners: STBY, 4C-MG, Exact, Oce industries and Zuidzorg

Project leaders
Dr. Ingrid Mulder, Delft University of Technology
Prof. Dr. Pieter Jan Stappers, Delft University of Technology


  • Value Pursuit / A tool for structuring conversation and encouraging collaboration in stakeholder networks Rygh, K, How tangible tools can be designed to make complex networks more understandable to the stakeholders operating within them. Download
  • Value Pursuit: Creating Value Between Stakeholders In Policy Development Rygh, K, Raijmakers, B., Vos, M. de A workshop exploring the possible roles stakeholders could take on in regards to policy making and policy implementation. The results of the workshop has lead us to question two different approaches in policy making; negotiation and co-creation and this paper will discuss what implications this has for the design practice. Download

Value Pursuit

The Value Pursuit tool is a game board that can be used in workshops to clarify how stakeholders in a specific PSS can be of value to one another, and which thereby helps identify shared goals within the project. On the Value Pursuit board, each participant must write down their contributory value and what challenges they face. Their potential value is then connected to other partners’ challenges. These connections are counted and represented by playing pieces on a second game board (resembling a radar) which visualises how much each partner gains and contributes to a network. For a network to thrive and trust to be maintained between network partners, these playing pieces should be aligned as much as possible – how much people gain from a network has to be balanced against their contributions.
This workshop tool has been tested in a series of case-study networks where, in each workshop, the role of facilitator has been different. One workshop was instructed and moderated by an employee of the organisation hosting the workshop, another was moderated by the service design agency participating in the workshop, and the third was conducted by the designer, Karianne Rygh. In order for people to moderate the workshop, sufficient instruction and preparation is necessary, this can easily be provided through a manual.
How It Works
Moving inwards from the outside on the Value Pursuit board, participants are asked to write down on post-it notes what their expectations, contributions (experience, expertise, solutions) and struggles (challenges or obstacles) are, in developing a specific PSS, or in reaching the defined common goal. After placing their answers on the board, participants are encouraged to take the notes with their contributions on and stick them on other participants’ struggles, showing how they can be of benefit to one another within the network. (In some cases this is also done by the use of stickers.) It is these connections that, through the use of this tool, become the new relations of value. In order to gain an overview of the potential status quo of the network, these connections are then counted and placed on a ‘radar’. Each participant has a large playing piece, which represents the number of potential contributions they have gained from other participants. The small playing piece represents how many contributions they have offered to the other participants. The large and small playing pieces should be as much in balance as possible, as people should gain as much as they contribute. The first game board is meant to collect information about how participants in a network can benefit from each other. The second game board visualises these gains and contributions, and uses the ‘radar’ to visualise the balance of contributions and gains in order to trigger further discussion. Through this combination – giving participants the opportunity to express their needs clearly and also visualising how these needs can be covered – stakeholders are provided with an overview that gives them a greater understanding of the value to be gained from the network.