PSS innovation is fundamentally different from incremental innovation that is
concerned with exploitation of existing business processes and technology. The
introduction of PSS business models can bring substantial change in the operations of
the company (its processes, products or services) and transform existing markets or
industries, or create new ones.
The MEPSS methodology is organised in a modular and flexible way. This allows
possible uncertainties and maximises the likelihood of smart business decisions,
focused on the innovation options that are most likely to succeed in the market place.
It can be used in full, applying the whole set of processes described for developing a
new PSS, or alternatively in part, by choosing only selected modules according to the
specific needs of the case under development. The MEPSS "phase model" thus allows
for a flexible allocation of resources and optimisation of the business opportunity/risk
The methodology can be applied by either a small team of experts or, in a more
participatory planning process.
It is helpful to start with a short definition of the terminology used in the
model. Figure 1 shows the five phases of the MEPSS modular structure. This basic
strategic frame will be detailed and adapted for the special demands of a PSS
development and design process. Each of the main phases is subsequently structured
in steps, and steps are described by a series of processes. The ‘phase-step-process’
hierarchy has been developed to offer a systematic and layered innovation model.
The application of tools is supported by a number of worksheets in the Annex of this
Handbook (accessible via MEPSS website).
Figure 1: Five phases in the MEPSS model
At the highest level, the MEPSS model consists of phases.
The MEPSS phase model allows for flexible allocation
of resources and optimisation of the business opportunity/risk ratio.
The model involves the following five main phases:
The phases of the MEPSS model are linked by decision nodes,
points at which the progress of the innovation
project is reported to the management of the company and decisions made about its future. A decision
be seen as the connecting element between the development phases. Conclusions are drawn by the
management from the main results of the preceding phase, and these are fed into the execution of later
The project team performs the necessary preparatory steps for each decision node.
Each of the main phases is broken down into steps, and these
steps are described in processes. This ‘phase-
step-process’ hierarchy has been developed to offer a systematic and layered innovation model.
At the next level, steps are the sequential building blocks
of the phases. They provide a chronological description
of the deliverables that need to be realised in a MEPSS-phase.
At the action level, processes are the key elements for
the realisation of a MEPSS-step. Processes are action-
oriented descriptions of the activities that need to be executed. They are the key elements described
handbook. Each description of a process is preceded by the coordinates ‘Phase X / Step Y / Process
simple navigation through the MEPSS model.
A decision node precedes each phase which serves as a link
with the management (board) of the organisation.
At the decision node, the ‘bottom-up’ results of the PSS innovation phase will meet the ‘top-down’ views of the
management board. This will bring additional dynamics to the innovation cycle. The bottom-up and top-down
processes offer different ways to look at the business from the outside-in (from the customer's perspective)
also from the inside-out. At the decision node a review is made of the quality of the work executed
and the results (content) of the PSS project team. The PSS project team will present and discuss their
Decision nodes deal with three quality issues: quality of
execution; business rationale; and quality of the action
plan. At the end of the decision node meeting, the management (board) will take a go/no-go decision
continuation to the next phase. In addition, the management (board) will make specific suggestions to
further the results of the preceding phase or guide the execution of the next phase.
It is important to note that a phase has not failed
if management takes a ‘stop’ or ‘go-back’ decision. This can be
regarded as normal procedure in an iterative innovation process.
Structure of the decision nodes: