13
03/2020
AUTHOR
Nadège Domergue
IDEAS

Lean, Six Sigma, Design Thinking and Agility

Read IN FRENCH

Far from being the prerogative of certain industries or certain people within the company, they especially benefit from being better known and adopted in an era of services where the customer experience now makes ALL the difference.

The essentials of a successful customer experience

Last February, I participated in the lunchtime conference organized by the Desjardins Lab and given by innovation coach Joyce Bouchard. A conference that particularly appealed to me. An outstanding popularizer, Ms. Bouchard deconstructed and demystified one by one all of these approaches before showing us how they could be integrated into our strategic thinking.

Here's what I got out of it, hoping it inspires you too!

Far from being the prerogative of certain industries or certain people within the company, they especially benefit from being better known and adopted in an era of services where the customer experience now makes ALL the difference.

Its leitmotiv: all these practices can coexist and be adopted. Why are we seeing them more and more now? Because we no longer have the choice of integrating them if we want to adequately meet the needs of an increasingly demanding clientele. Humans now have a central place in all the products and experiences we create. These approaches precisely create this opportunity to get closer to our customers to offer them something that has ultimate value: meaning.

During her conference, Ms. Bouchard gave us a 101 course on these innovative approaches before explaining their relevance to us in any reflection.

1- Understanding the origin

(warning, scholars, do not jump for joy. Quick explanations)

  • Design Thinking: comes from the industrial design sector. The goal is to create new objects that perfectly meet customer expectations.
  • Agility: comes from the technologies and limits of traditional project management in waterfall mode. The problem came from the fact that we were planning for the long term and that we ended up delivering a product that no longer corresponded to customer needs, several weeks / months / years later.
  • Lean Six Sigma: comes from the manufacturing sector. The goal was to eliminate waste on the production line and implement a continuous improvement process to successfully deliver a quality and standardized product.

2- Solve a problem and provide an appropriate solution

All of these approaches aim to respond to problems and find adequate solutions. They are completely complementary from the moment we question ourselves on the best way to proceed and deliver a product (or service) that best meets the expectations of the customer. They start from a principle: the customer is part of the solution. Sometimes called practices, approaches, methods, they are, above all, ways of thinking that involve reassessment and an active response review.

You just need to know how to use the right approach at the right time! So, what do they really enable?

  • Design Thinking: wants to be creative! Like an ethnologist, we try to understand what the client thinks and feels. The goal is to design new products or services, eliminating irritants. It's about generating ideas, leaving the status quo. Co-creation is the key word where we do nothing without the client. We explore, we create, we propose, we question, we prototype and we experiment.
  • Agility: focuses on delivering service to the customer. Teamwork is essential. We reflect together on the value created and on all the solutions that could improve the final product or service. It’s an incremental process where you build the product as you go. We therefore allow ourselves to learn as we go in order to perfect our product and our practices.
  • Lean Six Sigma: focuses on the process, that is to say the way things are done internally. It's about minimizing waste and unnecessary steps to be as efficient as possible. We are in continuous improvement mode where we are constantly looking for added value for the customer.

3- A concrete example: a line-up

Nothing better than a scenario to understand not only how these approaches can overlap with each other, but especially to realize their usefulness for whoever wants to create a memorable experience for its customers, devoid of any irritant that would have the opposite effect from what you originally wanted.

The issue? too long of a line-up for a full-day event and impatient customers.

The first thing to do so that this situation does not happen again is to put yourself fully in the place of the visitors, to understand exactly what they are experiencing and the emotions they feel at each step (or minute that passes). You have to completely rethink the experience upstream.

In your team, you must all reflect together on the issue posed by this experience (which you did not necessarily anticipate and which can have, until then, unsuspected consequences). Waiting can become a serious irritant (impatience, discomfort, etc.) and cause your client to feel upset, angry, lost or abandoned. When they could very well feel happy, safe, assisted or pleasantly surprised.

In this exercise, each of the approaches has its place. Just a matter of prioritization… and common sense!

  • Priority naturally goes to redesigning the line-up experience, as it currently greatly impairs the visitor's experience at the event. We then use Design Thinking. We prototype (Does the line-up have to be one-sided? Is it wide enough? Is it safe? Can we add distracting elements to it?) And can we create different versions of the perfect line-up  to see which will be the best option.
  • Then you have to deliver the product and that’s where agile processes make sense in order to split the project up and deliver it. Here, we are going to improve small things on the line-up: the colors of the carpet, the scents in the air, the animations, the water points, the benches, etc. The important thing is to set up an iterative process (we build as feedbacks arrives) to ensure that the client is satisfied with each progress (we test the ideas!). We observe the reactions of our visitors, we collect their opinions, we are interested in their emotions ... and we constantly readjust.
  • We have finally found the perfect line-up experience and want to replicate it for each of our products and upcoming events. Lean Six Sigma takes over. We make sure that the management of this experience is as healthy as possible and the most effective (management of costs, waste, deadlines, resources, materials, etc.).

All industries combined, there is an increasing interest in these approaches because they put the bottom line customer at the centre of all decisions. The tourism industry is no exception. All business sectors face the same challenges: an increasingly demanding and unfaithful customer. This reality requires that we go beyond ourselves in the way we design our products and services to offer our visitors an experience that makes sense to them and for which they will come back.

More than simple problem-solving techniques, they are the foundation of modern working methods, and without forgetting... the inseparable aspects of a successful customer experience.

Do you want to discuss these approaches with us? Email me

To (re) watch the video of the conference.

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13
03/2020
AUTEUR
Nadège Domergue
ÉCLAIREZ VOS IDÉES

Lean, Six Sigma, Design Thinking and Agility

Read IN ENGLISH

Far from being the prerogative of certain industries or certain people within the company, they especially benefit from being better known and adopted in an era of services where the customer experience now makes ALL the difference.

The essentials of a successful customer experience

Last February, I participated in the lunchtime conference organized by the Desjardins Lab and given by innovation coach Joyce Bouchard. A conference that particularly appealed to me. An outstanding popularizer, Ms. Bouchard deconstructed and demystified one by one all of these approaches before showing us how they could be integrated into our strategic thinking.

Here's what I got out of it, hoping it inspires you too!

Far from being the prerogative of certain industries or certain people within the company, they especially benefit from being better known and adopted in an era of services where the customer experience now makes ALL the difference.

Its leitmotiv: all these practices can coexist and be adopted. Why are we seeing them more and more now? Because we no longer have the choice of integrating them if we want to adequately meet the needs of an increasingly demanding clientele. Humans now have a central place in all the products and experiences we create. These approaches precisely create this opportunity to get closer to our customers to offer them something that has ultimate value: meaning.

During her conference, Ms. Bouchard gave us a 101 course on these innovative approaches before explaining their relevance to us in any reflection.

1- Understanding the origin

(warning, scholars, do not jump for joy. Quick explanations)

  • Design Thinking: comes from the industrial design sector. The goal is to create new objects that perfectly meet customer expectations.
  • Agility: comes from the technologies and limits of traditional project management in waterfall mode. The problem came from the fact that we were planning for the long term and that we ended up delivering a product that no longer corresponded to customer needs, several weeks / months / years later.
  • Lean Six Sigma: comes from the manufacturing sector. The goal was to eliminate waste on the production line and implement a continuous improvement process to successfully deliver a quality and standardized product.

2- Solve a problem and provide an appropriate solution

All of these approaches aim to respond to problems and find adequate solutions. They are completely complementary from the moment we question ourselves on the best way to proceed and deliver a product (or service) that best meets the expectations of the customer. They start from a principle: the customer is part of the solution. Sometimes called practices, approaches, methods, they are, above all, ways of thinking that involve reassessment and an active response review.

You just need to know how to use the right approach at the right time! So, what do they really enable?

  • Design Thinking: wants to be creative! Like an ethnologist, we try to understand what the client thinks and feels. The goal is to design new products or services, eliminating irritants. It's about generating ideas, leaving the status quo. Co-creation is the key word where we do nothing without the client. We explore, we create, we propose, we question, we prototype and we experiment.
  • Agility: focuses on delivering service to the customer. Teamwork is essential. We reflect together on the value created and on all the solutions that could improve the final product or service. It’s an incremental process where you build the product as you go. We therefore allow ourselves to learn as we go in order to perfect our product and our practices.
  • Lean Six Sigma: focuses on the process, that is to say the way things are done internally. It's about minimizing waste and unnecessary steps to be as efficient as possible. We are in continuous improvement mode where we are constantly looking for added value for the customer.

3- A concrete example: a line-up

Nothing better than a scenario to understand not only how these approaches can overlap with each other, but especially to realize their usefulness for whoever wants to create a memorable experience for its customers, devoid of any irritant that would have the opposite effect from what you originally wanted.

The issue? too long of a line-up for a full-day event and impatient customers.

The first thing to do so that this situation does not happen again is to put yourself fully in the place of the visitors, to understand exactly what they are experiencing and the emotions they feel at each step (or minute that passes). You have to completely rethink the experience upstream.

In your team, you must all reflect together on the issue posed by this experience (which you did not necessarily anticipate and which can have, until then, unsuspected consequences). Waiting can become a serious irritant (impatience, discomfort, etc.) and cause your client to feel upset, angry, lost or abandoned. When they could very well feel happy, safe, assisted or pleasantly surprised.

In this exercise, each of the approaches has its place. Just a matter of prioritization… and common sense!

  • Priority naturally goes to redesigning the line-up experience, as it currently greatly impairs the visitor's experience at the event. We then use Design Thinking. We prototype (Does the line-up have to be one-sided? Is it wide enough? Is it safe? Can we add distracting elements to it?) And can we create different versions of the perfect line-up  to see which will be the best option.
  • Then you have to deliver the product and that’s where agile processes make sense in order to split the project up and deliver it. Here, we are going to improve small things on the line-up: the colors of the carpet, the scents in the air, the animations, the water points, the benches, etc. The important thing is to set up an iterative process (we build as feedbacks arrives) to ensure that the client is satisfied with each progress (we test the ideas!). We observe the reactions of our visitors, we collect their opinions, we are interested in their emotions ... and we constantly readjust.
  • We have finally found the perfect line-up experience and want to replicate it for each of our products and upcoming events. Lean Six Sigma takes over. We make sure that the management of this experience is as healthy as possible and the most effective (management of costs, waste, deadlines, resources, materials, etc.).

All industries combined, there is an increasing interest in these approaches because they put the bottom line customer at the centre of all decisions. The tourism industry is no exception. All business sectors face the same challenges: an increasingly demanding and unfaithful customer. This reality requires that we go beyond ourselves in the way we design our products and services to offer our visitors an experience that makes sense to them and for which they will come back.

More than simple problem-solving techniques, they are the foundation of modern working methods, and without forgetting... the inseparable aspects of a successful customer experience.

Do you want to discuss these approaches with us? Email me

To (re) watch the video of the conference.

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