Essilor sees far ahead with the design sprint

A User centric project to boost knowledge sharing within the Group's World Operations.

The TKS (Technical Knowledge Spread) division called on the expertise of SQLI to hold a Design Sprint. Two POCs of the future system for knowledge sharing within the Essilor Group's World Operations were completed in just three days.

Optimising knowledge management for Essilor's World Operations

World leader in corrective lenses, the Group designs and manufactures wide ranges of lenses to correct and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. Essilor has 64,000 employees in 69 countries, products distributed in 100 countries, 33 production sites, 490 prescription laboratories and 16 distribution centres.

The Group has more than doubled in size over the past ten years with significant external growth. Management of technical knowledge has been organised in order to support this growth, according to the principle of a learning organisation based on collective intelligence. This is managed by the Technical Knowledge Spread (TKS) division, which coordinates collaborative tools in order to structure and spread knowledge [within the scope of World Operations, i.e. covering all mass production units throughout the world].

The number of tools used has grown over the past five years. The division wanted to make them evolve in order to move in a common direction and develop an approach based on communities of practice.The aim was threefold:

  • Make knowledge accessible with a user-centric approach and thereby improve operational efficiency.
  • Open up information to new recruits and involve young talents in order to rapidly make them more operational.
  • Facilitate access to information and save time.

Following a call for tenders, Essilor selected SQLI for its support proposal in the form of a Design Sprint. The Group was won over by this innovative and collaborative approach, which suited its operations, all within a very short time frame.

Design Sprint – fast and agile

"Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days! " – Jake Knapp, Google VenturesTheDesign Sprint is inspired by Design Thinking and the agile approach. More specifically, the idea is to begin with a question related to the topic at hand and produce a model or Proof of Concept (POC) within just a week.Following the method appropriation phase, which was orchestrated by SQLI, Essilor selected key contributors.

SQLI suggested reducing the required five day format, mainly in order to take account of participants' time constraints. The Design Sprint was therefore held on three consecutive days in March, with the aim of collectively redefining the objective and developing concepts. The user test phase was completed at a later stage, in May.

With the Design Sprint's collaborative approach, participants immediately came on board, which resulted in models being rapidly produced.  The project was a unifying experience and produced concrete results to be tested.

2 POCs, 1 project

Following the three days, two user-journey POCs emerged. User tests of these concepts were performed and ideas were simultaneously submitted to technical experts. One of the two concepts for the improvement of knowledge sharing was selected and will be developed this year.Following this initial success, Essilor may envisage using the Design Sprint method again in the future to meet other challenges faced by the TKS division.

"Innovation is one of our growth drivers; we innovate in all areas of our business, in our products in order to better meet consumers' expectations, in our manufacturing processes, in our business models, in our working methods... Following ten years of experience in marketing roles, I wanted to place the user back at the core of our considerations regarding knowledge management tools.

For me, this is the key for tools to be appropriated simply and rapidly and for the result to be effective. SQLI was the first to put forward this method which convinced us. For us, it was a guarantee that our need and our organisation had been properly understood. SQLI showed great adaptability in meeting our requirements.

Participants were impressed by the rapid convergence and the production of ready-to-test models in the space of just three days. This method put forward by SQLI also enabled us to raise awareness of innovative working methods among employees," explains Lucie Ernoult, Knowledge Manager at Essilor.