How SOS Alarm Applied Innovation Sprints on their Service Design Process
In the autumn of 2017, Swedish emergency service operator SOS Alarm launched an event that involved inviting students to apply Innovation Sprints to generate more efficient ways to offer service and strengthen their employer brand. Through this activity, SOS Alarm was able to foster a bond with top Swedish technology universities. The company also benefitted from the fresh perspectives provided by the students who participated in the event.

The event participants were able to offer remarkable solutions to these key questions:

– How should an emergency call be handled in the future?
– Can technology offer better solutions to phone calls?
– How can we design a smart smoke detector?
– How can we make use of new technology to save more lives?

At the awarding ceremony, SOS Alarm CEO Maria Khorsand announced that, contrary to the original plan, the company will be moving forward with all five concepts presented, not just the winning team’s concept. Apparently, the event was part of a larger initiative that aims to establish innovation as a habit within the SOS Alarm organization.

Having a Structured Process in Place Ensured Better Results

When applying Innovation Sprints, several parameters are considered to ensure the success of a project. Below are the steps undertaken by SOS Alarm and Innovation360 to fulfill the goals set by SOS Alarm in relation with the initiative.

Look for a Sponsor

This is a critical step in ensuring a clear return on investment for the organization. The scope, goals, and desired outcome were decided at the executive level, and are aligned with SOS Alarm’s overall innovation strategy.

Event Planning to Foster Creativity

A small group was specifically created to plan the logistics of the event. This group is in charge of determining the scope, optimal dates, venue, guest list, invitations, catering, traveling, accommodations, and the actual agenda of the event.

Invite a Diverse Range of Participants

The main goal of SOS Alarm’s communications team was to encourage aspiring participants to apply. Following this, the team made sure to share information about the organization and the event on several channels. All details were inclusive and aligned with the company’s values. Social media posts later on helped to get Swedish IT magazine IDG to cover the event.

Position SOS Alarm as an Innovator

Generally, in events like this, one idea would stand out among the participants, but it might have little or no validation with the intended user group. To ensure that the innovation process is customer-centric and driven by real needs, an open ideation campaign was set up using the Ideation360 platform and shared with doctors, firefighters, ambulance staff, and SOS Alarm customers. An iFrame was integrated into a blog post with relevant data points, open questions, and an invitation to submit ideas which the participants used for their ideation session at the event.

Foster an Innovation Culture within the Organization

Aside from the students, an internal ideation campaign made the process inclusive of the SOS Alarm organization and allowed employees to share their ideas. These were then used as a complementary input to the open ideation within the ecosystem.

Following Innovation Sprints – The Results

The event commenced Saturday morning and concluded Sunday afternoon. While the teams were allowed to spend their time as they wanted, they were also given the option to receive support from coaches from Innovation360. All the teams chose to be guided on Innovation Sprints. They followed the process and used the tools, methods, and frameworks provided in every phase – discovery, ideation, selection, development, and commercialization.  In addition, staff from across the SOS organization were present at the event to answer student questions or point the students to the proper data sources to understand more of the SOS alarm service delivery context.

Following the process helped the participants to come up with better ideas that were more relevant. The jury was impressed by the findings and concepts presented by all five teams. All ideas were backed up by well-formed hypotheses and data from experiments. This is what led them to decide to move all ideas forward in the process.

After the event, here are the progress status of the concepts from the five teams:

– The development of one prototype has been started, and this would save SOS Alarm both money and time.
– Another concept has gone through hypothesis-testing to evaluate the potential need, value, credibility, and solution.
– Three teams agreed to form a collaboration to further test their ideas and potentially implement them.

Proven and Trusted Process

The successful outcome from the SOS Alarm event is proof that Innovation Sprints is a proven and trusted process that works. SOS Alarm is an organization that was willing to go the extra mile to inspire innovation and its partnership with Innovation360 was beneficial to the success of their innovation strategy.

Fresh ideas were developed as participants from different universities were welcomed to the activity. The open ideation campaign that was set up using the Ideation360 platform provided the teams with valuable insights from the ecosystem. And the presence of innovation coaches to provide support and guidance to the teams helped to further stretch the boundaries of creativity and innovation.

Please feel free to contact us if you want to learn more about the art of succeeding with your innovation event.

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