Generating customer-focused ideas with Arriva Rail London

Client: Arriva Rail London

The Challenge

Arriva Rail London (ARL), operator of London Overground train services, wanted to build momentum for their internal innovation programme, Launchpad. They wanted to quickly generate fresh ideas, increase engagement among their colleagues and develop customer-centred innovation skills in their organisation.

The Approach

We began with rapid research to identify a suitable strategic business issue to tackle. With internal stakeholders, we agreed to focus on a challenge that had been uncovered in passenger surveys: customers’ frustration when not receiving the travel information they need from staff.

We devised a two-day Design Sprint with two goals: to teach Design Thinking skills and simultaneously come up with some real solutions. We invited ARL colleagues from the frontline, as well as back office to collaborate, bringing their specific area knowledge. We also brought in real customers to share their personal needs and challenges when travelling on the network. With these insights and under our training, teams generated a range of concepts, from training solutions to tech-led innovations.

The Impact

New ideas generated: five new concepts, the winning idea being InfoGo, a tool that aggregates journey information from many sources to keep staff and passengers informed.

Team empowered: 25 people upskilled with Design Thinking tools and methods, with further advanced training planned for a core team of staff.

Awareness raised: knowledge of the Launchpad innovation programme broadened.

“DK&A run an awesome Design Thinking course. It's not anything that I’ve experienced before and makes you think in ways you wouldn’t in an office environment. It is also fun and interactive.”

Shivani, Contract Manager, Arriva