Patricia Besnard, Innovation Director at Lodi Group

by | Interviews, Product as a service

Patricia Besnard is the Innovation Director at Lodi Group since December 2019. Lodi Group chose theTribe to help them create their first digital solution, and in this context, Patricia was able to test the Vision Sprint methodology. She tells us about her experience.

Hello Patricia! Overall, why do you think the Vision Sprint has been a value driver for Lodi?

We couldn't have done this exercise without you: we wouldn't have taken the time to do it. Also, I had some techniques, more customer journey oriented, but no digital knowledge or insight into the development implications. Having a trusted third party with expertise on customer journey implementation (and who questions customer needs) helps a lot, especially in terms of structuring developments from the start.

This methodology was very effective, as each stakeholder of theTribe brought a specific expertise, forming a complementary team. The Vision Sprint was well-paced and well-sequenced.

It was also a phase that allowed us to say "We agree to move in this direction or not". Your support structured the project: it was easier for us to involve our clients and we were able to adapt our project management .

What do you think made it easier to engage your customers during the Vision Sprint?

We introduced the subject to them beforehand: we took the time to explain the issues and the objective of this joint work, why we had chosen to be accompanied and why we needed their involvement. This madeit much easier for the clients to buy in.

What pitfalls do you think the Vision Sprint has helped to avoid?

This allowed us toavoid not being in phase with the customer's needs, not asking the right questions, and not designing a product that deviates from these needs. The involvement of the users and your support allow us to get as close as possible to the user experience. With our business expertise, it's a beautiful combination! 

What was your opinion of the Vision Sprint when you first heard about it?

I was already convinced of the usefulness of the approach: as Director of Innovation, I am open to (and encourage!) all forms of innovation. As my career has led me to manage various projects, I was already familiar with this type of methodology, which is based on understanding the user's demand and needs (Canva Business Model, Customer Journey, Blue Ocean, etc.). I understand the concepts which, through their pragmatic use, allow us to work better. I had the opportunity to practice these methods in other contexts and for other issues. But this time I needed external support given my lack of digital expertise.

How was the Vision Sprint received by your teams, especially those who are far from the development topics?

The Vision Sprint was very well received: Gwendal Guillemot, product manager in my team, took charge of the project from the start and was a facilitator for the teams , playing a pivotal role and explaining that innovation is not a closed circuit and that we needed to integrate outside people, including some of our customers (editor's note: those who were later at the table). 

Can you tell us which workshop you preferred and why?

I don't have a favorite workshop, because the Vision Sprint process we implemented at Lodi was streamlined (it only lasted 1-2 days) and focused on our goal .

On the other hand, it was the whole process of support and animation that was valuable and much appreciated by the Lodi teams.

According to you, which workshop would have been the most difficult to carry out without external support? 

The Vision Sprint methodology, and in particular Story Mapping, allows us to put the customer journey in black and white and to quickly and concretely visualize it in the future application. Connecting the customer journey (Lodi) to the digital development expertise (theTribe) allows us to obtain, from the beginning, a first level of visibility on the restitution of this expression of customer need: how it will be visible tomorrow on the application. theTribe has allowed us to apply this shortcut and to already create a greater involvement and adhesion of our customers. 

And as a third party who doesn't know our business, theTribe provided the necessary perspective that allowed us to be as accurate as possible in defining our customer journey. 

Have you found this methodology to have limitations, and how do you think it can be overcome? 

No, not really. The exercise was prepared on our side. The number of people was limited. The profiles had been explained to theTribe and we had, for example, already planned to avoid jargon.

On the other hand, we had already reduced the duration of the Vision Sprint to clearly fit our objective. Frankly, we got what we wanted from these two days: it was, for us, the necessary time. 

This new approach, which we had never practised at Lodi, brought us a step closer to our customers. Subsequently, we have succeeded in integrating them into this long-term development.

What have been the direct and indirect impacts on your users, according to you? (brand image, loyalty, customer relations, quality, process improvement)

We have made a long-term commitment to working differently with our customers. Historically, we have a very good commercial relationship with our customers: they are involved in the development of new products, test them in the field, give us feedback, etc. But this was the first time that we set up a structured process upstream, for this development phase.

I would say that in addition to restructuring our way of working and our approach to innovation, it has also enabled us to meet with the support of our customers (a niche market but one that communicates a lot with each other), to create a group of ambassadors (both internally and among our customers) and also to give more visibility to developments (again, both internally and among our customers).

In the future, do you think you could / would like to apply this Vision Sprint methodology to other contexts?

Yes, I do. I think that patented innovation (kept secret) is in itself necessary, but not sufficient. If it is not associated with a very good mastery and understanding of the user's problem, then we innovate badly. 

I was already involved in this conceptual dynamic (editor's note: user knowledge), and I had practised it in a different way. I'm attached to it and I want to integrate it as much as possible at Lodi.

theTribe calls it the Vision Sprint, I call it the customer journey. In the end, it's about understanding each other better in order to work together better. This pragmatic way of expressing the customer's problem, need or request is necessary in many areas.

We applied it again, on a less complex subject (as soon as we talk about digital development, we have to call on experts like theTribe) and we intend to do it more and more, because for us it is an approach that must be sustainable. We will continue to apply it to many subjects, with our clients or our partners and suppliers.

Do you have anything to add?

Since this first phase (editor's note: of the Vision Sprint), which consisted of identifying our customers' problems and thinking about how to respond to them through our application, we have gone through other stages, during which we integrated our customers. For example, they were the first beta testers of our application.

We are in a market segment that needs to be created, with certain ways of working, and digital is an approach that needs to be supported. Thanks to theTribe, we have been in this support process from the very first steps, which can make the difference compared to the competition.

What is also interesting with this Vision Sprint methodologyis thatwe have gained digital expertise. We will never be app developers, but we have a better grasp of what we offer our clients.

Thank you Patricia for taking the time to answer our questions, and thank you for your trust.

👉 Find Patricia on LinkedIn

Florian Compain

Florian Compain

Chief Marketing Officer @theTribe

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