The Case: ISS Corporate Garage

Founded in 2016, the ISS Corporate Garage serves as an autonomous start-up lab focusing on service innovation. Its goal is to explore new business models and services and bring those innovations back to ISS and distribute the benefits to their customers. As the fifth largest private employer in the world, ISS has many customers that stand to benefit from the work of the Corporate Garage.

The Challenge

In the ISS Corporate Garage, the first customer is always ISS. After that, the innovation lab’s mandate becomes quite broad. To choose new projects, the Corporate Garage team first looks for pain points in the organization at large, and then explores creative solutions that could benefit both ISS and its customers.

“Our point of departure is always empathy, which is the first bit of classic design thinking,” explains Ulla Riber, Head of the ISS Corporate Garage. “That means empathizing with our customers. What are our customers’ jobs to be done? What are their pains and gains? That’s an inherent part of the process—we always start by empathizing with the customers.”

The Corporate Garage team uses the traditional Google Venture Sprint methodology, but often customizes the process to fit their requirements. Getting feedback on their initial ideas and concepts is hugely important, and with the entire power of ISS behind them, they can often find relevant people to share their ideas with. Through internal crowdsourcing they are able to get feedback from thousands of colleagues all over the world.

However, even with such an abundant network, the process of collecting that feedback is still time-consuming. Ulla’s team decided to partner with UserTribe and see how our methodologies could fit into their sprint processes.

“Our point of departure is always empathy, which is the first bit of classic design thinking.”

— Ulla Riber, Head of ISS Corporate Garage

“The feedback from the UserTribe study was very clear: yes, they want it. Ok, now we can move on to the next phase.”

— Ulla Riber, Head of ISS Corporate Garage

The Opportunity

One of ISS’s greatest challenges is managing employee turnover. Each week the organization onboards 4,000 new hires around the world, incurring a huge cost. To make the process of transitioning between jobs more efficient, the Corporate Garage team came up with the concept for WorkID—a digital tool that helps workers store, verify, and share documents such as identification, permits, and licenses with their employers.

Ulla’s team hypothesized that such a solution could benefit not only ISS but also other organizations who hire a large number of blue collar workers globally. After developing a core concept, UserTribe and Corporate Garage designed a study to gauge the initial reactions to the WorkID concept. Within a few days, we spoke with 10 blue collar workers in Mexico who had changed jobs in the last year.

“We think big and we start small,” explains Ulla. Together, we were able to generate insights on the WorkID concept—a big project in its very early stages—by sampling deep insights from a small target group.

The Result

The report we delivered included insights on what people thought about the initial concept, including what they found concerning and what they considered most valuable.

“The delivery was very insightful and very valuable for us,” Ulla said. “We got some excellent insights and results.”

Part of the Google Sprint Methodology requires the rapid evaluation of ideas and concepts, moving quickly to either validate or invalidate a hypothesis. Our research methodologies accelerate the validation process, helping innovation teams like Ulla’s work quickly.

“You confirmed that we were on the right path,” explained Ulla. “The feedback from the UserTribe study was very clear: yes, they want it. Ok, now we can move on to the next phase.”

UserTribe can help accelerate your innovation.