Monday, May 10, 2021

Where Do I Plug In? Using a Rapid Innovation Sprint to Take on the Challenge of Electric Vehicle Adoption

Ben Wakeman, Sr. Director, Head of Product Management
Strategy / Innovation

We live in an amazing time. That might be hard to square in your mind given the incredible amount of suffering in the world right now – a global pandemic, senseless acts of violence, social injustice, and climate change. But all of this friction, all of these problems are invitations to come together and collaborate on solutions that will bring us closer and change our world for the better.

Innovation is the optimistic response to ambiguous, unwieldy problems. While it’s not in most of our job descriptions to save the world, it is in all of our interests to do our incremental part. At Rightpoint, I’m fortunate to be charged, like all of my coworkers with making things work better. For this reason, we chose the challenge of electric vehicle adoption to demonstrate how we work with clients to tackle big problems together.

If you’ve been paying attention the last few months, you may have noticed that there has been a decided shift in the future of transportation and our dependence on fossil fuels. Nearly every major automobile manufacturer has committed not just to adding more electric vehicles (EV) to their fleet, but also to completely phasing out production of internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles over the course of the next decade or so. The Biden administration is committing billions of dollars toward driving this change.

But it’s not so simple. If there was ever a chicken and egg problem, it’s this one. People won’t commit to buying EVs until there is ubiquitous infrastructure to support charging. There won’t be funding to support charging infrastructure until there are enough EVs on the road to demand it. This is precisely the kind of juicy problem we like to work on with our clients. In fact, we have a dedicated process called a Rapid Innovation Sprint Engagement (RISE) that we leverage to do it.

My colleagues and I decided this EV adoption problem would be a perfect case study to demonstrate the first part of our RISE process: Understand. We did some research, created a fictional client and project brief, created a Miro board, and hopped on Zoom to run through the problem space together. This kind of fully remote collaboration has become completely normal to us now and I think, in many ways it’s almost more effective.

In this video, you will get the chance to ride along as we set the stage, walk through some research, explore the problem and the users’ needs and then clearly frame what success will look like for any hypothetical solution. As a production note, this is an abbreviated and compressed version of what we typically spend at least half a day doing in a real workshop. Our goal for putting this together is to share what can be achieved with a small team collaborating in a focused way on a difficult problem.

What’s in the Video

  1. Introducing the team and purpose – 0:00
  2. Laying out the Problem – 2:30
  3. Project Brief – 4:35
  4. Meet the Client – 5:30
  5. Setting Goals – 7:10
  6. Identifying Metrics – 12:00
  7. User Research – 12:50
  8. Proto Persona 1: The Townie – 14:50
  9. Proto Persona 2: The Commuter – 18:45
  10. Exploring User Concerns – 24:35
  11. Aligning on the Primary Concerns – 28:00
  12. How might we address the problem? – 30:00
  13. Wrap up – 40:00

The Rapid Innovation Sprint - EV Case Study