Since the beginning of giffgaff’s existance, we’ve had members give us lots of different ideas and as a brand we’ve done our best to implement as many of them as possible. Ideas like changing unlimited data to always on, having goodybags (yep that was a member idea) and also ideas like wifi on the underground.
Some of you may know that over the last 10 years we’ve had two different platforms for members to submit their ideas - “The ideas board” and since 2015, “Labs”. The community team who manage these ideas have been listening to lots of feedback from members who are passionate about keeping the board tidy and highlight any ideas worth exploring and they all agree that Labs isn’t as relevant as what it used to be. So myself and the rest of the engagement team want to help them shake things up and make sure Labs stays relevant.
Over the last few years, the majority of the ideas submitted are either duplicates, already implemented, they refer to things we would never do (like contracts) or fall under the umbrella of help requests and bug fixes.
As it stands today, Labs is great for generating ideas, but our product teams work in a different way. They start with a problem statement and work as a team to solve it. By gathering data from research, insights from feedback and testing, they can come up with a solution.
Most ideas submitted are solutions and that makes them harder to use from the beginning of the product team’s development process. That is unless we do some work internally to figure out what is the problem that triggered the idea.
With all of that in mind, coupled with the feedback they have been sharing in the labs discussion group, we came up with an idea that could become a new and improved version of Labs.
Going back to basics
What sits at the core of Labs is co-creation, transparency and the ability to make a difference. Just like giffgaff pioneers - answering surveys and polls, or coming to our office to test a prototype or answer some questions. It is one of the ways we bring Run by you to life.
To make sure Labs works well for you and us, we need to share these opportunities right from the beginning. We want to expose as much of the product teams development journey as we can so that you will have context around what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
Using everything we have learned this year with setting up giffgaff pioneers, we are going to help bring members and our product teams together in a smart way to open more doors and tell more stories.
For Labs, the longer term goal is to evolve it so that members have a place where they can get up to speed with what’s going on in the tech world. And also give them a space to provide feedback, test, think big and celebrate our successes together.
We will be dipping in and out of this new way of co-creation by bringing you, our giffgaff pioneers and our labs community closer together.
So, what are we going to do?
We are going to work closely with our Apps team, (some of you have already been part of this journey), to test and learn this new way of working. We don’t want to invest lots of time and money into developing a new tool until we know what works.
The first problem we’ll be solving together is “The app doesn’t have 'buy a goodybag with a voucher' option” We’ll help them on their journey of building the ‘buying a goodybag from credit’ feature which will ultimately let them build the voucher journey in the beta app.
How are we going to do this?
Our plan is to use Trello to break down and expose the development journey that the Apps team will go though. We have mirrored their agile board and we hope this will give you more context around what and why they are working on certain features. And ultimately keep you informed throughout the whole process.
We're going to need to test and learn using Trello in this way together. So, in order to make the most out of this proof of concept, we will, of course, need your help.
With everything you have just read, what are your initial thoughts? Have you seen other businesses try something similar and have succeeded or failed? (If the latter, what do you think we could learn from them?)
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,