At the heart of the Agile Factory
In the buildings it recently invested in Saint-Ouen, the insurer and assistance provider Allianz Partners has set up an innovation unit, a development laboratory, where its new working methods are being tested in a completely redesigned configuration.
- Year: 2017
- Surface area: 1,000 m2
- Posts: 66
- Location: Saint-Ouen
- Design time: 3 months
- Time to complete: 1.5 months
STRONG VALUES AT THE SERVICE OF A PROJECT
After having inaugurated them in Germany, then in its various European subsidiaries, Allianz Partners is setting up its Agile Factory in France. In Saint-Ouen, part of the insurer's and assistance provider's new head office is dedicated to this concept and Colliers International France was given the task of translating its architectural dimension. Agile Factories are in - novation cells in which new efficient collaboration modes are developed and tested, based on four fundamental values: transparency, simplicity, connectivity and mobility. It is therefore quite naturally around these four cardinal points that the architects of Colliers International France have defined the organisation and layout of this pilot space.
A SHARED CREATIVITY
To sketch this innovative space design, they first analyzed a typical working day of an Allianz Partners employee. It has served as their backbone around which to create a multitude of variations in work postures for the ten or so teams that collaborate using the Agile method. These are organized into 7 project "islands". The idea is that, although autonomous, these teams can see each other, meet, exchange, collaborate, enrich themselves with their experiences even if they occupy different territories. The space is therefore put at the permanent service of this transversal collaboration thanks to the glass walls surrounding the project islands. Without ever isolating, they serve as work supports, connected whiteboards are integrated, you can write on them with a felt pen or stick post-it notes to better share and transmit your information. Libraries made up of open boxes filled with objects or plants that personalize places "like at home", animate and energize traffic. The warm colours on bookcases, cushions and footstools, placed in touches, create a stimulating visual atmosphere. To amplify this ease of communication and make exchanges even more fluid, many visual conference systems are available to connect with the whole world, there are TV screens and tables connected on wheels everywhere, allowing you to arrange the space according to your needs. Creating a modern and dynamic space was important, employees can work anywhere in this Agile Factory.
Employees have access to different work environments. In the Creativity Room, they can meet as a team on a project. Meetings are facilitated by high-tech tools, and no standard configuration is imposed since the furniture elements can be reconfigured as required. They present the projects to internal or external customers in the Showroom, inhabited in start-up mode with its interactive screens, tables and high chairs and bleachers, in a smiling and relaxed industrial design. For a moment of solo concentration, head for the Silent Room, in a refined and serene universe. Finally, relaxation and informal exchanges are facilitated in the Cafeteria, more intimate, friendly and cosy, where warm wood is omnipresent.
A sober and soothing layout, glass partitions for more transparency, intuitive traffic, ubiquitous connectivity, were the keys to the success of the adaptation to the Agile method in this new work environment. Architectural success factors for which Franck Pivert, Allianz Partners' Director of Transformation, Digital Solutions, Strategy and Communication, has gathered excellent feedback and observed genuine customer benefits. "That's why," he says, "we plan to have more teams working in a cross-functional ecosystem using the Agile way of working and we will continue to transform our work environments as well."