Participative innovation at CPAM Yvelines

Written by Sarah Spitz, on 17 July 2019

The transformation is underway at CPAM Yvelines... Patrick, the general manager, observes the success of implementing an adapted Lean management. Thanks to quick, visible, and concrete results, autonomy is spreading. However, Lean is just a first step: after unleashing the creativity of employees to improve existing processes, the focus is now on harnessing it for innovation!

In 2015, three years after implementing the adapted Lean management, as the cultural change accompanying CPAM's transformation continues, Patrick believes it's time to tackle a significant project: participative innovation.

Consistent with his readings and ambitions, Patrick communicates an objective (the why): to enable all employees, regardless of their contract, to propose ideas and be active contributors to the organization. The how, on the other hand, is the responsibility of everyone.

Sandrine, Innovation Manager, was given carte blanche to successfully lead this project. She initially organized workshops with interested collaborators: an opportunity for Sandrine to generate a maximum of ideas and test various methods of collective intelligence. Yes, with the right to make mistakes, she could experiment and iterate.

"I took my walking stick to visit CPAM services. It took me a year. I visited different sites and about sixty services. It was important for me that we meet and that people put a face to my name." - Sandrine, Innovation Manager

The outcome of these workshops is the launch of ID'Nov in 2016. It is an internally developed platform where anyone can submit and "like" an idea. Sandrine regularly reviews these ideas, determining if they are feasible and relevant, with the possible assistance of subject matter experts to assess technical or legal feasibility.

No allocated budget: the only budget is her working time (full-time permanent contract), as well as that of the twenty field relays assisting her on this project. It's the departments that finance and implement a project that has been given the green light. For example, to develop tutorials, the IT department contributed financially and developed them. If necessary, the management can also contribute to the financing of a project. These projects are integrated into the service's activities and scheduled based on the workload: thus, it is an additional load added to the usual activities of the team.

The success was quite impressive: 600 ideas were submitted in one year! Among the proposed ideas are carpooling among employees, an SMS alert for declaring the treating physician from the age of 16, a coding system to improve email management, or even a change in the size of envelopes used, generating several thousand euros in savings per year!

But what about the shy ones who have ideas but might not dare to put them online? Well, for them, there are idea trees. There are now 60 in the offices: everyone sticks their idea written on a post-it, fully anonymously, and the teams review them every two weeks. This is a parallel process to ID'Nov: the ideas collected from the trees are more related to the life of the service or department; however, some of these ideas can be transferred or taken up on the platform.


And they also have offspring: employees have seen appreciation trees and good news trees grow in the offices... Quite a nice plant, isn't it?

To give rhythm and energize this participative innovation, the Innovation Trophies are organized every year by Sandrine.

In total, between the launch in 2015 and November 2018, 1269 ideas were proposed, 256 were completed. 55 are still being implemented, and 52 are currently under consideration.

The most remarkable aspect of all this is undoubtedly the shift that has been observed: initially, ideas mainly came from managers. Today, half of the ideas come from managers, and the other half comes from the employees themselves, evidence of the tool's adoption by all and increasing involvement, aligning with the transformation.