Case Study

Creating custom R&D software for one of the world’s biggest automakers

/ Honda: Intro

Honda

To ease the global growing pains of Honda’s research and development team, Sprout designed and implemented a custom collaborative and creative software to streamline the inspiration process.

/ Honda: The Challenge

Bridging the
geographical gap

Honda’s research and development team of more than 3,500 employees is spread across 30 offices globally. With different time zones, multiple languages, distinct office cultures, and various software systems, the team struggled to find a tool to seamlessly provide alignment. All facets of project management, from feedback to resource allocation, were held in fractured systems, stifling collaboration and innovation. 

Not only were teams spanning time zones: employees frequently worked on the fly, meaning they wanted to document inspiration or updates from anywhere. Quick additions require equally fast feedback, which poses a challenge when the organization lacked a single tool to track accountability and iterations.

When using third-party tools didn’t work, the R&D teams found themselves requesting something more customized and robust to fit their global, multicultural, and immensely talented team.

/ Honda: The Approach

A global tool that implements unity

Understanding the need for an empathetic and people-first method, Sprout leaned heavily into user interviews and testing, truly putting ourselves in employees’ shoes. Working closely with Honda’s design team meant that we could build a tool by designers and for designers, taking all considerations, edge cases, and innovations into account. 

Further, due to the proprietary nature of Honda’s R&D, serious back-end security was a high priority for the company. However, a highly secure system contradicted the requirements for innovation; weighing the freedom for creative collaboration against an infrastructure provided a real challenge. The Galaxy seamlessly integrates the toughest security measures with a versatile front-end experience for users.

/ Honda: The Outcome

Driving the design home

Because of our tool, Honda boasts higher employee collaboration, retention, and engagement — a huge culture shift in the company’s creative side. With the ability to review projects and relevant documents in the tool, there was no need for team members to drive or fly countless hours to meetings. This remote connectivity meant that the large R&D team could engage in a meaningful, impactful way across the world, streamlining the workflow and making project management a more organic process.

/ Honda: The Outcome

Creative collaboration

The tool also proved to be remarkably robust in its ability to safeguard creative assets. As the design team could rest easy knowing their work remains undoubtedly protected, they were given further opportunities to use their talents and energy on what matters: concrete creative collaboration.

/ Honda: Testimonial

“Sprout created an amazing digital environment allowing designers and engineers spread all over the world to work together as though they were all sitting at the same table.”

Jason Wilbur

Head of Honda Advanced Design