Helping Elsevier to embed Experimentation across the whole of the organisation

Fully enabling & training 80 products teams, and setting up a Centre of Excellence in experimentation

The Challenge

Elsevier is a leader in information and analytics for customers across the global research and health ecosystems. They publish more than 500,000 articles annually in 2,500 journals and its archives contain over 17 million documents and 40,000 e-books. Their total yearly downloads amount to more than 1 billion.

As a highly successful organisation with science and research at its core, Elsevier decided that it was time to massively ramp up online experimentation across the whole of the organisation. To truly create the best all round customer experience for their huge user base, experimentation needed to be a capability that every team could benefit from and deploy effectively. As opposed to constraining experimentation to a single optimisation team.

They chose Creative CX to help them do this, due to our track record in Product Experimentation, Server-side testing, our training capabilities and our previous experience of setting up Centre of Excellence’s. We also already had a thorough understanding of the Adobe Target platform which Elsevier were moving to.

What we did

Discovery and kick-off

The CCX Strategy team worked closely with Elsevier to gain a thorough understanding of the organisation, their objectives and the current needs of the many different teams and specialisms that would soon be involved in experimentation. In parallel the CCX Technical team focussed on understanding the technical requirements and the team’s current level of technical expertise when it came to building client-side and server-side A/B tests.

The project phases

The following phases included the creation of all training modules, delivery of training sessions to a worldwide audience of up to 300 employees, all supporting documentation and the set-up of processes and frameworks. All of this was added to their confluence to support future onboarding of new teams and brands.

  1. Centre of excellence set-up, framework, processes and content (9 modules)
    Focussing on Onboarding, BAU activities, Scaling experimentation and introducing the training framework
  2. Experimentation fundamentals, for end users including strategic, technical and operational teams (5 modules)
    Providing a solid foundational understanding in experimentation
  3. Experimentation Training Level 1 (25 modules)
    – Covering client-side, server-side and mobile testing practices and deployment instructions.
    – Setting up experimentation processes, team structures, governance models and frameworks
    – Management of all stages of the experimentation lifecycle and roadmaps
  4. Experimentation Training Level 2 (11 modules)
    – Server side capabilities (Technical)
    – User research, ideation and experiment design principles (Strategy)
    – Generating and managing user insight (Operations)
  5. Experimentation Training Level 3 (7 modules)
    – Mobile and personalisation automated deployment (Technical)
    – Personalisation modules covering the fundamentals, personalisation framework, pitfalls and all associated support materials (Strategy)
Scaling experimentation across the organisation involves managing many different roles and responsibilitiesScaling experimentation across the organisation involves managing many different roles and responsibilities
Up to 300 Elsevier employees from all over the world attending each training session

The Results

Setting up the Elsevier Centre of Excellence in Experimentation.

Fully training and enabling 80 product teams in the skills required (strategic, technical and operational) for experimentation.

After finishing the project Elsevier were totally self-sufficient in experimentation both client-side and server-side.

Interested in working with Creative CX?

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