„Design the ideal workspace in a world where SAP employees can work from everywhere.” With this challenge we kicked off our first 3-days Design Thinking (DT) d.camp at SAP Customer Experience in Munich in May 2018. The participants were a great mix of SAP employees with different job roles and backgrounds from our Munich offices in the city center and Hallbergmoos.
As a special guest we invited Roland Martin, a senior DT coach from the SAP office in Tägerwilen (CH) near Lake Constance, who facilitates Design Thinking workshops for 6 years. Together with him, Yevgen, Jose and me guided the three teams through the training.
DT is a design-led process which focuses on the customer experience and puts the user first.
To find the right target group, the teams have to gain a common understanding of the challenge first. After identifying the problem, they prepare an interview guide to uncover the users needs and pain points. What do they want to achieve? What are they struggling with?
For most participants the face-to-face interview with the customer is already an eye-opening lesson and also a step outside their comfort zone.
On the second day, the trainees share all the gathered feedback within their teams and use the so called synthesis method to create their own point-of-view on the problem. This is the starting point for the solution phase. With different brainstorming techniques the coaches try to trigger creativity and innovative ideas in everyone.
The most important learning here is not to judge your own ideas or the ideas of others. Because sometimes an idea considered as “stupid” can spark a great solution within someone elses mind.
The other thing worth mentioning is, that the participants learned how to sketch. Out of basic shapes even people, who consider themselves as non-artists, created scribbles everyone could “read”. With that tool they were able to communicate their ideas even faster.
The third day was all about prototyping. Make something tangible out of your idea, which users can touch and interact with. But be aware: don’t fall in love with your prototype! The target group might not understand or like your solution in the first place. If so, you need to change or adapt the prototype – or even the idea.
Furthermore design thinkers need to understand the success of failure. Or, to say it with the words of Thomas A. Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
We test our solutions over and over with real users, so that we do not spent time on building something nobody needs. Cheap and fast prototypes help us with that.
Only after we have identified the right solution for the right problem, we start with the (technical) implementation. This is the key and the main business value of Design Thinking. With this in mind the teams presented three great validated solutions.
After these three intense days, the d.camp participants are now having the tools in hand to gain empathy for the user, create customer loyalty and build products people desire.
Thanks to all participants for joining!
And special thanks to Roland, Yevgen and Jose for their great coaching engagement!
Voices from our participants:
“It was a dynamic and easy-going training, which was very fun to do and really had value for me. The (…) coaching team did a very nice job, and it was also fun to see how they also learn from their experience in our training.”
“Developers (incl. me) tend to develop new shiny or fancy features that have not been requested by any stakeholder. Furthermore stakeholders sometimes come up with predefined solutions that do not solve the actual problem well. In this training we learned means to focus on the actual problem space, reduce communications lacks and come up with solutions that tackle the actual problem better.”
Because of the overall positive feedback, we are already planning the next DT workshop with SAP employees in autumn. This time it will be facilitated at the office in Hallbergmoos.
If you are interested to join the next training, or if you want to do a design thinking workshop with your dev team or your customer, don’t hesitate to contact me.