This blog post is a small excerpt of my current project work in Shanghai, I thought it could be interesting for this community to see what is happening in Design Thinking across the world and how the approch brings different people coming from different backgrounds together. We are talking about SAP Labs China, where I am lucky to be part of a team of external consultants supporting the adoption of Design Thinking and helping incorporate the methodology into the daily work life of more than 30 project teams at the moment in the Shanghai location.
I’d like to start by saying that Design Thinking, as a problem solving approach, is no rocket science. BUT it is a problem-solving approach which encourages a way of tackling problems from different angles, putting the end-user in the center, and using the brainpower of interdisciplinary teams in a creative space. Through the accelerated DT roll-out for the development organization from September 2012, development teams have been given the opportunity to be trained in this approach and apply it in projects. This has led to a growing interest in DT across SAP Labs China beyond dev teams.
Therefore we thought about a way to reach out to more people and encourage exchanging different work experiences, bringing all kinds of people together to one table, not only SAP internals, but also externals to increase diversity. This led us to organize the so-called “DT Roundtable”. What we intended to do was to offer a forum to discuss interesting topics related to DT with internal and external participants and speakers outside of the daily work context. Combined with some music, snacks, pizza (“food for thought” 😉 ), and drinks, the plan is to organize such an event once a month.
The first two DT Roundtables that took place so far were a great success with over 40 participants each time! Our first guest speaker was a user researcher from Wal-Mart & the Chinese online supermarket yihaodian.com, who gave a presentation about how to prepare and conduct an interview at customer site. It was very well received and especially interesting for the local SAP employees who are in the DT coaching program. The second DT Roundtable saw a User Experience Consultant from IBM conduct an interactive visual design session.
Both sessions have been supported by Nicolas Leclercq from the internal ‘Design Thinking@Development’ program with the help of one of the local DT coaches, who invited both external speakers to share their experience at the DT Roundtable.
We are looking forward to more of those fruitful, interactive sessions. I am glad that we are able to drive such events and be part of this great experience.
If you are in Shanghai, come visit! 🙂