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Author's profile photo Daniel Brunnett

Looking into the future with Design Thinking

This summer a UK & Ireland customer that specializes in bringing togheter “Thought Leaders” from different areas, asked us SAP Consultants:” How will my business look like in 2018 and what IT infrastructure is therefore needed?”

We thought the best way to answer this question was with a Design Thinking  workshop. So we made the proposal to the customer to conduct a Design Thinking workshop to get a better overview of their company’s real business needs and to figure out what they really need to be successful. We explained him the concept of Design Thinking and needless to say, they were very excited about the Design Thinking process. In case you are not familiar with Design Thinking, take a look at this video:

We conducted a 2 day Design Thinking Workshop at the customers site and split the customer into two working groups. We went through classic Design Thinking process and started in each group with the ‘Scoping’ phase to understand their current challenges. In the Scoping phase, we figured out that the first obvious problem was missing templates and bad data management with too many data sources – however, this wasn´t the real root cause (just a smaller, more obvious problem).

So we started then to dig into it to figure out the real need of their business and the need of their customers. The real challenge wasn´t the missing templates or bad data management, it was the information gathering process, member interaction possibilities, and knowledge exchange infrastructures for members to connect and interact. With this knowledge we started the ‘360 Research’ phase and the outcome was really amazing. For example, one topic was memberships and what people expect from memberships.

We interviewed the customer’s customers who paid their membership fees for different services (Fitness Clubs, Golf Clubs, and Wine Clubs) to understand the general needs and expectations from their memberships. With this data we started the ´Synthesis´ phase by clustering and analyzing the information and looked at what members are expecting, which information they are willing to provide, and then created two personas: a typical internal employee and an external member.

With this knowledge we kicked of the ideation with one question per group; one group was focusing on the internal perspective “How can we help Anna to get up to date information to ensure a good customer relationship”; the other group was focusing on a member who is paying membership fees “How can we help John find the right people to connect and interact with the easiest way possibly”.

The outcome of both groups was really amazing – they really reinvented themselves and based on their prototypes they are now able to establish new revenue streams and maintain a higher customer satisfaction. Based upon this Design Thinking workshop, they created the ´Prototype´ of a Social Interaction Platform where members can easily interact, connect and get high quality information with the possibility of additional features as add on e.g highlight information, tailored newsfeed, advertisement, surveys etc. This platform is connected to the internal systems of the customer to have the right information in place.

The customer said I was expecting a lot, but this Design Thinking workshop really overachieved what I was expecting. Now we have a clear direction where we want to go and the team is now closer than ever before. Everyone has a Vision now.


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