Last week I had the pleasure to be again part of the InnoJam during the CeBIT in Hannover, where more than 100 students from almost all around the world had the chance to work together in 12 interdisciplinary teams on concrete challenges around for example future bank solutions, smart city scenarios or innovative supply chains for the automotive industry.
The first positive surprise for me was the location of the event, as we had the chance to work in the Convention Center in the middle of the CeBIT area with a wonderful view and enough walls we used especially during the design thinking phase. The second positive surprise was the group of well-known design thinking coaches from different SAP areas like Heike van Geel Denis Lanz , Karen Detken , Dieter, Ralf Sievers, Edda, Volker, Carsten, Marouan Boukli , Fawad Ahmed Shah , Horst Kuebler and Tobias Hildenbrand . It is always good to work with all these experts. 🙂
The challenge of “my” team – the SAP´ly Chainers – was about future supply chain solutions for the automotive industry and together with our partner Reply the students started their InnoJam journey. And when talking about the automotive industry why not talking to the “real” end users in this scenario: the car drivers? And – surprise, surprise – the students found a lot around the Convention Center while they went out of the building during the research phase.
Our focus was on improving the whole process in case your car is broken and some spare parts are not available at the car dealer or the garage. Interestingly this seems to be not a real problem for any of the interviewed car drivers in case that they just get an replacement car wile the broken car is not available. This brought up some discussions with our partner about the need of optimizing the whole supply chain at all if there is such an “simple” solution available (i.e. just give everybody a replacement car).
Following the short and crisp inputs from lovely Heike van Geel, who did the whole moderation during the design thinking part of the InnoJam, the students created step by step first ideas (do it in the “yes, and” attitude and not with an “no,but” thinking) and also a concrete prototype for their idea, they decided to focus on.
The SAP´ly Chainers decided to create a visual storyboard for their “new” suppy chain, but how to transport this to the stage if there is no white board available for this? Well, the just used the table, turned it around and created a wonderful whiteboard and a compelling story where the supply chain does not cover the process between the car factory and the car dealer but which also includes the car itself, which would send the needed infos about upcoming and potential car damages right in time.
This story was well received but then another challenge started – how to implement this in the next 18 hours? But stop, before the coding session started, Tobias gave some insights about the potential steps from a design thinking prototype into a “real” implementation using agile software methodologies.
The next hours were booked for coding, thinking, discussing and sleeping but somehow everybody was back the next morning finalizing the presentation for the jury presentation in the afternoon. Yes, it was almost impossible for the team to implement a solution on top of HANA – as they had not enough development skills inside the team – but it was on the other side a good experience that our project partner started his laptop and jumped into the team as a normal developer.
All in all it was again an interesting experience with the students, it was fun to work with design thinkers from different SAP areas and it was really cool to be honest to see the very inspiring SAP booth knowing that myself is part of this more and more really innovative company.