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Author's profile photo Benny Sun

APJ: Design Thinking Workshop for Early Talents, Shanghai, China, Aug 4th, 2015


We successfully hosted a Design Thinking workshop for Early Talent in DT space Shanghai on Tuesday, Aug 4th 2015. 12 interns from SAP Labs took part in the workshop with Benny Sun from SAP University Alliances as the host, Sophia Xiang from the P&I Agile & Design Thinking China Team, Deng Di from Scale, Enablement and Transformation Team, and Wendy Chen from PI PLM Team as the coaches, as well as Richard Zhang from HR Early Talent.


The goal of the DT workshop is to define how SAP University Alliances will “Prepare the next generation for the future of work empowered by SAP.” We invited 12 interns in SAP from 7 different universities to participate in the event. It’s a great chance to have the interns’ voice heard and to help UA generate effective solutions.


Activity Profile:

There were 4 design challenges (include reach, compete, prepare and retain) about the topic, so the interns were divided into 4 groups to solve the topic apart. As the agenda shows below, the internal 1 day DT workshop was from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.     3.JPG

In the morning, Benny gave a warm welcome to all the participants, as well as an introduction of the background and challenge. After the warm-up part, Sophia introduced the methodology of Design Thinking and the 6 key steps to the students. It supplied a new problem-solving methods which followed the steps by “understand, observe, define, ideate, prototype and test”.

Deng Di and Wendy gave whole-process guidance to 4 teams. First, we reframed the topic in the understand step by decomposing and analyzing the meaning of it. Next in the observe step, we should prepare questionnaire for the following interview to understand the needs of the user. After lunch, we integrated the collected answers, and defined the viewpoints by using storytelling, which presented as POV. In the step of ideation, we used brainstorming to contribute ideas as much as possible. The last parts were prototype and test. Each team should show their solutions to others in whatever style they like, and refine their solutions based on other’s feedback.


Value and significance:

These interns were freshmen in SAP without any experience of Design Thinking. Everyone was inspired after the one-day workshop. It was really a meaningful day for both interns and SAP. These college students not only learned an innovation method of solving problems, but also expressed real ideas to SAP. For SAP, especially UA, the workshop set up an effective communication between company and students, knowing students’ feelings and gathering their advices about SAP. We have to say this is a successful activity just as we planned globally.



To sum up the solutions, there are some original insights:

  1. SAP can hold some named events like SAP school club, SAP holiday camping, SAP TED, SAP annual party, SAP micro film festival, or just set up SAP scholarship to expand brand influence and reach students best.
  2. Besides holding various events, SAP can give more lectures whose topic is about SAP’s cutting edge Tech or concepts to let students know that SAP is not only focus on ERP related Tech.
  3. A simple and direct community network between SAP employees and college students can lead to a better communication. They help each other solve technology problems. Courses can also be transmitted through it.
  4. SAP should assign more challenging and specific tasks to promote interns’ experience and achievement so they have identity of the company. A clear job description is also necessary to help interns choose their team and job.

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