Over load of information? This was my situation on the first day of my job, exactly 1 year from today on May 08, 2017. I was excited to join the S/4HANA Cloud Solution Management group & my dream job but then when I looked at the roadmap, what hit me immediately was the sheer volume of information 380+ scope items, almost 30-40 scope items getting added every quarter & 100+ scope item enhancements.. “wow how does one keep pace with these changes?” For a moment, I wondered if I was the only one overwhelmed in this ocean of information or is this really an issue which needs to be looked at? I checked with colleagues globally and got the same response. Time to dig deeper …
Customer is the King ! I was very curious about what our customers had to say on this issue & how they keep up with the pace of rapid information flow. So I started speaking to some of our key customers in the professional services & component manufacturing industries in North America & EMEA and got the unanimous response “We have no time to keep up with the new release updates. There is so much information out there. We need help in understanding which are those new innovations in every new release which might be relevant to us & which ones we can ignore. We have multiple projects other than SAP and ofcourse our core business to focus on. How can you help us? We need help !”
Time for Action …I bought this up to the attention of my manager Bill Bowers and we decided to look for a fun & engaging approach to solving this problem. As we were brainstorming, I went back to my school day memories where I used to use the ‘Flash Cards’ to memorize mathematical/chemistry formulas & also used them extensively to improve my English Vocabulary while preparing for my MBA entrance examination. Eureka, finally, based on this good old tried & tested personal experience, we designed a simple ‘S/4HANA Cloud Scope Review/Discovery Cards Game’ for our customers.
Testing the Waters …We piloted this Cards game approach with one of worlds largest insurance company in North America on March 21, 2018.
Friends, I present you the details of this simple ‘S/4HANA Cloud Scope Review/Discovery Cards Game’ & the results of our pilot with our key US customer:
‘S/4HANA Cloud Scope Review Cards Game’
Background behind the development of this game: In traditional approach, customers have a very short attention span, lose interest in presentation after the first 5 minutes & absorb not more than 25 – 40 % of information presented in the session. The traditional approach is relatively ineffective & has no tangible take-always for the customer.
Cards Game Objectives/Goals:
- Effective Education/Awareness/Recap/Review of the scope items – Educate/Quick recap the customer about end to end scope items & achieve 80% + absorption by the customers
- Increased Customer Engagement & interaction – The customer is on the driving seat, takes the control & is much more engaged as he/she learns & play with the scope items. The customer discusses the scope items face-to-face internally with his team & with SAP experts available.
- Current + Rolling 3 Qtr Customer Roadmap with clear ownership – As a takeaway from this game, the customer identifies the scope items already implemented, the ones they would like to explore further or deploy in future & filter out the not relevant scope items. They also identify clear owners for each scope item within their team. In the process, the customer builds their own Current + Rolling 3 Qtr Customer Roadmap with clear ownership. (RSG Sticky C+3Q Roadmap attached for your reference)
Duration of Cards Game: 60 – 90 Mins/LoB. The game can be played in parallel for each LoB in different rooms with respective LoB teams (Finance, Procurement, Sales etc)
Cards Game Components:
The Game has 2 components:
- Scope Items Cardswhich contain: Scope ID & End-to-End Solution category (Procurement Scope IDs attached)
- Scope ID – Solution Description Mapping documentwhich contains a short description of the Scope items (Procurement Scope ID Description mapping document attached)
- Process ‘Game Flow’:
- The cards will be shuffled & distributed to the customer teams – for example, the procurement team will be given the cards, assuming a team size of 6 & total 30 scope items in procurement, each team member will receive 5 scope cards.
- The cards will remain blinded (facing downwards) with each of the players
- Next, in a round robin fashion, each of the team member will take turns & pick up a card & show it to other players. The player will then look at the Scope ID for example 1JR & then refer to the ‘Solution ID – Solution Description Mapping document’ & read out the Scope Item name & description.
- The team will then discuss if the this scope id is relevant to them or not. If relevant, they further discuss if its already implemented or if they want to deploy it in future & when.
- Next, this scope ID is assigned an internal owner from the team.
- A colored sticky with Scope ID & owner is placed in the ‘Current + Rolling 3 Qtr Customer Roadmap’ on the whiteboard/flipchart (RSG Sticky C+3Q Roadmap attached for your reference)
- The process is repeated until all the scope items are selected & owners are identified.
Please note SAP team will be available for any questions & clarifications related to the scope items.
- Game Outputs: Current + Rolling 3 Qtr Customer Roadmap ( Actual Pilot Customer results shown here)
As you can see below, on the left side, the customer has built a Current + 3 Rolling Quarter Roadmap for himself where each & every scope item item in the future has a team member assigned as its owner. On the right side, they also have identified the ‘Not Relevant’ scope items.
I have translated the above table into a simpler tabular format for your easier understanding.
- Items highlighted in Yellow were completely new to the customer & the customer is now having weekly review of these results and engaging with SAP to implement few of these innovations which are relevant to their business.
- The Head of Procurement gave the feedback that “The Cards game approach was fun & engaging. They got 100% team participation & the entire team stayed till the end. They uncovered a lot of new scope items & have identified the new scope items they want to implement. This saved them atleast 2 weeks of time & now they have a clear roadmap on what they want to focus on. They would love the play the game for the new scope items in the next release”.
Please Note: The above Cards based gamification concept/approach can be used in various multiple scenarios/situations like – education of new customers, education of existing customers, New scope items discovery/review, LoB Based (Procurment, Finance, Sales, Manufacturing) Scope Items review, Innovation based (Machine Learning/Analytics/CoPIlot) scope item review, Cloud Only Scope Item review, 2 Tier Scope Item review & many other scenarios you can think of.
1805 Cloud Release Update: The customer reviewed the game outputs with the new 1805 scope items on May 11th 2018 and added the new scope items to its roadmap. Customer has agreed to review & play the game every quarter to keep its roadmap upto date with the Qtrly cloud releases.
Thanks for taking time for reading this blog. Please let me know your valuable feedback on what you think about our Gamification approach & what are the scenarios where you would love to pilot this scenario. Please let us know if you have any questions/clarifications. Hope you Play & Enjoy the Game with your Customers 🙂
Vote of thanks:
“Many thanks for your support, guidance, and encouragement”
A big thank you to Bill Bowers, Marco Valencia & Andreas Muno for their inputs while I was working on this idea. Further, I am grateful to Anila Bishop, Gabor Kovacs, Martin Ransheim for supporting me in the actual execution at the customer site.
Also, I would like to acknowledge the support of Uwe Grigoleit, Daniel Ciecko, Dr. Petra Kloess, Lauren Betuzzi, Hans Kroes, Morne Rossuw, Luis Orama, Maarten De Vries, Sarah Whitlock, Sonia Gomes, Andrew Marti, Alicia Hattingh & Ruben Mellema for their valuable time in reviewing the game outputs & how we can expand/scale it further in other customer engagements/scenarios & potentially build an automated online/offline next version of this game.
Last but not the least, thanks to my team members Dmitry Melnik, Michelle Pruitt & Phani Dhar for support at every step of this pilot. Thank you all.