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Author's profile photo Faisal Iqbal

Design Thinking Workshop, Qualification, and Practice

Attend the workshop and you’ll fell in love with the subject, attain its qualification and you’ll crave to apply the learning into practice. That’s what has happened to me.

Workshop > Qualification > Practice

A few years ago, I participated in a Design Thinking Course at SAP Mawared Program and started to explore it further. Lately after earning a title, called SAP Certified Associate – Design Thinking, I’m interested in applying it to the work I do.

Learning and Application

Since the approach can be applied to solve different types of challenges we face in our daily lives, I thought to provide a brief summary of

  1. The Content, I used to learn about its application, and
  2. The Concept, to describe what Design Thinking is all about?

During this time, I have explored a variety of resources to know how the approach can help us to

  1. Discover the Problems / Challenges,
  2. Design the Prototypes / Solutions, and
  3. Deliver the Products / Services.

The Content

While looking for the formal courses on the subject, I came across the Design Thinking for Business Innovation – Live Experience course. Teaching its audience the methodology, and guiding them with the Design Thinking workshop facilitation process, the course also provides additional valuable references.

The course introduces the topic by describing the

  1. major design thinking principles,
  2. overall methodology approach,
  3. history, referring to the product designing, and
  4. relevance to its application within IT Solution space.

It further explains the activities, from understanding the challenge in hand to brainstorming the possibilities and ultimately designing the prototypes to get these validated for further development of products or services.

The course is easy-to-understand and is enjoyable. While going through the content, one can easily relate it with his/her day-to-day life.

The Concept

The SAP Consultants can use the concepts, taught in the course, to help their clients better by

  1. understanding the business requirements correctly, and
  2. delivering the solutions to not only meet but exceed expectations.

“What happens if there is a gap between the requirements and the understanding” was well-explained by the famous illustration which you and I’ve seen many times, provided below:

Q. So how Design Thinking helps?

A. Mainly by guiding the learners to follow a structured approach i.e. a combination of various techniques used in many other disciplines, for

  1. Investigating, Researching, and Understanding the Challenge,
  2. Generating Ideas, Creating User Experience, and Gathering Feedback on Designs,
  3. Developing, Testing, and Implementing the Solutions.

A valuable addition to other knowledge areas

As customers, we are always interested in getting the highest-quality products and best-possible services. We can be better Product Developers, Problem Solvers, and Service Provider if we learn and apply the Design Thinking concepts.

Within SAP profession, I think it’s an additional skill which Consultants can learn on top of their core areas of expertise, to serve customers better.

Do you have any thoughts?

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      Author's profile photo John Roche
      John Roche

      Great article Faisal!

      I have been a DT facilitator at SAP since 2014 and I have led dozens of workshops both internally (for SAP teams) and externally for SAP customers. If you use Design Thinking as a "tool in your toolkit" it does work to empathize with the end users you are trying to help the team of participants solve for.

      Most of my design thinking sessions have lasted 3 - 4 hours and the participants come away with a specific set of action items that can create a prototype that can then be iterated on and continuously improved.

      Where I have seen it fail is when the facilitator allows the participants to take too much time trying to find the exact "sweet spot" of viability, feasibility and desirability and then either nothing ever gets built or too much time has elapsed for the prototype to be relevant.


      Design Thinking Approach

      Author's profile photo Faisal Iqbal
      Faisal Iqbal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi John Roche

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Interestingly, I first attended the DT workshop in 2014, with another facilitator, and I described my experience at Design Thinking Course at SAP Mawared Program. Later I got a chance to interact with some other experts too and learn more about the topic.

      The illustration you have shared clearly describes the concept of vaiability and fasibility, love it! Do you have any reading recommendations?