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SAP Social Sabbatical: It’s a wrap

It’s sometimes hard to believe but time can move very fast. It’s been almost four months since I wrote my first blog about the SAP Social Sabbatical and a few months since the last update. Now, the Social Sabbatical has already passed with me still owing you a summary of the last three weeks.

One note before we get into the content: the Social Sabbatical lasted during the month of February. We all made sure to maintain hygiene, wear masks in the outside and keep the necessary distance, especially outside of our regular environment. We also followed up with our host organization to check if everyone is doing fine and healthy.

Week 2 ended with a great and collaborative Design Thinking workshop at our host organization (Source: Abassin Sidiq)

After we wrapped up with the first week, week 2 started a little easier. Monday was a public holiday (Māgha Pūjā), so the week was a little shorter. Our goal for the second week was set the week before: run a Design Thinking workshop with our organization on Friday.

But why? Design Thinking is a very good method to bring people across an organization together in one room and have them ideate a whole day. By playing games, crafting personas, thinking about challenges, generating ideas and defining an action plan, we used the day to see who at Klongdinsor is working on which item and where synergies can be built.

Bow from Klongdinsor presents her team’s persona (Source: Deck Yang)

I really didn’t disclose too much about our project so far. Klongdinsor is focussing on including disabled people in every aspect of social life. Right now, they are running a lot of projects with various scopes and information and are looking for a methodology to harmonize those efforts.

So we chose to follow multiple activities during the time we spend in Thailand. One of them is to come up with a proposal on how Klongdinsor can build synergies across the team and actually share the information better to provide better services to their contacts and get the most out of data.

Another activity was to perform the Design Thinking workshop. It had the goal to bring together the staff and help us identify their most common requirements. Besides the action plan, which Klongdinsor came up with, we collected a lot of information about their daily work and how they utilize data.

In the weekends, we usually take some time off to see some of Bangkok. This is the Ratchada Train Market which is open in the evening. (Source: Abassin Sidiq)

As week 2 focused on that workshop, we reserved some time on week 3 and 4 to continue analyzing the situation at Klongdinsor, come up with recommendations and create our deliverables. Our focus was clearly on providing sustainable recommendations rather than just dropping some findings and leaving the turf. The deliverables include diagrams, research results and strategic recommendations for Klongdinsor to act further.

Our engagement concluded with a final presentation of our findings and recommendations to Klongdinsor. (Source: Deck Yang)

And with that, our journey ended. All in all, I can say that I’m not only very thankful for getting this chance but also very proud of SAP for engaging in such a program. The Social Sabbatical had a big influence in so many ways: working in a diverse team, facing completely different challenges and all of that in an unknown environment.

Whenever you face the chance to participate in such a program: do it! I hope, you will be surprised about the outcome as I was.

Like in the last blogs, I want to conclude this one again with some impressions from Bangkok.

One of our group events was a cooking class which brought us closer to Thai cooking. Do you know the Thai dessert ‘Mango Sticky Rice’? If not, you should definitely try it out! (Source: Abassin Sidiq)

Bangkok is full of rivers which are again full of boats. We took a night tour and caught this beautiful view of Wat Arun. (Source: Abassin Sidiq)

It’s hard to find a fitting description for that picture. But we can agree that it shows how impressive this city is. (Source: Abassin Sidiq)

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