During my three years at SAP, I proudly called my pre-sales team the “Business Therapists.” Our human-centered design approach brought a special flavor to our work. My teammates - distributed across 5 time zones - used design thinking to uncover our customers’ challenges and unmet needs.
Other pre-sales teams approached customers solution first by building endless demos. The business therapists focused on problem finding - doing field observation to discover customer experiences and pains. This new way of working helped SAP teams understand customers and co-create solutions.
The "Business Therapsits" curated field research and observation to find the right problem to solve. Photo by Jo Szczepanska.
In 2017, SAP decided to scale the approach as part of the SAP Leonardo program. I was eager to help our 80,000-person company harness the power of design thinking, so I joined our Design Enablement team. As the only remote team member I knew collaboration would be a challenge with my co-located teammates. I began using MURAL as a way to share my concepts and gather feedback.
One moment stands out in my mind that galvanized the team around the power of MURAL. During one of these planning sessions in the office - well, I was calling in and on video - we realized we needed our own “business therapist.” How would we actually tackle this strategic learning beast?
We started - as we always had - with the co-located team writing on the whiteboard in the room:
We stared at the whiteboard (I was squinting to focus on the wall from my laptop.) And suggested solutions. PDFs they can print? Annoying and challenging without the right printer. Draw the methods? Too time consuming. Plus, how would trainees continue to practice and prepare without something they could edit and own?
The MURAL team transferred the methods from paper-based to digital magic. They stepped in with ideas and experience to help scale our design thinking practice.
The SAP Leonardo design thinking community had a new way of working that brought together the mindset and the methods. Our global community now had a digital home to connect with colleagues and customers. Thanks to the tool and the customer success team, our community had the power to:
Our customers noticed and benefited from this shift, too. In MURAL, we could continue building our ideas for true co-creation. At SAP, we were able to:
The best part? Even if you aren't an SAP employee, you can use these methods, too. MURAL made it easy to share the methods with partners and other design thinking practitioners. Access SAP Leonardo Design Thinking guides and templates here.
Now, pre-sales teams asked a new question - How can we do these workshops as well online as we do in person?
My work with MURAL addresses this shift to remote collaboration. The future of work demands this type of learning a way make design more accessible. Teammates and customers need a way to connect and align from anywhere.
Remote co-creation opens my role as a “business therapist” to anyone with the passion and dedication to learn and build their skills using design thinking.
Ready to power your team to work better from anywhere? Our MURAL Services team can teach and coach your team's shift to visual and digital collaboration.