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You might have already read the blog from my colleague Karin Schattka about the SAP InnoJam in the St. Leon Rot SAP offices where she presented the teams and the winning team. My blog will talk more about how I perceived the event in St. Leon Rot with the eyes of a participant. Yes, participant :-). But let me give you some context first.

It's been very busy in our team for the last weeks. We've organized 4 SAP InnoJams happening right before the SAP internal DKOM (Developer Kick Off Meeting) in Bangalore, San Jose, Shanghai and Karlsruhe. Like  the SAP TechEd Demo Jams the DKOM event has also a Demo Jam where the winning team of each local SAP InnoJam participates in the competition.

Inspired by anne.hardy we've tried out for the first time to run the InnoJams with a Design Thinking part which was even more challenging as we've never done it before and it means even more preparation and logistics to take care of prior the event. Given that the winning InnoJam teams in all 4 locations got either first or second at each of the DKOM Demo Jams it was really worth the effort.

In St. Leon Rot the participants didn't really know what the outcome of the SAP InnoJam would be. They were told that they'll be working on prototypes to improve the working day on an SAP employee. Not more.

The master of ceremonies was anne.hardy who initiated the event at 8:30am with a short welcome and the presentation of the agenda. After that our SAP colleague martina.schuh took over and started with some general (short) introduction into Design Thinking. Once this was done we formed teams and told the teams to interview SAP colleagues about their working day at SAP. Each team got one Design Thinking coach and as one of the teams didn't have enough team members I joined for the very first time one of the teams and together we interviewed 9 different colleagues.

Once we were back after lunch I wanted to start coding, BUT... I wasn't allowed! Our Design Thinking coach said this was much too early. We went through the different phases of the Design Thinking methodology and you know what? It took us until 6pm to really get ready to implement something!!
But our coach and the team really did some amazing work in analyzing the interview results. Around 4pm we finally knew which issue we wanted to tackle and by 6pm we knew how our app should look like. We event created some Lego asset to explain what we had in mind.

So it was 6pm at the first day and our team hasn't done ANY code at all. BUT we knew exactly what we wanted to do and even more important we knew what it was good for. This might sound obvious, but how often do we start developing software without really knowing if it solves an existing issue. Most of the times you develop something to try out new technologies and at the end you say "Oh. This might be useful for the scenario x,y or z". So we've turned that around and tried to focus on helping to solve a real issue.

Our team developed a tool to help SAP colleagues find an expert at SAP for a specific topic like "Who can help me with SAP UI5?" or "Who is an expert for JPAAS?". After working through the whole night and the next day we finally presented our tool to the jury (thanks to rukhshaan.omar, richard.hirsch and bjoern.goerke) and we got second. The team "Quick Resolve" (with my team mate juergen.schmerder who was at InnoJam during his vacation) won the InnoJam and became second at the DKOM Demo Jam in Karlsruhe (see one of the winners below with our co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe).

I really loved to be working in one of the InnoJam teams and am totally convinced about the Design Thinking methodology. During DKOM I interviewed martina.schuh and in case you are interested you can listen to it in episode 13 of the SAP Technology Innovation podcast.

Let's see if and how we can leverage Design Thinking also for SAP external InnoJams. We are currently discussing this in the InnoJam team and will let you know the outcome.

Meanwhile have fun in reading, listening and watching some of the content created around the pre-DKOM InnoJams: