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The team took then Heinz's perspective and redefined the generic challenge as follow:

How to facilitate the access to accurate information and pertinent measures  to take on the spot decision?”

The exploration of the problem space showed that Heinz to take informed decisions or inform the different stakeholders needed to manage a large set of data, to compare pertinent key performance indicators with other institutes and to understand how the decisions will impact future of the institutes. Too often, he is forced to take the decisions quickly and his main concerns is to be sure that he is relying on fresh and pertinent data.

How to achieve this goal became the main worry of the team and the ideas were captured thanks to a lean canvas in a entrepreneur oriented way.

Lean Canvas

The Canvas framework and its instantiation are shown above and the different sections are summarized below:

  • Problem
    • Knowing current and future research trends
    • Overview of existing project and opportunities
    • Get the information needed to take a decision
  • Solution
    • Digital first
    • Proper Data sanitization
    • Complete/Uptodate information
    • Fast Access & Results
    • Sexy GUI
  • Key Activity
    • Capture experience & reuse
    • Quantitative & Quaitative KPIs
    • Set of pertinent KPIs
  • Unique Value Proposition
    • Have the answer before you know the questions
  • Unfair advantage
    • Big & Fast Data
    • Complete oversight of research perdormance
    • Benchmarking platform
    • Predefined (albeit customizable) KPIs attached to solutions
    • Share experience across customers
    • Influence donors to use STANDARD best practices
  • Channels
    • Creating jealously between institutions
    • Testimonials by users
  • Customer Segment
    • Top management of universities
    • High profile Research Managers

The team's unique value proposition was ambitious "Have the answer before you know the questions", the idea is to capitalize the industry knowledge to track KPIs used to take an informed decision.  The industry shared knowledge together with the quality of data and advanced big data capabilities makes this objective not impossible to achieve assuming that the community is willing to share.


The team bravo proposed a way to automatically link research relevant KPIs with specific modules enabling to compare performance across departments but also insitutions. Sharing and capitalizing experience can then be achieved by keeping track of KPIs that should be preferably involved to take decisions (eg. what-if analysis, how the recent activities of a yet to be appointed researcher would impact the funding acquisition or publication of the team / department, how to mitigate funding risk by using previous proposal success rate).

This can be seen as an extension of our research dashboard oriented toward decision making linked to industry specific benchmarking services taking into account security and regulation constraints.

What next !

We are working toward making some of these ideas a reality, 2 Customers Engagement Initiative related to the 2 use cases has been accepted and we will work launch the activity at full throttle in 2015, if you are or know a SAP customer interested to participate we still have some room available. Meanwhile, we investigated how a social network platform JAM can be used for organising and boosting collaboration within collaborative projects. In my next blog, we will show how the advanced features of JAM can be used to tackle the different phases of a research projects.

Stay tuned !