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Summary. In this article I describe a SAP workshop format to identify data uses cases that make a difference for your company.

The Challenge has a name: “Use Cases”

If you had a bar of gold (400oz), you would have plenty of ideas how to generate value from it. Sell it is one option. That’s about 720.000 EUR given today’s market price.

But how would you generate value from one Terabyte of data, the new gold?

You might think it depends. What is the data good for? Is it useful, relevant, and correct? Who might be interested in the data? How much value could one generate with it?

You are right: The value of data is foremost determined by its usage. Or with other words: the challenge is to find a use case for the data that generates value. Sounds simple but it’s not. (Read the Blog from Christian Michel Unleash your dark data for more details)

Do the following observations sound familiar to you?

  • It is difficult to be innovative while engaged in daily business. It needs free space and an adequate environment.

  • Ideas often need support from colleagues from Business, IT and Data Science to be evaluated and implemented

  • Ideas must be structurally evaluated and described before presented to decision makers

And all that requires time and energy. Usually in conflict with other business priorities.

The Solution has a name: “GiveDataPurpose Workshop”

To master this challenge, we designed the GiveDataPurpose Workshop – Intelligent Data. Interesting for customers that use SAP ERP, BW or CRM and SAP industry solutions. The guiding principles:

  1. Bring together Business, IT and Innovation teams

  2. Follow a methodical approach

  3. Document findings easy to understand and convince stakeholders

In the GiveDataPurpose Workshop we design solution architectures for real use cases. A description of those and if desired a roadmap towards the final solution.

The workshop is set up to engage Business, IT and Innovation Teams equally.  It can be done virtually or face2face. There are 2 modules, 4h each plus a result presentation meeting. We use methods to encourage creativity as well as methods to structure findings.

For the major part the workshop is product agnostic. Only at the end relevant SAP products come into the focus. That is when we derive a solution architecture .

POCs, Hackathons or product evaluation activities are natural follow-ups to the GiveDataPurpose Workshop.

The feedback of participants was always positive. More than once, they were surprised how fast, engaging, and productive the workshop time was gone.

If you got the impression already the GiveDataPurpose Workshop is what you need, visit our web page GiveDataPurpose-Workshop. A registration link can be found on the page too.

If you’d like to know more about the workshop continue reading.

What is your starting position?

The workshop is meant to define the tools and approach to either

  • Evaluate „smaller gold deposits“ for value and mining potential or

  • Identify requirements, tooling and infrastructure of a „large gold mine“

Related to the goals we find three typical setup at our customers:

  1. There are use case ideas – but it’s unclear how to start

  2. There are general requirements – but collection, structuring and activity planning still missing

  3. Digitalization strategy communicated – but momentum of execution dragging

How the workshop works in detail?

Workshop approach for situation A:

  1. Collect ideas
    We use a format developed in collaboration with the CDQ of University St. Gallen. It describes the context of the idea, goals and success criteria as well as required data products.

  2. Evaluate relevance and feasibility
    We establish a mutual understanding by means of a set of proven criteria about value contribution, feasibility, and implementation effort.

  3. Describe the lighthouse use case
    A method called Data Journey Map makes sure that all critical dimensions of the use case are analyzed, i.e. processes, systems, responsibilities and requirements

  4. Derive solution architecture
    We suggest a To-Be solution architecture under consideration of the existing IT system landscape and finalize it in discussion with you and your team

  5. Draft a roadmap
    If desired we work out a proposal of activities and measure for the transition towards the
    To-Be architecture

Workshop approach for situation B:

  1. Analyze requirements from three perspectives
    A rich picture of a castle as an analogy of a business organization is the starting point for the discussion. The requirements of the organization will be analyzed from the perspectives of Business, IT and Technology.

  2. Derive user stories
    Firstly our SAP experts consolidate the requirements into clusters. Secondly, they formulate a user story per cluster. It describes how a certain task provides value to your organization

  3. Finalize and prioritize user stories
    We jointly finalize the user stories and prioritize it according to their urgency

  4. Derive solution architecture
    same as in approach A

  5. Draft a roadmap
    same as in approach A

And if your organization is in situation C it means your company has decided to dig for gold but not yet where and how. For this situation we combine steps from A and B. And it can be helpful to add an impulse presentation about the possibilities of data driven use cases.

Ingredients and Prerequisites for Success

In all three approaches the secret of success is a combination of

  • Your knowledge about business processes, challenges, data and opportunities

  • Our expertise from implemented use cases, SAP data and products, project- and operational efforts

  • proven workshop methodology

In any case it’s key to invite participants from Business, IT and Innovation- or Digital teams. Only together the workshop will be successful!

In case of A we will need specific ideas as a basis for discussion. Usually, customers provide between 5-15 ideas. If you focus on one Business area only it might be 3-5.

In case of B it just needs the willingness of the participants to discuss challenges and requirements of digitalization openly.

And for C let’s first discuss an agenda that meets your situation. Based on outcomes we discuss required prerequisites.

Three qualifying questions at the end

  • Do you aim at data driven business processes in your company?

  • Does one of the describe situations match yours?

  • Can you connect with colleagues from Business, IT and Innovation teams that might support the idea of a mutual workshop?

If your answer to these question is „Yes“ let’s plan a workshop together.

Visit our web page and register for the workshop.