Design at Business Israel Kickoff

Last week we kicked off the Israeli chapter of Design at Business at SAP Labs Ra'anana. More than 80 people attended, mostly from large enterprises. The agenda included 4 presentations with speakers from SAP, IBM and Amdocs, and a mini ideation workshop.

Initiating the Israeli Chapter

Omer Nahshon
Omer Nahshon

The idea to establish an Israeli chapter came to my mind a few months ago, when I was introduced to Design at Business (DatB), a network that brings together design minded change agents, intrapreneurs and innovators from large enterprises across the globe.

Israel, "the startup nation" has a large amount of tech companies of all sizes, where lots of innovation is taking place. There is also an evolving and growing design community, so it only makes sense to have an active DatB presence here. After I got the green light from DatB team, I started searching for the right local partners, I looked for large enterprises which adopted design thinking, and found 2 companies which were excited to collaborate: Amdocs and IBM. Hen Shkedi, Design manager at IBM and Pazit Bar Head of Amdocs Design, joined me and we started to think about the topics for the kickoff event.

Creating Empathy with the Local Community

As in every design thinking project we decided to start with "360 research". We published a short survey to the local design community asking about their experience with design thinking and about their expectations from the first meetup.

The answers we received showed us that people are familiar with the term "design thinking" but would like to know more: How it's done, basic methods, and how they can leverage design and innovation processes within their organizations. We decided to build the meetup agenda accordingly.

The Meetup: Share and Connect

The meetup was hosted by SAP labs Israel at 12-Nov-2018 with more than 80 people attending. After enjoying some beers and snacks they started to fill up the auditorium.

First one to go on stage was me :) I provided an overview about global DatB, it's history, working principles and types of activities.

The second speaker to go on stage was Pazit, who talked about Design Thinking in general, covering the process and some basic methods, followed by some examples from a real project they worked on at Amdocs.

Hen Shkedi from IBM focused on design driven development and how design thinking helped him change the mindset of his organization from a dev-driven into design minded.

After focusing on the internal processes it was time to look on the outside, Eliad Goldwasser, head of SAP App House Palo Aplo talked about how design thinking can be used as a tool to co-innovate with customers.

Generating Ideas

Then it was time to start being active! Dganit Sheffer facilitated a mini-workshop which goal was to generate ideas for our DatB Israel upcoming activities. We began with an empathy map exercise: we placed 5 boards in the room, one for each persona (UI Designer, UX Designer, UX manager, Product Manager) and asked the audience to select a board they most relate to, and divide into teams. Each team created an empathy map for their selected persona, stating his/her inputs, wishes, pains and actions.This exercise assisted us with identifying the challenges and characteristics of people from different roles at the local design community.

We then moved to the 2nd part, ideation. Based on the empathy map, each team member was asked to come up with a few ideas for activities he/she would like to see in DatB Israel. After sharing these ideas with the team, they clustered and voted for their top ideas.

Finally a representative from each team shared the ideas on the forum. This exercise helped us get ideas from the community for our future activities. Here are some examples for interesting ideas which came up: Learn from failures, remote training sessions or short videos, knowledge repositories, collaboration with startup accelerations, design thinking workshops for community service, improve working processes UX/UI/PO, in-house design thinking workshops, a shared bank of end-users, promote design within the organization

All in all, the event was a huge success, we received great feedback, and many stated that something like Design at Business is really missing in the local design community. I would like to thank everyone who participated, contributed, and presented. It was indeed fun and inspiring, looking forward to moving on with our next DatB activity!