· 

Design at Business Community Meetup - Amdocs XDC in Ra’anana - Israel

Collaborating to Make a Difference

Background

The Israeli chapter of design at business was established last year at a kickoff event by founding partners from SAP, Amdocs and IBM.

The event was all about design thinking with 3 talks describing the different aspects of the method

At the end of the event we had a working group session which we asked the audience to ideate about the chapter’s future activities. 2 ideas stood out with the highest number of votes. The first one was a design thinking enablement session — people wanted to learn the basics of design thinking and experience the method.

The second top-voted idea was about contribution to society



Preparation

We decided to combine the 2 ideas together and conduct a DT workshop around topics of social contribution.

We made contact with 3 non-profit organizations (NGO’s): Apple Seeds, Educating for Excellence, and Machshava Tova, asking them to come up with a real challenge, which we can use to analyze and brainstorm during the workshop.


The NGOs returned with the following challenges:

  • How to retain scholarship-based student as permanent instructors
  • How high-tech companies can be encouraged to accept candidates from different backgrounds and to encourage diversity
  • How can technology training for the elderly be better adapted?


The Workshop

The Event was hosted by Amdocs XDC at their offices in Ra’anana.

About 40 design thinkers and change makers from different companies such as SAP, Amdocs, IBM, CyberArk, NGSoft, JP Morgan and others took part together with representatives of NGOs. The workshop was led by the founding partners of the local chapter of IBM Amdocs and SAP, the participants were divided into 3 teams, each focused on a challenge.


Analyzing the as-is state

We started by analyzing the problem and the “as-is” state: A representative of each NGO represented the end user while the team interviewed her. Then we continued with exercises such as stakeholder mapping, empathy map, Journey map and need statement to analyze the current state



Brainstorming the to-be state

We then proceeded with brainstorming about the proposed solutions. We used exercises such as big ideas, prioritization grid and story-boarding. At the end of each step we had a playback session where each team presented their insights and ideas to the rest of the forum. Many good ideas emerged such as:

  • A gamified skill-set portal for students which highlights their professional development and encourage them to stay at the NGO
  • A company “diversity ranking” indicator maintained by the NGO
  • A reality TV show following a job applicant with a “non-trivial background”
  • Assigning graduate elders students as instructors for the follow up technology courses

Summary

All in all we received great feedback about the event, the NGO mentioned that it opened up their minds and made them think out of the box, and that they got real value out of it and ideas they could use and act upon. The participants told us that it was a great opportunity to both experience and learn design thinking but also to do it for a good cause.