Use Case Exploration Workshop
Identify use case ideas with business impact
The objective of this workshop is to identify innovation projects that can improve an area of your business using SAP technologies and considering current business challenges, barriers within your organization and external risks that might be hindering the achievement of business goals. The outcome is a prioritized list of use case ideas that can help to solve identified business challenges.
Identify use case ideas based on business needs
3 - 8 Department leads from business and IT, project sponsors
~ 4 hours
Before you start
- Identify Concrete Business Challenges
- Find out what business challenges, external risks and internal barriers are hindering you from achieving your business goals.
See Method: Identify Business Challenges
- Involve Your Key Stakeholders
- Understand who influences the decision to start an innovation project.
See Method: Involve Key Stakeholders
Materials you will need
Templates for Download
Templates for Virtual Collaboration
Prepare a use case exploration session
Setup a workshop with your stakeholders from business and IT to brainstorm possible solution ideas for challenges you have previously identified with the Identify Business Challenges method.
You can split the workshop in 2 sessions of 2 and a half and 2 hours respectively, happening in different days.
Invite IT and business leads who have a high interest in solving the challenges. You don’t have to invite end-users just yet.
Get familiar with the agenda for the workshop and the instructions in this page or with the MURAL board.
Make sure you have representatives from IT and business in the session. You can derive the participants for the session from the results of the Involve Stakeholders method. You might want to send the invitation a few weeks before the session to ensure attendance.
Start the session by introducing the following points:
- Topic, Agenda, and Rules (8 min)
- Introduce briefly the topic and agenda for the session and the expected outcome to the participants.
- Indicate general behaviour rules for the session such as: be on time, stay focused, contribute actively, etc.
- Participants (5 – 11 min)
- Give participants 1 minute to complete a short profile with their name, role, motivations for the workshop and a drawing that represents them. This can be a picture of themselves or about another subject that they feel represented by. Then, give each participant 1 minute to present her or himself.
- SAP’s Human-Centered Approach to Innovation (5 min) – Optional
- Introduce briefly SAP’s Human-Centered Approach to Innovation (HCAI) to the audience. You can include reference slides if needed or refer to the provided link. This step aims to show the participants how a human-centered innovation project is normally structured and what to expect after this workshop.
- Get inspired with SAP technology (5 min) – Optional
- Show participants how SAP technologies related to the topic at hand are being used or what are SAP industry and technology trends. You can browse for customer success stories in the SAP Discovery Center, in the SAP Customer Stories website, and in the
SAP AppHaus website.
Collect Challenges, External Risks and Internal Barriers
Go through the collected challenges, external risks and internal barriers with all participants and add any missing aspects in an open discussion.
If you have not prepared this step before using the Identify Business Challenges method, ask participants to brainstorm silently for 5 minutes challenges, external risks and internal barriers. Then, give each participant a maximum of 2 minutes to share their ideas and stick them on a whiteboard. As they present their ideas, participants should form clusters with same or very similar ideas.
We recommend preparing this step in advance with the Identify Business Challenges method as it will reduce the workshop time and increase the quality of the input.
See completed example
If you have not prepared this step before using the Identify Business Challenges method, give participants 5 minutes to silently come up with as many solution ideas as possible to overcome the previously discussed challenges, external risks and internal barriers.
The ideas should be concrete tangible solutions such as a new application, a specific change in a current process or approach. Try to avoid too general ideas such as “increase efficiency” or “improve quality”. Indicate rather how and with what means do you envision such result.
Once everybody has ideated, each participant has 2 minutes to presents his or her ideas to the team. During the presentation, similar or same ideas are grouped together.
To capture the ideas, use the “Solution Ideas” column of the Collection of Innovation Opportunities or step 2 of the MURAL template.
See completed example
Create Use-Case Idea Clusters
Combine ideas with challenges, external risks and internal barriers to form use case idea clusters. Every cluster should contain at least one idea and one challenge. Name the clusters as they get formed. You can name the clusters after the solution idea they contain.
See Completed Example
The number of use case clusters created will depend on the amount of ideas generated. A good ideation produces about 8 to 10 different clusters.
Formulate Use-Case Ideas and Prioritize Them
Once the clusters are formed, create a use case idea description for each cluster using this formula:
Our [department] needs a [tangible solution idea] for [beneficiary/end user] to improve/ optimize/ ease [challenge].
Example: Our sales department needs a mobile app to create quotations on the go for sales representatives to improve customer satisfaction and increase performance.
Then, rate the business value of each use case idea using a scale from 1 to 5 and write it in the template.
Finally, select the top 5 use case ideas to implement.
This step marks the end of Part 1 of the workshop. Part 2 can be performed later on the same day or on another day.
See Completed Example
For the rating, you can ask participants to first write for themselves the business value for each use case idea and afterwards share the results. The resulting value for each use case idea would then be equal to the sum of all participant’s values divided by the number of participants.
Alternatively, you can use the Value Heatmap template to prioritise your use case ideas.
Find related use-cases
It is recommended that this step is performed by the organizers of the workshop together with SAP experts as preparation before continuing with Part 2 the workshop.
Write the names of similar use cases found in sticky notes (one use case name per sticky note). Place the sticky notes with the use case names below the corresponding use case definition.
To determine the similarity, check the problem the use cases are solving and their target audience. You might need to consult SAP experts in your company or the “Mission Experts” indicated in the support tab of the Discovery Center to clarify any questions.
If you decide to do this activity in the workshop, you can divide it among participants, each taking care of 1 or 2 use case idea descriptions. In this case, align who is taking care of which card before starting the task and give participants 15 minutes to browse for similar use cases.
Back in the workshop, share the similar use cases found with the audience. Take about 2 minutes per use-case idea.
Find a use-case match
For each of the use case idea definitions, select the most similar use case among the use-cases proposed and write its name and origin in the Use Case Evaluation template. Complete also the information required:
- Matching Meter
- How close is the existing use case to your use case idea on a scale from 1 – 5? Does it solve the same or a similar problem? Is it for the same audience and / or business unit?
- Aspects to improve / add / clarify
- What aspects are not covered by the existing use case? What is not clear?
- How much effort would it take to implement your use case idea on a scale from 1 to 5 considering existing material?
- Follow up
- What steps do you need to take in the short term to implement such use case idea?
If there is no match for a use case idea, write “NEW” under “Matching Use-Case Idea”. Skip the “Matching Meter” and “Aspects to Improve” in that case.
We recommend to perform this activity as an open discussion.
Create a use-case roadmap
On a whiteboard, create a timeline. Start by defining the time horizon and the granularity for the timeline.
Place the use case evaluation templates for each use case idea on the timeline, indicating when they should be implemented.
Take into account the business value and the effort defined previously to organize the use case ideas in the timeline. Use case ideas with a very similar existing use case might not need much effort, while completely new use case ideas will. Select the ideas with a high business value and low effort to get started.
Below each use case idea, indicate the business area or sub-area that would benefit from the implementation of each use case, the action items for each use case idea and the responsible(s) to follow up on each use case idea.
You can see an example of such timeline in the MURAL template.
Congratulations! You have now a list of potential innovation projects that will provide business value to your organization. You can now analyze how those potential projects fit within the overall strategy of your company. Follow the next methods in the Recommended Path to continue setting up your innovation project.
Your voice matters!
Have you tried out this method? We’d love to learn about your experiences, feedback, and ideas.