Design Thinking meets approveIT

Creative processes have the objective of finding, inventing or creating a previously unknown solution. In this way, processes, products or services can be developed, adapted, expanded or enhanced. Design Thinking is a modern and at the same time proven creative process that triggers innovation and can enable a wide range of solutions.

Fine-tuning for approveIT

ApproveIT digitizes the packaging and POS area for fast moving consumer goods. The workflow tool created and developed by Neuherz is currently being introduced to the market. As is almost always the case in this product phase, the questions for us are also: What are the detailed behavioral patterns of my customers? What are the best and easiest ways to convince them? What details are still missing to ensure an optimal sales launch?

The creative workshop for innovation

Conducting a design thinking workshop in a creative agency is the obvious approach. For me, it was important to bring external experts on board and to commission them with the implementation. An outsider’s view always offers a new perspective that is worth taking into consideration. After the preparatory phase, during which the briefing and workshop planning took place, the time had come. Our approveIT team plus one external support person met for the workshop in premises outside of the company. Since the space plays a central role in Design Thinking, leaving the daily routine is necessary to make room for innovation. Our workshop space at Casalunga in the 4th district, which once housed a small industrial and craft business is now, for one day, our space for creative exploration of a product by and for the digital industry.

A bird’s eye view of design thinking

Design thinking is a comprehensive, holistic approach to innovation. The goal is to find solutions that are convincing from the user’s point of view. Design Thinking emphasizes the equivalence of team, space and process. The core elements thus consist of an interdisciplinary team, a variable space to break up everyday structures and an iterative process that is composed of various interconnected steps. Innovation thus emerges at the intersection of human needs, technological feasibility and business viability. So much for the abstract view of the workshop framework.

Questioning as a starting point

Which features make approveIT the ideal digital assistant for document approval? That was the question we started with. The day was divided into two phases: an exploration phase and a creation phase. The exploration phase was about the knowledge gained, which was to be summarized into key statements and the creation phase was about the idea – which was to be presented at the end.

Phase I – Customer Journey, Touchpoints and Personas

In the first phase – in the morning, we developed a customer journey that focused strongly on the approveIT touchpoints. We created personas (= fictitious characters with very detailed characteristics) and slipped into the role of our customers. The presentation of the personas was very insightful because not only the character was described but also with which actors they interact. We named their wishes, needs but also their fears and were thus able to recognize how best to reach these personas.

A new quality of group work with Yodelity

The afternoon began with Yodelity – a special method in which creative processes are triggered with the help of emotional interaction. Yodeling is one of the foundations of this emotional interaction. A disruptive element that not only introduces a new quality in group interaction but also frees up the mind and soul and prepares them for the ideas and innovation process.

Phase II – Mut zu wilden Ideen

With yodelling offering one momentum out of the “mental box” in which one can get stuck. Design thinking also means having the courage to think things differently and to develop wild ideas, even those that seem impossible to realize. There is basically no limit to thinking! Through this process and prototype development, – parts of ideas that initially seemed very daring can be combined into a more feasible whole one.

The steps to the prototype

The next step is to use ideas and personas to develop a prototype based on the accumulation of the day’s innovations. As if by magic, many of the rambling thoughts now come together to form a very cohesive result. At this point, it becomes apparent that the iterative interweaving of the phases bears very real fruit. It is not without reason that Design Thinking is very popular with many organizations, as it enables and promotes steps towards innovation through team creativity.

The final step – which is the follow-up and processing of the workshop, a final evaluation of the team-based innovation work takes place.

Final assessment

And finally, of course, the essential question: What did the Design Thinking Workshop bring us? After all, we have 20 years of experience in dealing with packaging and POS on a daily basis.

The strong focus on the customer perspective that Design Thinking entails clearly showed at some points that even a very good team is not immune to a certain operational blindness. Our supply chain experience in packaging, on which approveIT is based, has now been extended not only by the results of the workshop. These results have now been incorporated into the software tool, and has made it a particularly efficient one.

This makes approveIT a major step forward in terms of workflow processes. Many things become easier, clearer and also faster for our customers but also for the suppliers involved. This is a corresponding advantage especially for internationally operating companies – but not only for them. Many SMEs with corresponding processes can benefit from approveIT.

The best way to convince yourself is to attend a personal presentation of approveIT. We cordially invite you to do so.

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