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The Upskilling Challenge: Instant Design Thinking⚡Using Virtual Reality and Design Thinking for a use case at Telekom and SAP

By Karla Schlaepfer
Collaboration, Design Thinking, Virtual Reality

Insights and outcomes generated in 2 hours during a Design Thinking workshop in Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is not a new technology. What is new is the hardware – VR headsets – for example, are becoming more user-friendly (lighter! No cables!) and more powerful computing capacity, sensors, and graphic cards produce an ever-better experience. Thanks to the huge gaming industry which is pushing the development forward.

This lack of consensus around the metaverse -hype? Yes or no? This is not unusual for emerging and disruptive technology where the parts often advance before the whole.

So here’s what can you do with Virtual Reality besides using it for gaming.

As an accredited coach and facilitator, I see much potential for human-centered learning and development. VR offers an affordable, effective, remote-friendly way to provide employees with only technical skills, but also “soft” skills such as leadership and resilience. The immersion we experience when in VR enables emotionally strong connections and holistic engagement. A recent PWC study shows the participants are four times more focused than their e-learning peers, content is 3.75% more connected to the learner, and at the end of the day, employees are more confident to apply the content in the physical world.

Here is a current Metaverse example used to design future working spaces with Design Thinking. A summary of a LinkedIn post by Frank Lamack:

“Instant” Design Thinking in the #Metaverse with SAP and Deutsche Telekom in virtual RAUM

With XR collaboration solutions, it is already possible to experience and test how an “Enterprise Metaverse” and almost complete virtualization of the employee journey and how office work will be designed.

For this purpose, HR experts from SAP, Deutsche Telekom and MMS met in the wonderfully atmospheric worlds of RAUM virtual reality collaboration to delve deeper into this issue. In the context of a virtual design thinking sprint, order to develop approaches and strategies, to gain practical experience of the pros and cons of working in Virtual Reality. In addition to the typical design challenge, there was another one too: since the clocks tick faster in VR, the design sprint was designed to last just under 2 hours, which was a novelty for most of the participants - and the batteries of VR glasses as well.

This was to allow more time for exchange, ideation and prototyping, as well enable familiarity with the tools and usability - and still apply optimal timeboxing. In the reflection phase at the end of the workshop, there was still time for discussion and feedback. The participants made clear that many employees were happy with the results and found working in VR quite natural and fun.

Most important findings

  1. Organisational boundaries become more permeable with XR Collaboration.
  2. The people exchange is less complicated and more “spontaneous” because there is no need to travel, workspaces are always available.
  3. Despite virtual avatars, collaboration is very personal, thanks to voice, facial expressions and gestures, as well as tools that help express oneself.
  4. Important tools for self-expression and storytelling are 3D pen, 3D objects as well as the “good, old” Post-it.
  5. 3D is becoming the new working paradigm, communication will become more visual and will be combined with that.
  6. Warm atmosphere and smart architecture are important motivators too in VR. A light breeze, summer sun and suitable background sound create a great environment.
  7. Tools become even more effective thanks to the combination of strengths from virtual digital and analog learning.

Thank you for these insights Frank!

😁👏 This is a VR workshop gallop (2 hours) that works when the preparation is well done, the challenge is clear and users know how to collaborate and create value in the beautiful VR space. 😍

Want to learn how? Reach out to me to find out how you can create value with virtual reality in 2023.