Group discussion with wattx venture development and design team
Business Strategy
Innovation in Mittelstand

Spark Your Journey

A June workshop with Viessmann (VIM).

One of our offerings at wattx is a “Spark Your Journey” workshop where we work with industrial partners on their problems and familiarize them with our best practices in innovation management. The goal is to empower and inspire industrial organizations to do internal innovation as well as giving them the tools and methodologies they need to do it effectively. The workshop ends with us preparing a deck with our own perspective on their problem and solution-oriented suggestions based on the 2 or 3 days we have been working and co-creating together.


a. Preliminary Research

To better prepare and understand the real needs and problems of the customers of Viessmann VIM, we reached out and interviewed existing customers prior to the workshop. We also did broad, exploratory research and identified different problems that we then used to create an introductory UX presentation.

b. Stakeholder Mapping

During the course of the first day of the workshop, the participants, together with our Venture Development team, identified and built a stakeholder map that included the following parties and their relationships: a construction company, a financial investor (client type 1), a lifecycle investor (client type 2), a planner, different Viessmann divisions and insurance companies.

Based on the stakeholder map, the workshop participants together with the UX team picked three of the most relevant stakeholders for Viessmann: the boiler construction company, a financial investor, as well as a lifecycle investor and built user personas.

Illustration of a User Persona "Plant constructor"
A user persona is a fictional representation of the customer, which is generally based on user research and incorporates the needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns. The goal is to provide the team with a shared understanding of users in terms of goals and capabilities and drive design decisions by taking common user needs and bringing them to the forefront.
Whiteboard with sticky notes about possible questions, actions and problems of persona

c. Experience Mapping

Day 2 was dedicated to finding opportunities, generating ideas and framing solutions to the problems identified earlier. Out of those problems, we derived opportunity areas by turning pain points in to so called “How might we questions” (HMW). Here are a few examples of the questions we came up with:

  • HMW help Klaus reducing the complexity with planning?
  • HMW help Hans getting references?
  • HMW help Edgar choosing the best offer?

d. Ideation

With a few HMW questions in mind, we split the group in two and went into ideation or idea generation session. To mix the two groups, Viessmann VIM and wattx, we invited two of our Data Science and Tech colleagues to join for the brainstorming and to add their technical expertise to come up with more diverse ideas. The results were prolific!

wattx team in the process of creating how might we questions

e. Post-Ideation and wrapping up

After the ideation session, we went into clustering our ideas by grouping similar ones together. By doing that, first concepts could be identified. At this point, we also started filtering out and narrowing down ideas using requirements such as the problem size or technical feasibility. After having filtered out and concentrated our ideas into clear clusters, we started to translate those into three distinct concepts for our three user personas.

At the end of the second day, the workshop participants, divided into three groups, presented their final concepts to the crowd.

wattx team during post-ideation and wrap up of innovation workshop

When most of the wattx participants where hard at work preparing the final deck for VIM during the third day, one of our software engineers presented an introduction to IoT, as well as how we work with IoT technology in wattx.

The workshop with Viessmann VIM: In June 2018, one of the Viessmann organizations, VIM, approached us. Their core problem they stated was that their product, a steam boiler, is in itself not greatly expandable. Viessmann’s aim was therefore to provide their customers with a better experience and service when using the product to leave them with a better association with the brand and diversify their product in comparison with competitors.

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