SAP: Bringing leaders together to co-design a learning strategy

SAP at event

The challenge

SAP is the world leader in enterprise software and software-related services. Its headquarters are in Waldorf, Germany, and it also operates in more than 130 countries. Key to the continued success of SAP is the quality and relevance of the training that the global learning function provides.

To play a strategic role in the success of the business, the learning function needs to not only provide learning to support the ongoing business of the company, but also anticipate emerging needs and design cutting-edge learning solutions that enable their people to prepare for what’s on the horizon.

The Global Head of Learning for Sales at SAP therefore asked the Treehouse Innovation team to help them develop innovative strategy for designing and delivering learning to the global SAP workforce.

Beyond anticipating emerging capabilities and delivering on day-to-day demands, the Global Learning Team is also accountable for ensuring that learning is delivered consistently and cost-effectively on a global basis. This means coordinating the needs of Tokyo with those of New York and Berlin, identifying elements of learning that can be uniformly rolled out, and those that must be custom developed to meet specific market needs.

Add a multitude of supplier relationships to the equation and the complexity of the challenge becomes increasingly apparent.

So the challenge we addressed together was: “How can a global organisation with diverse learning needs around the globe create a single cohesive approach to development?”

What we did

Following a series of interviews and planning sessions with the sponsor team, we developed an approach for an Accelerated Design Workshop to construct a ‘lean learning supply chain’ that could be implemented globally to identify learning needs and develop solutions to meet them.

We convened a group of learning leaders from around the globe to co-design a system of designing and commissioning learning programmes in a completely revolutionary way. After an intense three days, the team walked away with a tangible strategy and a concrete action plan for implementing it.


Following the event, the Global VP for Learning had the following to say:

“The Treehouse team helped us to collectively design an extremely innovative solution to a very complex challenge that the whole global team could get behind.  I would have never imagined that after just three days we could walk away with not only a great solution, but also an agreed plan for implementation.”

Mary Sibley, Global VP, SAP