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Challenge 2020/21

How can we create
the best  
Watson Center


IBM Watson Center

Creating extraordinary experiences

The Watson Center is IBM’s flagship client center in Munich. It offers technical showcases and expertise for its diverse customers to foster collaboration, innovation and digital transformation.

In order to create the most engaging and interactive experience, IBM gave us the challenge to reinvent the Watson Center.

We realized that designing meaningful experiences is a challenge that requires a change of organizational culture. Therefore, we developed an inside-out approach that would engage all employees inside the Watson Center to work together on a shared vision.

Our Approach

Participatory Tranformation Design

After investigating IBM’s many technological assets, the different methodologies applied in the Watson Center as well as its environment, we realized the most powerful contribution from our team would be to discover and supply ways to encourage endogenous change in the Watson Center organization by applying the participatory transformation design approach.

With this approach we want the ownership of the change to be within the Watson Center and its employees. We have learned through research that importing externally developed processes to established organizations is likely to fail, while a participatory approach promotes internal demand and is more likely to engender sustainable change.

Participatory Workshop

The Participatory Transformation Design workshop is a methodology developed to address the experience creation at an organizational level. In the workshop, the IBMers discussed and agreed on experience goals and concrete actions on how to achieve them which were later compiled into an Experience Strategy Map.
"I have been involved in many of these workshops in my many years at IBM and by far this one was the most engaging and impactful of them all.
IBMer, workshop participant

Watson Experience Toolbox

The Watson Center toolbox is a three-folded solution that will equip the IBMers with the necessary resources to continue the transformation in order to create a meaningful experience together: as one team.


Experience Goals provide a common understanding of the intended emotions the client will experience.

Strategy Map

The Experience Strategy Map is a merged team and organizational-level action plan to achieve the experience goals.

Workshop Instructions

The workshop instructions will equip the IBMers to continue to design the client experience in a human-centered way
- and to adjust goals and strategy.
Our team consists of 4 students from Aalto University in Finland and 4 students from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. Together we want to redesign the Watson Center into an experience that visitors will remember for a long time and thereby support IBM's business.
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