SAP PhD Program

In 2011 a joint doctoral research program was developed through a partnership between Professor Heinzl’s Chair of Business Administration and Business Informatics and SAP SE in Walldorf. Both partners assume the same amount of financing for up to two PhD positions. Since its launch, the research program and cooperation has been a continued success. 

The PhD students work both in the practical environment of SAP and in the research community at the chair. The research agenda and project topics are defined in a joint steering committee together with SAP SE and the chairholder. The scientific results from the program aim to form a knowledge base that leads to new theoretical findings, methods, and software prototypes that are relevant for both researchers and practitioners (for dissertations and selected publications see below).

In the early years, projects and accompanying empirical research in the field of ‘Lean and Agile Development’ aimed to improve the sustainability of SAP’s implementation of Lean Management and Agile Engineering. The researchers attempted to obtain detailed data on lean and agile development practices, improve existing measurement instruments, identify innovation opportunities, and thus validate new development methods and make them more effective. 

The current project “Data Driven Product Innovation” involves using data from cloud applications for the systematic validation of existing applications, deriving new possibilities for requirement engineering, and gaining insights for software innovations.

Former and current PhD students

Christoph Schmidt 2011 – 2014 Dissertation: “Agile Software Development Teams – The Impact of Agile Development on Team Performance”
Alexander Scheerer 2011 – 2015 Dissertation: “Coordination in Large-Scale Agile Software Development – Integrating Conditions and Configurations in Multiteam Systems”
Behnaz Gholami 2011 – 2015 Dissertation: “Self-Organizing, Social and Adaptive Nature of Agile Information Systems Development Teams : Essays on Leadership and Learning”
Saskia Bick 2014- 2017 Dissertation: “Dependency Management in Large-Scale Agile Software Development”
Jens Förderer 2015 – 2018 Dissertation: “Orchestrating Complementary Software Platform Ecosystems: Essays On Cooperative and Competitive Platform Innovation”
Philipp Hoffmann 2017 – 2022 Dissertation: " Data-driven requirements elicitation: an automated end-user feedback analytics approach and implications for enterprise software requirements engineering”


Prof. Dr. Tobias Schimmer

Prof. Dr. Tobias Schimmer

Contact person SAP PhD Program

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Tobias Schimmer.