Norway’s Ministry of Finance (DFØ) Puts User-Centered Design to the Test with Neptune Software

Making SAP HR apps more user-friendly puts people first, saves time, and cuts costs.

CHALLENGE: Highly Customized SAP System Offered Poor Usability

The Norwegian Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) is a subsidiary agency to Norway’s Ministry of Finance and focuses on improving public sector financial management and resource efficiency.

An SAP HR platform serves approximately 200 organizations under various ministries in Norway. And DFØ manages HR and accounting systems, processes monthly payroll for 120,000 people, and distributes more than 50 billion Norwegian Krones every year. It also manages technical support and delivers training on all its relevant systems.

To provide online payroll, time management, and travel services to 80,000 users, DFØ built a self-service HR portal. But it had a poor user interface (UI), login was complex, the travel expense form was hard to follow, and user-experiences were inconsistent across different browsers. So, in 2015, DFØ set out to create a user-friendly interface.

“No one looks forward to filling out a travel expense report. Administrative paperwork keeps customers from focusing on what they’re passionate about in their careers,” says Ingvild Nygaard, project manager for the DFØ app. “We wanted to truly put the user first and provide them with processes that made their lives easier.” They wanted user-friendly SAP HR apps.

APPROACH: More User-Friendly, Lower Cost

The DFØ team responsible for the system knew any changes to its SAP system — with its highly customized interface — could be costly. So, the project team looked for a cost-effective way to create an app that would complement the portal and offer mobile capabilities while making the system more user-friendly.

“When we began, we thought we’d end up with an out-of-the-box solution from a third-party vendor that would look nicer but offer the same functional SAP capabilities,” said Nygaard. “With Neptune Software, we quickly realized that there was a bigger opportunity to change the user interface for the better. The result was a UI that users were really happy with.”

Because Neptune Software doesn’t need extra hardware, middleware, or integration, the team was able to build on its existing SAP infrastructure and take advantage of existing SAP roles and authorizations. Streamlining the implementation process this way meant DFØ could quickly meet its key business goals.

The project was about putting people first and user testing was important to its success. To get started, users were asked about their experiences with apps and what they expected from the new portal UI.

As soon as the prototype was developed, feedback was gathered by watching how test users interacted with it. The dev team came away with insights into users’ habits and expectations and set about revising the prototype, built on both existing and familiar patterns.

Different users interact with apps in different ways, and the DFØ developers created an interface that would be easy for everyone and included familiar action buttons in the title bar, such as using X to close the app.

Neptune Software made it easy to configure a simpler user interface, and within a couple of weeks, DFØ users were recording time, and completing travel requests and applications — with features for payroll, transfers, and workflow inbox added soon after. And because the platform lets you deploy — then update — an app, rolling out the new system across all devices was quick and painless.

RESULTS: Quick, Simple, and Available

Users describe the new system in three words: quick, simple, and available.

Because of the slick new UI, users now log their time more frequently — making records more accurate. It’s also easier to enter the right information and record time while traveling — making reimbursement faster. And by simplifying management functions, it’s easier for controllers to make decisions, based on the available information.

“Entering time on their devices is between 50-80% faster than the previous options,” said Nygaard. “We also estimate that saving each employee one minute translates in 90 FTEs saved when calculating for the 40,000 employees.”

Neptune Software is all about making things easier for people, and putting users first is the most important step in creating any application. And DFØ developers spend time with users every few weeks to make sure the system continues to meet their needs — a move that saves time and cuts down on longer-term support.

Having the right tools in place to deliver on the promise of user-centric design is vital. “We believe that putting users first pays off,” said Nygaard, “and the user interface capabilities of Neptune Software gives you the opportunity to do just that.”

If you want to read more about user-friendly SAP HR apps, listen to Ingvild Nygaard, Project Manager at DFØ talk about the team’s SAP Mobility approach, during their Neptune Summit presentation.

DFØ Neptune Software Client HCM

Customer Industry: Public Sector HR

Geographic Reach: Norway

Solution Scope: Operations and maintenance

Neptune Functionality Scope: UX (desktop and mobile)

Number of Users: 80,000

SAP Version: SAP ECC 6.0 EHP 6

Implementation Partner: Bouvet

Implementation Methodology: Agile

Implementation Timeline: 4 Months

Want to know more about user friendly SAP HR apps? Request a demo.

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