Name of Organization/Company: IBM, Armonk, NY USA
Category: Time and Expense Solution – Implementation
The development of the Time@IBM labor claiming MVP (minimal Viable Product) version started in 2019.
In Q3 2019 the MVP pilot went into production in Mexico in Slovakia. Full release and the global implementation of the Time@IBM to the countries happened in the period from February thru May 2020.
More than 225,000 IBMers take time each week to claim their labor, a process that records the hours these services practitioners deliver to clients. It’s essential that “labor claiming” is both timely and accurate so that reliable invoices can be sent to clients—and IBM can collect revenue.
Time@IBM streamlines the labor claiming process and combines multiple user interfaces into one application accessible from desktop, tablet or mobile. Users have just one login, one smart search function, and one page for all labor hours. The tool would give users a real-time check on all claimed hours.
From day one, the experience of users boarding and interacting with the application infused the design of the application and prioritization and improvement of the functionality. In keeping with a spirit of Agile, user engagement and user advocacy the team took the approach of involving a core group of users in a production pilot to gather feedback.
• Integration of 2 different labor claiming tools for SAP and non –iERP deployed countries
• Improvement of the user experience, by providing a modern, intuitive, web-based user interface
• Synchronized designs between mobile and web versions
• Ease of use search of claiming elements with high performance
• Time submission independent from IBM network (VPN) connection
• Real time check of already claimed hours, avoiding insufficient hrs email
• Automation to remember vacation or other regular claim codes
• Claim for others for authorized admin users
• Claim reminder options for users
• Mass upload functionality
• Integration with other applications, e.g. blockchain for contractor management
• iERP migration/user assignments
• Daily labor comments
• Messaging service
When the global crisis of COVID-19 changed everything about how IBMers are working, across the globe, employees seamlessly transitioned to remote work on a tremendous scale and never lost focus on our client commitments. Ensuring business continuity for a process as central to IBM's operations as labor claiming became priority one. It was essential that clients could count on receiving accurate statements so that IBM’s revenue would not be impacted.
As our global practitioners moved to work from home it became obvious that a VPN-independent claiming application, hosted on the IBM Cloud, was critical to ensure continuity of service and delivery. Especially in regions like India, with more than 40,000 labor claimers, a stable VPN connection was hardly available for the practitioners and a high impact on IBM’s financial measurement could be expected.
Time@IBM was only six months into a year long deployment process. But a small, agile team got to work, focusing on bringing the new tool to employees who needed it. The team rapidly built on the existing MVP, accelerating deployment by five months, allowing ALL labor claiming IBMers to board Time@IBM in March.
Today, already over 100,000 practitioners (this number is increasing week by week) claim time each week using the new tool, which—critically—works for users even in cases when they may have limited access or capacity issues with VPN. The team that cut five months off the development roadmap did so without adding costs, and with minimum disruption for users, who immediately began giving the tool NPS scores constantly in the 60+ range.
In addition to the improved user experience and flexibility provided by Time@IBM to the services practitioners, this solution delivered $140,000 in savings in 1Q21 alone. This figure is growing with more practitioners starting to utilize this solution in 2021.
The Time@IBM project is a great example of a small, empowered team using agile practices, focusing on user-centered design, and aligned to strategic differentiator of the IBM Cloud, could deliver a reliable tool months ahead of time despite a challenging environment and huge pressure to improve, but not complicate, an essential business function.
The following attachments are included as web-links in the section below:
Video with User Feedback:
Time@IBM Overview and User Feedback: