Boston University recently received an Honorable Mention Award as part of SAP’s Innovation Awards for 2019. Of the 232 nominated candidates, only 11 received this Honorable Mention Award designation. The Award process highlights customers and partners of SAP from around the globe who have demonstrated innovations using SAP technologies: “doing more with less, delivering best-in-class customer experiences, or inventing new business models or revenue streams.”

BUworks and Human Resources (HR) teams collaborated on a project to reimagine enrolling in benefits at BU with the goal of creating a simplified and consolidated benefit enrollment application that was easy to use. This was intended to lead to less employee confusion, eliminate costly data entry mistakes, and generate greater employee satisfaction.

New Approach Using Design Thinking

The BU project team utilized a Design Thinking approach to help focus on the overall user experience. Design Thinking is an iterative, empathetic, user-centric methodology for problem finding and solving to foster innovation. Employees from across the University who would use the new system were included in a collaborative, yet time-conscious way, in the following phases.

  • Discover: Gain understanding and empathy related to the user experience by conducting research through surveys and in-person interviews. Bring together a multi-disciplinary team of users from across the University for a workshop to develop new proposals.
  • Design: Prototype newly imagined designs and use SAP technology to make it convenient for busy end-users to provide feedback on intuitiveness and navigational aspects. Blend these findings with the business requirements and BU policies.
  • Deliver: Utilize the latest SAP technology with an adaptive User Interface (UI) to build and thoroughly test the new BU Benefits Center

What made the submission a compelling story and help propel it to this award was the demonstration of the powerful collaboration between HR and BUworks to put a focus on people in a user-centric way.

Capturing the User Experience Results

Surveys were used to capture the user experience before the project started, then again after the newly deployed application was used. The team was able to measure a 106% increase in the “Very Satisfied” rating, and a 130% improvement in the “Extremely Easy” ranking, as shown below. In addition, the HR Service Center reported an overall reduction of incoming paper forms to be processed during enrollment windows.