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Have you ever seen the television program Undercover Boss? I’ll give you a hint, it’s about a boss that goes undercover. The boss, typically the CEO, wears a clever disguise and tries to blend in as a regular employee in the pursuit of real insight into how their business is run from the ground floor.  They want to find out why their employee turnover is double at one store, or why their promotions aren’t working, or why there seems to be a large amount of waste in one location versus another.  They also want to see if their employees are satisfied, are they happy in their roles, do they feel frustrated and if so, what’s the root cause of their frustrations. 


Undercover Boss gives C level executives a unique perspective into the working lives of their employees and the challenges they face. With this valuable insight, CEOs are enabled to impact change from the ground floor up rather than just from the top down. 

Similarly, SAP User Experience Management (UEM) provides a unique level of insight into end-user behavior as it applies to their use of enterprise software like SAP.  UEM monitors how employees interact with business critical applications to help shed light on where users are struggling, where there are business process complexities or system issues and ultimately where there are opportunities to improve performance, efficiency and adoption of enterprise software.

We’ve highlighted six strikingly similar aspects of the television show Undercover Boss and SAP UEM below…


1. Both enable enterprise businesses, across all industries to get a true view of their employees’ day-to-day work life


Undercover Boss has filmed episodes at all types of businesses, across many different industries from airlines, to retail to restaurants and beyond. In each episode a C-Level executive (typically the CEO) goes onsite as a regular employee to assess how their employees are working and what frustrations and challenges they face. Just like Undercover Boss, SAP UEM provides CEOs from a myriad of industries with unique visibility into how their employees interact with the enterprise software tools they’ve provided and how that interaction impacts their day-to-day work life.


2. Both provide unmatched visibility into business-critical matters like personnel performance, employee satisfaction and customer service, to name just a few.


During the Undercover Boss experience, CEOs can see first-hand how employees function in their respective roles, they can see if the employees are frustrated or faced with daily obstacles. They can see if these internal issues impact customer service and support.  In the same way, SAP UEM provides visibility into the challenges employees face when interacting with enterprise software.  Do they get hung up performing certain tasks, are business processes too complex, does this impact their job satisfaction and ability to service customers?


3. Both provide executives with unique insight at the employee level through “hands-on” experience (onsite or at the keyboard)


Because the CEO is in disguise, employees candidly share what’s really going on in the organization. They explain the areas where problems exist, they show the CEO where there is room for improvement.  CEOs might otherwise never receive this information. Through SAP UEM, employee end user data is collected from the individual desktop perspective providing a candid and real-time view of how the employee does his or her work. SAP UEM provides dashboards show where employees get stumped and where process improvements could be made, information that if not collected from each individual user at their keyboard, might never reach the CEO’s office.


4. Both provide executives with mechanisms to Identify real underlying issues based on data versus perceived issues


Many times the issues that bubble to the CEO office are the ones that make the most noise not necessarily the ones that impact the most people or cause the most strain on resources.  Sometimes it’s one person or group complaining about something that is really minor in comparison to some of the things actually going on under the hood. By being on the front lines in the Undercover Boss scenario C-level executives see that sometimes the biggest issues are missed, even if they are causing massive headaches for the employees on the ground.  In the same way, UEM provides the data to actually show whether an issue is widespread or just repeatedly impacting a small group of people.  This collection of real-time data enables management to address actual problems not just perceived problems.


5. Both enable improved employee performance, increased employee satisfaction, and better customer service deliver


By getting to the root cause of issues impacting employees, C-level executives are able to immediately address the problem at hand, make improvements to processes and in-turn create more satisfied employees who are armed to do their jobs better.


6. Both help boost productivity, increase efficiency and  improve overall business performance  through a new level of understanding


Because of this new level of understanding at the top level, employees feel heard and because management is actually doing something to make positive changes, employees feel empowered to do their jobs better.  This type of empowerment leads to increased productivity, better workforce efficiency and an overall improvement in business performance; benefits all CEOs would appreciate!

Learn more about the similarities between SAP UEM and the TV series Undercover Boss in this article published by Inside SAP “What does Undercover Boss and user experience management have in common?” by Jesse Bernal, VP of Global Shared Services, Knoa Software. 

Read more about SAP UEM by Knoa in the SCN  https://scn.sap.com/people/bogdan.nica/content

The Knoa blog provides additional information on Knoa and SAP UEM by Knoa http://www.knoa.com/blog

See how SAP UEM by Knoa can help improve employee productivity in a few simple steps http://s3.amazonaws.com/knoa.com/KNOA-PRODUCTIVITY-INFOGRAPHIC.pdf

Visit www.knoa.com/resources for more insightful content

To learn more about Knoa Software visit www.knoa.com

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