i) A techie getting an opportunity to work on a human resources project. Check.
ii) Working on a project that will directly influence internal colleagues and, for a change, no external customers. Check.
iii) Working on an assignment that is close to your heart in addition to your regular project responsibilities. Check.
iv) Working with a vice-president directly and a development manager who wholeheartedly supports and encourages you with the project. Check.
v) Getting an opportunity to revamp and reboot an existing program ground up. Check. All this can happen in only THE great place to work – SAP Labs India and this is the story of the “Run Mummier” app!
We started the new “Run Mummier” project with a three point agenda – ensure all the experienced and talented women who are on an extended career break are motivated to return, help the women stay connected throughout and help in assimilation of the woman back into the system. Our three-member team executed the project in 3 phases – the 3 Ds with strict timelines.
i) Diagnose: We collected the expectations and experience of the women who would be going on maternity leave / who are currently on leave / who have come back from leave.We spent about 10% of the total time in this phase.
ii) Define: We decided about the structure of the program based on findings in Diagnose phase.
iii) Deliver: We started a staggered implementation based on program findings in the above two phases.
I started the “Diagnose” phase by reaching out to my network – spoke to as many people as I could, collected the expectations and documented them. I also reached out to the core team members who had started this program few years back and tried to understand the bottlenecks that prevented it from wide-spread adoption, how we could make it better, how we could ensure this gets a better visibility this time around and gets to be on the daily To-Do list of women who are on break. Our first meeting with Bhuvan (Vice President, Human Resources India) turned out to be a revelation. He told us that he was looking for something that will help the women to fit back in to the system seamlessly. Given that SAP has one of the best pro-employee policies and benefits, it meant that all of us had to concentrate more on what happens during maternity break and the phase of joining back office and not what happened before!
After several brainstorming and white boarding sessions, we identified the following pain-points in the existing scenario and decided the solution approach to the same:
i) Most of the people were not aware of the policies of SAP including the existing “Run Mummier” program and to compound the problem, not everything was in one place in the portal. Hence, we definitely had to get all the maternity related stuff in one single place.
ii) Having the program details on the portal had not helped the colleagues on maternity break, as they would not have the time to log in to the system/network; this prompted us to go mobile. This would help the person to have everything on her fingertips and wouldn’t require her open her laptop, log-in to the network and then go to the relevant pages website – for a new mom, this is would be too much of an ask. Further, going mobile would also be aligned with the company’s future-looking strategy.
iii) We completely understood that there will be 100 different things on a new mother/ mom-to-be’s mind and so decided to add a planner for the woman to keep track /reminders in availing the various policies.
iv) We also decided to make the “Buddy” process more streamlined by declaring the roles and responsibilities, having a pool of buddies from which the woman can select one, linking it with BWN (Business Women’s Network) and removed the dependency on the reporting manager.
Armed with these ideas, we planned for a 30-minute presentation with Bhuvan. We managed to impress Bhuvan with the idea and the meeting was over in less than 15 minutes! He gave the “Go Full Steam Ahead” approval to get us into the third phase of deliver. A cross-functional team was setup comprising of solution experience, MARCOM and HR in addition to our core team. The Solution experience team was assigned the task of implementation of the idea. We had a person from MARCOM who helped us with branding, we had an expert from the HR side who helped us with the policies and we had the HRBP for facilitating the entire project. Wow, it really sounded like a rock-star team! The next task was to get the content together for the solution experience team. It was no easy task – everything was scattered in the portal, the policies were different for different entities of SAP and to make matters a bit more complicated the different groups at SAP have different portal links, collecting which in itself was an arduous task. We had to adjust the contents such that we succeed in giving the look and feel of screens for the mobile application. This was tougher than the actual development, something we are used to and are very comfortable with. We started collating all the material and working on the document over the next few days. After revising the document for the 20th time among ourselves, we decided to run it through the HRBPs and the key stakeholders in various LoBs. We got a confidence boost post these meetings after getting a positive review. We later ran it through the target audience for a sample testing–some of the new mommies and the moms to be. Next, we handed over the validated content to the solution experience team for starting the development.
And The Start:
One of the main features of the application was that it should guide the user through an intuitive UI. Keeping this in mind the Run Mummier App was designed to play the role of a friend and a guide.
A couple of things, which anyone can do with the new app of which planner is the key highlight:
i) The new and confidential planner will enable the woman to take charge of the various policies. The woman enters the due date and tentative leave plan in the planner at any time during her pregnancy. Subsequent to this, she gets a pre-populated planner wherein she can change the dates if she wishes too. She gets notifications at regular intervals reminding her about the policy benefits for that particular trimester such a cab services that can availed, SAPlings child care, etc.
ii) Growth scan is complimentary at certain hospitals as they have a tie-up with SAP. So, around her 30th week ( back calculated from due date ) , she gets a notification asking her if she is done with her growth scan already and does she know of the benefit SAP gives her ? We had the final application ready after working for around 2.5 months.
I will cherish the awesome experience I got by working with people from diverse backgrounds. I have also become a semi-HR person now; there are people from various departments who ping me about the maternity policies in the company:-). The icing on the cake – A nomination for the prestigious Hasso Platner award for innovation.