I could see the frustration in their eyes. They are doing their best for something that is obviously not a good use of their time, and everyone down the line is upset with them for being late. The corporate office has taken the job of a few experienced data entry clerks and handed it out to hundreds of supervisors who are not good at it. So the mobile app added to the depth of the problem instead of becoming the solution.
Finding a Better Strategy & Solution
When an old, established, albeit inefficient process is changed without giving thought to the end goal and the potential disruptions that the change may cause, the outcome could be worse than before. In this case, the intent was to capture time on a mobile device, which will interface with the ERP system for an efficient and more accurate payroll processing. What did happen is the supervisors are spending hours every day entering time that was already entered on paper timesheets (so the paper still exists), the inaccuracies of the timesheets continue to cause payroll errors and the original issue of cutting off-cycle checks still occurs.
Therefore, when a mobile app business strategy, following the golden principles of lean six sigma, it is critical to identify all actors and the steps they take to identify waste. However, when it comes to mobility, there is more to it than eliminating waste. The goal of mobility should not be limited to just improve the current process, but rather to look at the end goal, or the business reason for having this process, and then develop a whole new interface that will transform the user experience.
I call it, “thought transformed”.
So now instead of having an old process with shiny new phones, you are introducing a whole new experience that transforms the whole “Capture to Consume” process!