Barnsley Council digitises paper absence forms with SAP Fiori mobile app

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Barnsley Council has rolled out the SAP Fiori My Leave Requests app to replace physical 'leave of absence' cards in a move to digitise its basic HR processes and beyond.

Speaking at the SAP UK and Ireland user group conference Connect 2016, Chantele Smith, ICT technical specialist at Barnsley Council told Computerworld UK that the 'leave' app was identified as a good pilot project to “replace some of the manual processes we had at Barnsley as part of a digital-first initiative”.

Before the mobile Fiori app, council staff were “given a piece of paper at the begging of every financial year and throughout the year they would record what days, hours, minutes of leave they wanted and the manager would sign it off”, Smith explained. This caused issues with data not being tracked, a lack of visibility across teams when it came to leave and also not being able to request leave when an employee or manager was not in the office.

Smith and the rest of the IT team took the off-the-shelf Fiori app and made some customisations to simplify the user journey. They stripped out the option to request hours of leave for a simple ‘radio button’ for either a full or half day, for example.

The move from paper wasn’t as smooth as Smith and the rest of her team would have expected though. Most organisations don’t have to teach their employees how to use an iPad before they can teach them how to perform a business process, but where digital skills don’t come as standard, rolling out new business software can have unexpected hurdles.

“We found that we had a number of employees who we perhaps overestimated what their digital skills were and we found that some services just weren’t using the app at all because they didn’t know how to use it," Smith said.

“We had some teams that decided they were going to create their own leave cards again and literally drew them out on paper because they didn’t have the skills needed to use these apps.” The IT team responded by setting up workshops and drop-in sessions to teach staff basic digital skills and get them up to speed with the Fiori apps.

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Source: Computerworld UK

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