This is an innovative project that aimed to solve an in-company challenge through a human-centered approach in which the “customers” were employees.
Société Générale Global Solution Centre (SG-GSC) is a service center based in Bucharest. It serves the Société Générale Group’s financial institutions with a complex offering of services and solutions including finance and accounting, human resources, IT, know-your-customer, compliance, and business Advisory.
~ 20 working days / design member
~ 4 working days / sponsor
~ 60 working days external consultant
(Design Thinking Society)
DURATION ~ 4 months effectively
~ 6 months actual spread
In 2017, employees, managers, and partners of Société Générale Global Solution Centre agreed that invoices based on time tracking and project allocation were a chronic and painful challenge.
At SG-GSC, customers were billed for the time each assigned employee worked. The process of collecting the time worked by those employees (HCC) was a complicated and difficult ordeal. It consumed 21 days per month for senior employees. These employees had to navigate different systems, many types of contracts, high staff mobility, and a variety of processes between business lines.
Some implications and negative aspects were errors or delays in invoicing and interference of customers in invoicing. Managers were distrustful of the resulting invoices and external customers had difficulty understanding how the invoices were computed. Previous attempts to re-design the HC process through business process modeling methods failed.
The C-level sponsors in SG-GSC requested a design thinking project with the intent of creating a new system for time tracking and invoicing. This system would:
We teamed with eleven employees of SG-GSC to understand the current practices and attitudes about time tracking. Over a period of two months, the team ran 60 interviews and explored other inspirational areas such as experts, other companies, technologies and more. We mapped seven Personae with different needs and expectations towards how their time is handled.
In the end, we mapped over 60 opportunities that would respond to design principles, such as:
Working from these, the team came up with over 250 ideas. These ideas turned into 16 concepts which we tested with internal customers and business sponsors. Later, we built seven prototypes in low fidelity mode. We repeated testing on them and narrowed down our possible solutions to three finalists:
Casper – This solution was an “Alexa”-like time tracking assistant. It required deploying AI machine learning. The employees would train the machine for three months before it could predict their time spending and create automatic timesheets. At that time in 2017, AI was an undeveloped route for SG-GSC. Therefore, the sponsors decided to keep it in a 3-year-time horizon of possible innovation projects even though it would have been the most automated solution.
GBayS – This is an “eBay”-like solution that would turn all employees and managers from SG-GSC to auctioneers for contracts posted by the customers (Soc Gen financial institutions – the real customers of SG-GSC). Although this was considered the most innovative concept of all, the sponsors knew it would require a complete overhaul of the business and operating model. The best-case scenario for this solution would need at least 5-years to be possible.
TimeGivers – This is a “Fitbit”-like solution based on a bracelet with wearable loading time targets which managers give to employees in their projects. The goal was for the employees to beat their allocated time targets. The system would publish weekly rankings by department and company. The rankings would produce a sense of internal competition and yield benefits for the leaders. The management chose this solution because it integrated well with other initiatives and was low tech and operational risk.
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