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Sage People, HR & Payroll for Microsoft Teams

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Micaela Au Yong (Principal Product Designer) · Rana Ray (Product Owner) · Sam Shepperd (Product Owner) · Muhamad Omar (User Researcher) · Jon Small (Content Author) · 2 scrum teams (Barcelona & UK)
My Role
Led the UX strategy · Create Prototypes · Facilitate Design Thinking & User Journey Workshops
Allows employees to easily book and manage absences, and enables managers to approve requests and review absence-related tasks within Teams.


Research indicates that a large portion of employee work time, up to 80-90%, is consumed by email and chat communications, which can impede productivity. To address this challenge, our partnership proposes integrating Sage People, HR & Payroll for Microsoft Teams, enabling employees to conveniently book absences through a chatbot. This integration simplifies the process and allows employees to save time and increase focus on their work, leading to enhanced efficiency and productivity.


Empowering businesses with innovative solutions that streamline HR processes and enhance employee productivity while delivering a more integrated and personalized HR experience, leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft Teams and Sage People's HCM software. We aim to simplify HR and payroll processes by providing a frictionless experience within Microsoft Teams, enabling employees to focus on their work, and managers to focus on their people.

Strategy planning

By utilizing the  partnership between Sage People and Microsoft, the project was able to integrate with Microsoft Teams, enabling employees to request absences from the platform without having to log into Sage People HCM. Additionally, the system incorporated chatbot technology to provide a conversational and interactive experience for users during the absence booking process. The chatbot guides users through the process and offers real-time feedback and suggestions based on their responses.


Conducting user research to identify the pain points and needs of employees regarding absence management.


Incorporating feedback from end-users and collaborate on complex stories before each sprint cycle or at the start of each quarter.


By utilizing Agile methodology and conducting iterative design, the team was able to significantly enhance the chatbot experience.

Research methods

Customer interviews

Market research analysis

Prototype testing

Customer journey


Information Architecture

End Goal

The Sage People HR and Payroll app integrated with Microsoft Teams streamlines personnel tasks and enables common requests, approvals, and wider communications within the app, on any device. Employees can easily view leave balances, get notified of absence approvals and rejections, and have booked absences automatically added to their Outlook calendar. Managers can easily process absence requests and receive notifications of pending approvals, and have all booked absences of their team automatically added to their Outlook calendar, giving them more time to focus on their people. Overall, the integration provides a frictionless experience that enhances productivity and flexibility for all team members.