You want who to do what?

You want who to do what?

From our past experiences, we have witnessed insurance companies tackle tough problems from their “siloed” perspective.  They may have the best intentions, but forget to consider others in the value chain or even within their own company.  In other cases, they have only looked at an issue from one lens – the process perspective or the role perspective.  For example, for a claims transformation program, does the call center representative that takes the first notice of loss understand what the subrogation team or adjudication teams do?  Do they understand their metrics and how they influence their metrics, let alone their own metrics?

In the past, people would tackle an issue from the inside-out.  However, today with the introduction of customer experience tools such as personas and journey maps, addressing a problem from the outside-in (from a customer’s perspective) helps to provide focus, but is still a challenge to align all of the internal pieces  (process, structure, roles and capabilities) to enable that experience.  From our perspective there are three “must-dos” to assist in alignment of people, process and technology:

  • Use a framework such as business capabilities or an outside-in tool such as journey maps to document and facilitate the process. These tools will help identify the parties involved in the problem you are solving, as well as the required processes, technology and capabilities.  For example, for a claims transformation, if you are trying to improve the first notice of loss process (or capability), think about the people that touch or use that information, as well as the processes they use, the information they need and technology they leverage.  Do you have the right people in the right roles with the correct measures?  It may not be a technology issue.
  • Use a cross functional team.  Ensure that as you align the process, people, roles, metrics and other items, involve the relevant groups that both are engaged in the given area, or are up or downstream from it.  During a policy transformation, our team brought together different participants in the sales process to review current state process maps.  Some participants involved downstream asked why they were reviewing the process to capture initial information.  However, through the conversations, each “team” in the value chain learned more about what other teams do.  Light bulbs went off as they realized that other teams needed certain information to be successful, or that if they changed their process, they could streamline a downstream process and improve metrics overall.
  • Maintain the connection. Hosting a workshop to align people, processes and technology up and down the value chain is the simple part; but maintaining the connection following the meeting is difficult.  Team members returned to their “day job.”  However, thinking about ongoing reviews with the same team at key points during the program will help maintain the connection and ensure things are not mis-translated.  Even beyond the project, some companies are organizing sub-groups or functions around the process or journey to ensure the connection is maintained.

What tools/frameworks have you used to align people, processes and technology to ensure a program succeeds, but also your business succeeds?

This is the second blog post in our change management series. If you missed the first installment “Are we there yet?”, please click here.

2 Comments

  • Mark Behrens September 6, 2016 8:40 am

    Good post. A significant challenge in the insurance industry is a tendency to have multiple but only loosely connected layers of engagement – senior management has a set of conversations and a vision for what should be happening/what they think is happening in their organization. Mid-level management has a separate set that is only loosely connected to the upper-level point of view, and line management and staff are even further removed as they deal with transactional reality.

    Also, in this as in many other verticals the tendency for in-breeding can make it very difficult for players at any of the levels to compare and benchmark functions such as customer service, sales, enrollment, A/R, or A/P to functional best practices that cross industries. Benchmarking your performance to your own past or to industry peers provides a false sense of progress.

  • Steven Waldrop September 7, 2016 1:46 pm

    Thanks Mark for the comments. Your points about different levels of engagement and communication up and down, as well as across the organization is a significant challenge. We feel that you cannot just talk the “change management” talk, but you have to walk it weekly. It is not a once and done. Taking a pulse throughout an engagement (using something as simple as change readiness surveys for example), especially the multi-year ones, are key to verify the engagement and communications are reaching different areas of the organization. In addition, a change network helps to engage people within each stakeholder group and can help ensure a more “local” engagement strategy.

    As far as benchmarks, a false sense of progress is dangerous and can lead to complacency. Picking the right metrics that the program is supposed to impact (based on business case and benefits realization framework) is key.

    Thanks again for the comments.

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