A Fresh Set of Eyes on Processes

By: Chris Dickinson, Senior Principal

For many business leaders in the financial services space, the motivation to redesign a process may come from a drive to enhance the customer experience, improve efficiencies, implement new technology, or react to regulatory mandates.

Whether it’s in sales, new business, service, claims, or with product management, process overhaul has the potential to cause disruption, confusion, and not yield the desired goal. By following a general framework to identify, tackle, and solve a process redesign, you’ll improve the likelihood of success and satisfaction among stakeholders.

Where to start?

An optimized business process can provide a competitive advantage for already saturated, mature markets. It’s first essential to identify the areas in which a process may be broken. Look for common pain points—the areas that cause disruption, customer angst, and complaints, where multiple reviews need to occur (like in underwriting or claims), or where opportunities to improve customer experience lie. By finding these pain points and the ultimate business goals it impacts, you can take a deeper dive into the processes surrounding it to identify opportunities to improve it and its outcomes.

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Who’s involved?

Now that you know where the process redesign must occur, it’s now time to assemble a team to help improve it. The very actors involved in the process are also those who must help fix it—they’ll provide invaluable feedback about the customers they serve, the challenges and obstacles they face.

To take a candid look, consider bringing in a fresh perspective to evaluate the process and map out alternatives that help achieve your desired goals. This external expert will likely bring in different industry points of view, principles of process design, and help you understand how and why to redesign to organize around business goals, not tasks. Given the possible experience of this stakeholder, they will likely bring in vital best practices and industry experience to help determine business value linkage, conduct impact assessments, and plan future state design needs.

What’s next?

Now that you’ve assembled the cast, it’s time to redesign the process. This can take many forms—like bringing in automation or removing or adding steps, enhanced data, and/or people. However, once you’ve decided to tackle the redesign, it is important that testing of the process, while it’s being redesigned, is occurring. This will allow the necessary refinement to make the process smooth and definitive in the long-term.

After all parties finalize the process redesign, there must be a plan to continuously review the process to ensure it’s meeting defined business goals. From there, you may create a cascading effect of other process redesigns that must occur. To help with this, consider working alongside a partner who has the depth of experience in your industry, you will need to help redesign a process within the complicated waters of insurance and financial services. Navigating any process design is difficult, but a trusted partner will help alleviate unnecessary hiccups and improve the success and speed of a redesign.

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