By Danielle Lutkus
Insurers are continually thinking of ways to innovate and transform their business to keep up with the ever-changing competitive landscape. Transformation projects come in many forms, including organization realignment, financial transitions, digital partnerships, technology modernization, acquisitions, and more. From a multi-week venture to a multi-year strategy, there is one thing all transformation projects have in common: RISK.
Risk must be anticipated, mitigated, and reacted to in an ongoing cycle through the duration of any project. In our work with insurers, there are three common categories of risks for transformation efforts: resourcing and dependency risks, process risks, and operational risks. In this blog series, we will dive deeper into these three areas and provide helpful insight and resources for mitigating risks that are often encountered in transformation initiatives.
Clearly understood and customer-focused processes are an asset to any organization when undergoing a transition. Processes outline how people, tools, data, and technology interact to create a successful and repeatable result. With change comes uncertainty and impact on the elements of a process in various forms. Below are some common risks to mitigate to ensure that work stays on track and the transformation is successful from a process perspective.
Balancing Business Process Changes – With transformation comes the opportunity for new capabilities, increased scale, improved reporting, and more. For a team that may be used to operating in a specific way, these new changes can be overwhelming if not executed correctly. Without a high-level roadmap to consider the changes to the current business process over time in context with the transformation, taking advantage of the transformation’s opportunities could be a lengthy process or unachieved.
Remediate business process design risks by spending quality time upfront with key stakeholders to review all current business processes that may or may not be impacted by transformation and prepare a roadmap of areas to tackle as the project phases progress. Checking on progress against a roadmap of company goals and objectives will be much easier ongoing. The sooner stakeholders are involved, the better, as they can be agents for change management along the way.
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Misalignment on Data Validation Goals – Transformations may include integrating data for a long list of stakeholders from various sources. It’s essential to understand the data validation strategy for each element of transition. Without a certified and documented approach to reaching the data transition goal, validators can waste a significant amount of time during the process or possibly lose valuable data.
Remediate validation delays by identifying the validation owners and the correct value and validation goal as early as possible. Communicate validation goal to all project participants and data/process owners to ensure alignment and expectations.
Gaps in Process – During implementations, data conversions and migrations, gaps may arise. Gaps are defined as any missing steps or steps that don’t have the right “Who, What, When, Where and How” assigned to them necessary to complete the new process. Gaps can lead to incomplete processes, downstream delays, and stakeholder confusion.
Remediate gaps in the process by identifying where gaps typically crop up, document, and create a bridging strategy to address gaps on a timely basis. Keep bridging strategy throughout the project as a key reference guide will help to address gaps in a timely fashion. Defining these roles and responsibilities will also help to communicate with stakeholders and ensure alignment.
Documented data validation goals, bridging strategies, and process roadmaps are key tools in any transition effort to mitigate risk. A key step to mitigating process risk is ensuring thorough communication between teams by using these tools to communicate goals and manage to expectations. These communication efforts will help to instill confidence in the transformation teams that are involved in the initiative.