In June, Boston-based research firm Celent LLC invited representatives from a small, medium and large insurance company to a meeting in Chicago where they shared their business process management (BPM) implementation stories. Celent senior analyst Donald Light, and insurance practice group managing director Matthew Josefowicz led the group in its discussion of what it takes to manage through the numerous challenges associated with continuous improvement and successful BPM implementation.  The Panelists:Monique McKeon (MM), assistant vice president, Chubb Commercial Insurance - CPSS, Warren, N.J. Chubb's net written premiums increased 1% in Q2 2007 to $1.3 billion. BPM target area: commercial underwriting. Number of initial users affected: 150; two years into the project: 900. Vendor of choice: Metastorm.  Kimberly McGregor (KM), director, imaging and process analysis, Ohio National Financial Services, Cincinnati. The company has total assets under management of $22.5 billion. BPM target area: as part of a larger legacy replacement strategy, the company focused on individual annuities; underwriting, policy administration and claims legacy systems. Number of users affected: 500. Vendor of choice: CSC. Chris Spring (CS), senior vice president, Meadowbrook Insurance Group, Southfield, Mich. The company manages in excess of $700M in premiums under management. BPM target area: company-wide rate-book-issue processes. Number of users affected: 650. Vendor of choice: Adeptia. The Celent team posed one last question to the panelists—what is the most important piece of advice you can offer other insurance carriers currently considering a major BPM project? MM: Make sure BPM is positioned correctly within the enterprise. From a technical perspective, make sure BPM is positioned in the right place in the enterprise architecture. Know what BPM is (is it a one-size-fits-all program or one that enables you to pick and choose capabilities as you go? Is it just the human workflow or does it also include SOA and integration, business rules, etc.?) Then set up a centralized support model that includes governance.   KM: Get the users involved, right up front, and help them become comfortable with the change. When change comes, it's because they have brought that change to us. They know that when a change is required they need to take ownership of it and we just help them because is makes all of us more efficient. Build momentum in your commitment and make sure business owners have a key role. Build the skill sets. Manage human issues. Be flexible. Get senior and line management buy-in.  CS: Realize your power and be ready to make the investment. BPM should be deployed across the organization, not siloed. Look for a cheerleader. Who is on top of the process? Over-communicate if you have to. Do the t-shirt and road shows. For those that have implemented BPM, rethink what you did. Look at the processes already in place. Then reevaluate your strategy and design to ensure maximum usability and efficiency.  

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