As insurers continue to experience increased pressures from a host of factors, including aging technology systems, progressing competitors, more demanding customers and new regulations, we continue to see investment trends that target improvements to core operations, especially in the area of policy administration systems (PAS). Once organizations commit to replacing their existing PAS, it is critical that they understand the middle ground between strategy and execution to overcome the many obstacles that stand between their strategic vision, and the goal of realizing the benefits of that vision.
In my previous posts, I discussed the importance of developing a business strategy, business case and incremental roadmap for policy administration transformation systems, as well as the critical vendor selection process. This post focuses on what you need to take into account when mobilizing an organization for a PAS implementation.
Undertaking a major transformation is no small task. It takes an experienced team to overcome the economic, operational, cultural and technological hurdles that stand between the strategic vision for PAS and the execution of a multi-year, multi-million dollar implementation. It is nearly impossible to realize strategic results if mobilization is flawed (or ignored altogether). According to our 2010 Digital IQ survey, failure to properly mobilize a program contributed to 77% of projects using more resources than planned, and over 50% not achieving desired business capabilities.
Given that the mobilization phase is so critical, why do companies struggle with it? Many of them do not understand the necessity of this phase because there is a common misconception that a strategy is ready for implementation upon definition. Others lack experience and/or capabilities to translate their strategy into an actionable plan for such large-scale, high-risk transformations. And other transformations fail because of organizational inertia or passive resistance that must be overcome during the mobilization phase.
Implementing change is difficult even under the most ideal circumstances, but is especially challenging when there is ambiguity surrounding scope, timelines, staffing, processes and tools. What often sets winning competitors apart from the also-rans is a superior ability to mobilize the right resources in order to deliver the value of strategic programs on time and on budget.
Key Elements of Mobilization: Successful mobilization requires a mixture of individuals from program management, business and IT functions. With the right team in place, the mobilization process should be completed within 10 to 12 weeks. The following checklist should prove useful when mobilizing your organization's PAS journey:
For carriers that are willing to invest tens of millions of dollars over several years in order to reap the benefits associated with a policy administration replacement, it is imperative that they recognize the importance of bridging the gap between strategy and execution. Before you start your PAS implementation, be sure to invest the appropriate amount of time and energy mobilizing the organization in order to lay the foundation for executing, measuring progress and delivering results. Can you really afford not to do so?
Imran Ilyas, partner with PwC's Diamond Advisory Services insurance practice, coauthored this piece with Frank Wittman, director, PwC’s Diamond Advisory Services.
Readers are encouraged to respond to Imran using the “Add Your Comments” box below.
This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.
The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.
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