Q1: How do I select the right insurance software package?
There are several things to consider when selecting the right package for your situation.
- Understand that there are no silver bullets out there. Every solution requires some degree of customization to make it fit with your unique market offering.
- You almost certainly have existing systems which must be integrated. Therefore, you should look for a package that not only closely resembles the functional requirements for your product, but also offers convenient and efficient customization capabilities for product configurations and programmatic access.
Q2: Can you show me how other insurance companies have implemented packages?
There are a couple different ways to think about implementing a package. Many are obvious and/or shared with other IT projects (competent team, meticulously plan, tracking, etc.) Our approach includes not only these fundamental competencies but also more nuanced, business-focused strategies:
- Trajectory tracking to ensure business outcomes – Replacing or implementing a package solution is necessarily disruptive to the organization. This means that there can be unexpected complications (and costs and delays) for which even a seasoned PM is unlikely to have prepared. Like any investment, an eye must be kept on the volatility of the project and ensure that the result is within the expected range of functionality, delivery date, cost and then ROI. We have helped insurers identify particular risks by developing a comprehensive scope document, risk assessment and roadmaps through the various unseen emergencies that arise, all with the goal of keeping the project trajectory tracking.
- Priority driven development for managing costs – Far too many projects begin with the hope that all the expected functionality will be implemented according to the project schedule. Under this assumption, the particular order of functionality implementation is irrelevant; it will all get done before the end. As is more often the case, key functionality becomes back-loaded and if (when) the project gets into a crunch, the stakeholders are left with few options to completion besides more funding. At Mindtree, we approach our project implementations with a rigorous commitment to priority-driven development. Should the project timeline get cut short, the funding dry up, or other exigent circumstances arise, we always have the project in the most functional state possible.
Q3: What are the best practices for managing risk while implementing efficiently?
It starts by being prepared on all fronts and asking yourself tough questions. For example:
- Organizational readiness – Begin discussions early on topics such as business and IT scope, business continuity plans, people and role evolution, and long-term, post-implementation plans.
- Are you replacing or redefining your products? What about your business process?
- Are you thinking beyond IT? How will the new system impact other areas?
- When will training start? Can it run in parallel to system development?
- Project readiness – Understand which roles will need to participate and why.
- What is the expected involvement and time commitment?
- How will you participate in the project and run your business?
- How will this project be executed? Why does it matter?
- Requirements readiness – Determine the state of your product definitions. Start with a negotiated scope statement. Resist the early project illusion of unlimited time and budget; prioritize now.
- Raghunath Tripasuri’s blog, SAP Insurance Factory model for rapid launch of new products
- Deepak Mohan’s blog, Create and configure products faster on SAP Insurance
For more information about how Mindtree can help you select the right insurance software for your organization, visit https://www.mindtree.com/industries/insurance.