Insurance company that wanted to double in size within five years
Critical Business Issue
Operations hampered by legacy systems that caused work processes to be highly complex, liable to errors, noncompetitive, and an obstacle to growth or change in business approach
Critical Process Issues
Varied by process, but most were too slow compared to competition and prone to human error because of system and process complexities
- Executive Team analyzed its current super-system and business model, then developed possible future-state scenarios and identified the capabilities (process/technology/people/management/general infrastructure) required to succeed in the future.
- Project Team (composed of process excellence specialists, IT representatives, and middle managers):
- Updated an “is” Value Creation Architecture down to Level 3 (they already had an “is” Business Process Framework and existing Level 3 “is” process maps
- Distributed the required capabilities along the Value Creation Architecture, which revealed capability gap
- Developed high-level (whole business) alternative designs and discovered that the future business would require not one, but three different L-S-D Launched, Sold, and Delivered designs (that is, high tech, high touch and large corporate customers)
- The Project Team then was divided into three sub-teams, each of which developed a full Value Creation Architecture (VCA) down to Level 5, following the standard RPM methodology (from design phase on) but with three designs in parallel and applied to multiple processes within each Value Creation Architecture.
- Each design included models of all the future-state processes showing both human and technology performers in detail and their Human Performance System/Technology Performance System requirements.
- The three Value Creation Architectures were presented to management for approval and funding.
- The three Value Creation Architectures were implemented together into the existing business, as they were not three different lines of business but three ways to deliver the company’s products and services.
Key Points About This Case
- Scope was not predetermined: Project started with a super-ordinate business goal (that is, growth) and critical business issue, then led to a gap analysis between current state and future business scenarios showed that the entire business had to be in project scope and potentially redesigned.
- Executive team engagement in first stage of work ensured their ongoing support and active interest in the result of the project.
- RPM methodology is scalable to multiple processes and even entire lines of business.
- Technologists were key members of each design sub-team, providing design ideas and guidance about the practicality of technology usage in the processes, and watching over alignment of the designs with the company’s Enterprise Architecture vision.
- Once the three sub-teams were formed, they met frequently to review progress and share their designs. The sub-teams were encouraged to borrow process and technology designs from each other, which helped to minimize the total cost of the proposed “should” Value Creation Architectures. (For example, the Large Corporate Customer sub-team largely adopted a mix of processes from the High Tech and High Touch sub-teams and created few of their own.)
- The “alternative designs” technique is scalable: such designs can address any aspect of the Effective Process Framework for a process, the entire process, or even an entire business (which happened in this case).
- Despite the large scale and scope of work, the project was completed in just twelve weeks, because the Project Team members devoted at least three days per week to the project for its duration, and they were supported by the executives who gave the project the highest priority.
- The speed of the project was also helped by the fact that the team had earlier developed something of an “is” Business Process Framework and had Level 3 process maps, so the Analysis Phase was relatively brief.
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