Soon, we will be starting with the implementation of BPM, Content Management & Imaging system to automate new business process within my organization. New business process spans across different functions, which have different levels of interest and motivation to implement the system. During the scoping exercise, we found that we will be required to integrate at least 6-7 different back-office systems. So, this implementation is going to be a big challenge to my team and me. However, there are a couple of factors in our favour, which make me believe that we are likely to succeed in our endeavor. First, our project sponsor is a tech enthusiast and believes that the technology we are introducing is going to help him. And second, I believe we have a good team.
As we make our preparations, I am pondering upon the challenges that we’ll be facing during the implementation. Following are some of the top challenges:
Change Management: Today our entire processing is paper based and post implementation we’ll be moving to the image based environment. This means our application processors and underwriters will have to work on images, and especially, our underwriters will not have the luxury “to feel the paper” while they make their underwriting decision. Creating “value” for underwriters & other operational staff and overcoming their resistance to use the system is the biggest challenge we will face.
Managing Expectations: The top management and project sponsor in particular have big expectations from the system. Thanks to the vendors & consultants, in general across the organization, BPM & Imaging initiative is seen as a panacea to most of the business issues associated with operations. We will have to deliver a system matching and exceeding these expectations.
Commitment of resources to the project: The implementation team is a cross functional team. There are 4 stakeholders in the project and each has committed full time resources for the project. They probably are the best minds in their respective functions. Incidentally, the project is starting at a time when insurance industry in India goes through the busiest period. Hence, ensuring the commitment of these resources to the project during the busy season, when these resources may have to respond to the call of the duty for operational work will be a big challenge.
Integration with back-office system: Implementation will involve integration with 6-7 back-office systems. This is indeed going to be a challenge for our IT team not only during but also after implementation. The integration layer that we will be building has to be scalable and robust. Failure in any one component may bring down the system impacting business operations adversely.
Image Migration: During the course of the implementation, we will migrate from our current content management (CM) system to the new CM system. This will involve migration of imagebase and index data maintained in the current repository. This will be another challenge for IT considering that the current system is based on proprietary standards.
I do not think that the challenges that I have discussed above are unique to us. But I wonder whether I am missing on something. I would really be glad if you could share your experiences in this area. Look forward to hearing from you.