Insurance technology project planning can often lead to developing a range of plans for different technologies at the same time. Then when it comes to implementation there’s a necessary recognition that you only have so much resource to deploy and that some of your plans might need to sit around for a while until you get to them. It’s worth considering at this point as to whether or not those plans that aren’t implemented quickly will have any value in the future.
Insurance Technology and Change
Insurance technology project plans almost certainly have an expiry date. It’s not that planning is a bad idea; it gives you a key understanding of the following:
- The business benefits of the technology – ideally in terms of the return on investment of implementing any specific technology
- The resources required to implement such a project – times, dates, finances, hardware, software and personnel commitments are all vital before you start a project
- The technical impact of making such a change – what code will you need, what changes to your IT infrastructure is necessary, etc.
- The political backing for a technology being implemented – who will sponsor the project? Where is the commitment within the organization to introduce this technology? Where will the budget allocation come from?
- The vendor relationships needed to succeed. It’s important to be cautious about how far you take a project with a vendor before you decide whether to implement or not. Large vendors have the resources to withstand a long-period of negotiation and planning that doesn’t result in an immediate implementation. Smaller vendors aren’t so fortunate and it may be that delays in implementation may directly impact their ability to perform in the short-term or even long-term.
This information is vital to the success of any insurance technology project. It means that your business is making an informed and rational decision on implementation.
The trouble is that this information becomes less and less relevant to your business on a daily basis. Sponsors may find that they have more pressing requirements when the plan finally arrives on their desk for the go-ahead. Vendors may be restricted to working with other clients by the time you’re ready to implement.
Teams may already be allocated to other projects and there’s no doubt that moving ahead with a project without your first choice of personnel means that you’re adding a serious layer of additional risk to the project.
Even worse it’s possible that the problem you were solving through your implementation – no longer exists. It wouldn’t be the first time that a technology project had been superseded by a ground-level workaround and the IT team had been left in the dark.
Project planning is a vital aspect for delivering ROI on your IT spend. However, plans should be developed with execution in mind. If you think that you’re going to end up putting off a project for months or even worse years – it’s probably best to kill the planning phase and return when you’re ready to run.
If you’ve already done the planning and there’s been a substantial delay – it’s worth thoroughly evaluating the plan before executing it. What has changed within the areas listed above? How will that impact the effectiveness of the insurance technology project? What should be done to address any issues that have been introduced? This will ensure that by the time you deliver your project that the work is of value to the organization and that it still provides a return on your investment. There’s nothing worse than delivering something that’s immediately ready for the scrap heap.