So, what does all of this mean for you during your next implementation?
The next time you’re looking to implement a new core system, be ready to rely on your new software vendor’s change management expertise. Their business is centered around successfully executing these types of projects and their practical wisdom will make a difference in how your teams respond to change. Throughout the evaluation process, start by asking potential vendors their implementation methodology.
- How will the project be structured? What are the timelines for each milestone?
- Who needs to be involved and how much of their time will be required?
- What is their change management methodology? What happens when challenges arise?
- How much executive involvement do they have in each of their projects?
The goal of questions like these, is to uncover what an implementation and long-term partnership with this vendor will look like. A vendor’s implementation timelines and cost structures are two straight-forward criterion that help outline the type of partner you will receive. While 18-to-24-month project timelines might be introduced by a vendor, 6-to-9-month project timelines are possible. Shorter timelines offer agility and reduce the risk of change. In addition, look for fix-bid implementation offerings; this puts the financial responsibility of delivery back on the vendor. An implementation without endless change orders and “nickel and diming” for functionality will provide insurers a partner that is as equally invested in project success and invested in providing a continuous stream of value over the life of your partnership.
Although the financial metrics of a new core system investment are important, the success of the project hinges upon the relationship you build with your vendor and methods in which you leverage this partnership to manage the change throughout the business. A good vendor will be motivated by your organizational goals and work to align their resources with yours.