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Commentary

BPM Drives Value For Insurers

Examining a business process management value proposition for the insurance industry.
BPM is an attractive solution because it can deliver value through small departmental initiatives or through enterprise implementations. However, to consistently deliver successful BPM projects, several issues, risks and best practices need to be considered:

  • Start small. Focus on one process that has significant business pain. Good candidate processes are those with a lot of manual hand-offs or human intervention. Often, processes to manage transaction exceptions are good candidates, such as dispute resolution.

  • BPM must be driven by business people to be successful! Business results will drive the continuing adoption of BPM.

  • Insist on a proof-of-concept before investing in a platform. BPM vendors have their own strengths and weaknesses. One size does not fit all.

  • Establish a baseline of your current process performance. This is the best way to measure the impact of BPM in your organization.

  • Establish a governance body early to ensure that your independent BPM projects are in sync and that investments are coordinated across business units.

  • Put BPM on the corporate IT architecture agenda to ensure alignment with other initiatives.

  • Define a common BPM project approach, methodology, templates and reusable assets that can be leveraged across the company. Establish a BPM Center of Excellence to be the central point for best practices.

  • Understand and plan for organizational changes to business and IT areas as a result of BPM. BPM requires highly iterative interactions between business and IT participants. Traditional waterfall development approaches will not work.

  • Last but not least ... optimize the process before you automate it. Leverage best practices and look outside your industry for innovative approaches to optimize your process design.

Art Barrios leads the Business Process Management practice at New York-based BusinessEdge Solutions. A technology veteran and IT strategist, Barrios has over 12 years of management and consulting experience in the financial services and insurance industries.