In Right First Time we explore how assuring successful change management is crucial in insurance transformational programmes. Dynamic software applications allow insurers to transact policies and enable digital platforms more effectively than ever before. However, implementation is not merely a matter of getting it done, but in getting it done right the first time, every time.

The Big Five

Large insurance transformational programmes are project juggernauts. All face the same challenge, the management of the Big Five. The Big Five are the crucial areas of attention that support the programme in delivering the software implementation.

The Big Five are used in Sprint Reporting and Sprint Modelling to power activities within the development teams, allow the workstreams to be effectively managed and enable cross-workstream working.

Here, we examine the Big Five.

#1 The Work

The Work items are planned, underway and completed, expressed as the User Story, or other Work items contained within the Product Backlog. Management of the Work is critical in achieving a successful implementation, after all, without the Work there would be nothing to build.

Most Work items are User Stories but may also include Features (groups of User Stories) and Epics (groups of Features). A User Story is the lowest level definition of a business requirement, which might define how excess is calculated, or to display whether a property qualifies for Flood Re. Works items may also include technical User Stories and other engineering requirements.

#2 Dependencies

Dependencies are connections between Work items where one Work item relies upon another. Most dependencies will be between User Stories, but dependencies are ubiquitous; a typical insurance programme will have hundreds, if not thousands of dependencies.

Dependencies vary tremendously. For instance, where a piece of infrastructure, such as when a server may need to be built before an environment is set up. Or where a new data field, to capture the customer’s correspondence preference is required before that data item is used in letter generation.

#3 Capacity

The capacity is the availability of those delivering the work and available for the Sprint.

It is not uncommon for capacity management to be overlooked, even on the largest transformational programme. Without capable capacity management, maintaining velocity is incredibly difficult and planning is rendered ineffective. Imagine running any business without knowing how many staff will be turning up on a particular day.

#4 Resources

Resources are the people available to the project for the Sprint. An insurance programme has a wide variety of roles to fulfil, from Solution Designers to System Architects. Ensuring the programme employs the right people with the appropriate skill sets is a key factor to success.

Resources include those from outside the programme, such as Subject Matter Experts or Stakeholders, whose input is indispensable.

#5 Tools

These are the essential tools required to deliver the work. Includes software tools, system accesses, hardware, environments and physical or virtual meeting spaces.

Tools have a relatively broad meaning, essentially encompassing anything the programme participants need to do the Work.

Using the Big Five

The Big Five are essential elements of an insurance transformational programme. Used with Sprint Reporting and Sprint Modelling, they are powerful instruments in the effective delivery of work. Use the Big Five by incorporating them into all facets of programme deliverables from the outset. Some projects incorporate Big Five sessions at inception, ensuring familiarity is attained by all programme participants.

The Big Five and Solution Assurance

Solution Assurance is a vital third-party service that assists customers to install and develop effective enterprise insurance software solutions.

Understanding and managing the Big Five can be challenging, especially where project participants might be new to large insurance transformational programmes. Solution Assurance is ideally placed, with a wealth of previous experience, to advise and assist with the proactive and successful management of the Big Five.