By Richard Barbarino

A typical Policy Administration system (PAS) replacement is a straight forward affair. Once the vendor has been selected and new footprint determined the requirement process begins. These requirements are derived from the functionality and workflow of the existing legacy system, with some wrinkles thrown in. The end result is a replacement PAS that mimics legacy workflows with some process improvements like real-time print processing. The real question is: Are those legacy workflows valid? By implementing processes that are outdated you are essentially taking the easy road paving cow paths because they are already there instead of looking at the optimal solution.

Many legacy system workflows were originally implemented as a work around due to system limitations. As time goes by, this “band-aid” becomes the workflow and is perpetuated by different generations of employees. When the question “Why?” is asked, two responses are typical. “That is how it has always been done…” or “I have no idea”. The advantage of mimicking this approach is twofold, quicker speed of implementation and less corporate disruption. It is far easier to document something that exists than it is to build something that does not. Second, for an insurance company, change is not easy. Undertaking an enterprise wide business process re-engineering effort would take the support of executive level management and several different functional areas: Claims, Product Management, Underwriting, Audit, Stat, Rating, and IT.

Instead of accepting processes and their results, why not take this opportunity to look beyond what “is” to what can be, by coupling business process re-engineering with your PAS replacement effort. Installing PAS is just one piece of the puzzle but it is the foundation and backbone to initiate business process improvement. PAS replacement requires multiple departments, different disciplines, with an overarching project management structure in place. So, what better time than to analyze and change the fundamentals of the way your company conducts business?

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