performance the client needs to meet the
demands of the ever-changing insurance
industry. Many times, encompassing all
of the system at once leads to significant
delays, missed deadlines, inefficient processes and poor performing systems.
Quality of developed products
Failed projects often point directly to the
quality of the products developed. Poor
quality of the product is frequently a result of the project team’s unclear understanding of the needs of the organization.
Business analysts who generally have the
responsibility to provide process flows for
the current and future state of an application may not be insurance savvy.
They will provide good form and best
practice in documentation, but either define requirements in a vacuum, not understanding the full picture, or may lack
clarity in how to improve current processes related to the main focus for insurers,
i.e., claims, underwriting, regulatory. The
result is poor quality in product delivery
that does not satisfy the client’s needs.
Failed project delivery is a result of a lack
of continuous monitoring of progress to
catch defects and issues within the delivery life cycle. Without measuring performance of project teams and their progress, projects fail a significant number
of times. Project management requires
constant telescoping of people, timelines
and budget. Proper project management
techniques and tools are a necessity, not a
luxury, and they must be appropriate for
newer delivery techniques. Ensuring the
organization or the vendor has access to
today’s tools to monitor progress is essential to the health of any project.
Along with proper measurement, there
must be honest, open dialogue from all
involved. Without input from users, proj-
ect team members, vendors and others,
improper processes, lack of understand-
ing of requirements and issues may not be
uncovered. Frequently, vendors engaged
in project and product delivery assume
that projects are on track and running
smoothly if they have no feedback from
the organization. Honest and frequent
collaboration is key, but sometimes proj-
ect managers are not familiar with the use
of good tracking tools and lack the ability
to ask the right questions of their clients.
Project managers in today’s ever-chang-
ing business world must keep pace and
focus on the barriers and shortcomings
of failed projects to learn and understand
how to overcome them in product and
project delivery. It’s no longer enough to
follow IT industry best practices. Success
requires an understanding of the insur-
ance industry, governmental regulations
and how to bring speed, scalability and
performance along with more agile, mod-
ernized technology and tools to meet the
demands of insurers and their partners.
Maria Zabetakis is senior program manager
for VIP Software ( www.vipsoftware.com)
with more than 30 years of experience in
managing IT projects and teams globally.
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