Have you shopped much at IKEA? The prices are great and the furniture looks good in
a practical sort of way. The bigger challenge, at least for guys like me, is what happens
when you get it home and have to assemble it? Is it as frustrating for you as it was for
For years, businesses felt the same way about the software they were purchasing
from technology solution providers. The sales pitch was great, the price was right, so
here’s your product. Now install it with these easy directions.
Lessons were learned from this antiquated process. Expensive lessons. The biggest
being: The most compatible software package in the universe isn’t worth squat if it’s not
There was enough fault to go around so that fingers didn’t need to be pointed—
although finger pointing usually is the default mode when something goes wrong.
Fortunately, the two sides did something about it.
That’s the way it should be if solution providers and carriers—once viewed as the
dogs and cats of the implementation process—are to become true business partners.
Solution providers understand their reputation is on the line until a carrier successfully
goes live with the project. Carriers understand that they know their business better
than the solution providers, so they need to take charge of the process if these mil-lion-dollar investments are to pay off.
This is where project management fits in. At one time, only large insurers had project management offices, but that has changed as the midtier took on more expensive
projects. It is understandably more difficult for the midtier to dedicate resources to a
PMO, but as technology evolves, insurers usually find there is more than one solution
needed and upgrades come at a regular pace.
Today’s projects are too big and too important to fail. While most observers agree
the solutions themselves have matured, the implementation process can be long and
arduous, with possible missteps at every turn.
Finding the right people to get the job done, whether they come from inside the
insurance organization or in the form of consultants, has become the key first step to
Are you considering attending ITA LIVE, the Insurance Technology Association’s
first live event next April 12-15? If so, keep your eye on the ITA website ( www.itapro.
org) for more information and a registration page coming in November. We’re excited
about what this event will mean for our organization and what it can bring to our
membership. We hope you are, too. ITA
Robert Regis Hyle
Solution Providers Abandon
the IKEA Approach to Projects
Editor in Chief
Robert Regis Hyle
Michael P. Voelker
Jason T. Williams
ITA Advisory Board
Tricia S. Blair
Lincoln Financial Group
Millers Mutual Insurance
Judith L. Haddad
Patriot Insurance Group
American Family Insurance
Glatfelter Insurance Group
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