procedures for the claims staff,” says Kerri
Weaver, a leader in claims communication
and change management at Westfield.
Westfield is near the conclusion of tests
on a suite of technology with the core solution being the claims management system
it acquired from Guidewire, according to
Bowers. In addition, the carrier has other
technology to be integrated into that core,
such as a payment system, and an electronic
“In all we have about a dozen major projects that together
will integrate with this claims management system,” he says.
“We are in the final testing and anticipate we will have it fully
deployed in the field by the end of the year.”
To do this correctly, Westfield put together a change-agent
team scattered across the carrier’s operating territory, explains
Weaver, with two or three individuals in each service office to
provide feedback and gauge change readiness.
Those representatives will receive early training to support
the deployment of the claims system. With over 30 service offices, Westfield also reaches out to discuss updates on the claims
strategy. Weaver add that the company has a hands-on demo
that enables leaders and change agents to get on the system and
get a first-hand view of what the system will be like.
Organizational alignment is a major part of change management, points out Mihaliak. The roles employees take, the
workflow, the procedures, and the measurements are all areas
that influence behavior.
“Business unit readiness has to be there on day one,” he says.
“Make sure the technology is in place, training, and sustainabil-
ity action, which is the performance management process to
Anthony Tempesta, senior manager, advisory services for
E&Y, believes the insurance industry has undergone an unprec-
edented change, so transformation is no longer considered an
ugly word for carriers.
“Companies make investments; they swap out legacy
platforms and that new technology brings a lot of change,”
says Tempesta. “It’s not just plug in the software and use it; it’s
a change in the organizational structure, how people respond
to clients, and how they work with each other. Customers
want business to move faster and better with a higher level of
self-service. Change management imbeds that capability—that
disciplined approach—within the organization.”
The old Westfield operational model was geographic, ex-
plains Weaver, with three operations territories. The carrier
changed to a line of business model for its three lines of busi-
ness: casualty, property, and workers’ compensation. Weaver
points out the work has changed significantly for the staff.
Prior to the operational change, Westfield representatives
visited the different service offices to gather pain points from the
staff and determine what they would like to see from the planned
“We tried to gauge their awareness of the need for change
and then their desire to undergo change,” says Weaver.
Operating with a geographic model meant there was a lack
of consistency in how processes were performed at different
offices. With the new complexities of insurance, Weaver points
out the carrier felt it was important to focus on the functional
line of business.
“The lines of business we were writing and the expertise
for those lines has changed over the last decade,” says Bowers.
“That contributed to the need for changes in our processes, plus
the complexity within those lines of business.”
Tempesta acknowledges new technology platforms call for
better communications and training. Those remain important
factors, but within change management an additional priority
involves embedding a disciplined approach that drives how the
business engages with employees, customers, and stakeholders
to ensure the business users perform their tasks in a manner the
change management team perceives to be the correct way.
Process management is important for carriers using new
software solutions, but Mihaliak points out companies have different views on how to integrate process management discipline
into the change management program.
“In some places, carriers feel like that’s part of the change
management scope, but in other areas they have spun out lean
development groups or Six Sigma,” he says. “What’s important is
companies need to be sure they get a strong level of integration
within the program. I know that sounds obvious, but when you
are trying to compile skills to run a program it is a challenge.
You have to make sure you have experienced program leaders
familiar with all these disciplines so they can pull it together to
work more effectively.”
Tempesta adds that if an insurer undergoes an organiza-
tional change or plugs in a new technology system, the project
touches multiple areas and process management is just one of
“Whether that falls into the official change management
workspace, that’s fine, but you are going to touch processes
anytime you implement new technology and that needs to be
addressed,” he says.
Bowers reports there were two directions Westfield took
with process changes. The first involved the insurer’s overall strategy and how that strategy related to the new claims
“We spent significant time with our senior executives to
work through how we wanted the capabilities to be put in place
and the processes necessary to support them,” he says.
The second focus involved a process study that was com-
pleted before the new claims system was put in place to identify