How We Helped a National Insurer Modernize their Commercial Policy System and Maintain Market Leadership
To maintain their position as a market leader in Agent Automation and improve their service level capabilities, a national insurer was looking to fully automate their Commercial Lines business process flows. Given the strategic nature of the project, the insurer needed external help to accelerate the improvements.
Simple staff augmentation was insufficient, so they sought a partner that brought the necessary insurance and technical experience, and also shared the company’s core values.
This combined team would need to include project managers, iteration managers, web developers, mainframe developers, business analysts and quality analysts. It also required an agile approach.
Enter Centric: An Agile Approach to Solve Need for Agent Automation
The project started over seven years ago with 13 consultants and has varied in size from the initial numbers to over 25 consultants at its peak. The client looked to Centric Consulting’s Columbus office to help them:
- Establish a program that would scale to multiple teams to accelerate development
- Establish agile practices to support providing accelerated business value
- Recruit and lead new development teams
- Define Program/Project Management processes to manage a scaled agile approach supporting multiple teams
- Establish architectural standards and governance
- Define requirements and testing strategies, incorporating industry best practices into client’s existing processes
The Results: A Better, More Capable Agile Team
Together with the client, we have:
- Helped grow the client’s delivery capabilities from two agile teams staffed with 25 resources to a high water mark of eight agile teams with over 60 combined Centric and client resources.
- Defined and guided the client in the definition of program and corporate standards in agile that have allowed for consistency across the organization.
- Provided consulting resources to meet varying client demands and assisted in interviewing and acquiring new resources for the client.
- Introduced SAFe and grew its adoption, allowing for multiple development teams to work from a shared backlog to deliver software in a predictable, controlled manner.
- Pioneered architectural standards and techniques, like the introduction of a Commercial Lines API. This allowed for better and more complete test coverage and the elimination of costly end-to-end functional tests.
- Integrated the client’s business analysis and testing capabilities into the development teams, allowing for improved integration between the disciplines on the team.
Next Step: Delivery of a Commercial Lines Quoting System
All of this led to the delivery of a web-based commercial policy quoting and servicing application, allowing agents of the insurer to quote and upload new business in eleven states.
This application was delivered iteratively, one Commercial Lines of Business at a time, using the innovations that we implemented to refine the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) at the insurer.
- Made it possible for agents to provide full services across multiple commercial insurance lines of business. Previously everything but the quote needed to be handled through an in-house representative.
- Implemented a quoting capability on the server, allowing the insurer to move away from mainframe dependency in the rating process.
- Consistently applied a modern user experience across commercial and personal product lines, providing the agent with a consistent user experience.
- Created a robust change management process that reduced risk and increased productivity by allowing the highest priority features to be completed first, which resulted in a faster realization of business value.
- Streamlined quoting and application entry processes by more logically grouping policy information.
- Achieved a Columbus Technology Innovation award nomination for Application and SDLC implementation project.
- Demonstrated the application of agile methodologies at scale, supporting multiple concurrent software development teams
- Implemented a test automation strategy to provide timely feedback on system stability and shorten the regression test cycle. This allowed for quicker and more frequent deployment of code.
More Results: Policy, Premium, and Profit Growth
Commercial agents are now able to quote and upload applications in real-time. Bound policies have increased 340 percent since the initial release of the application, allowing a premium increase of $3.5 million with the delivery of the first two lines of business.
Similar gains have been realized with each subsequent release. We are now a trusted partner and primary vendor at the client as we continue our work with them into the future.