A health plan’s internal culture can make or break an implementation.
As a business consultant, I have worked on several different implementations throughout my career. Every internal culture is so vastly different from one project to the next.
My role requires me to ask the right questions to understand the company culture and quickly adapt to ensure a successful implementation. Whether a customer is switching to an entirely new system or performing an upgrade, the project will shift how the company operates to some degree.
When it comes to change, there will always be natural pushback, so it is an important step at the beginning of the project to understand why there may be hesitancy. Some clients are ecstatic; they’re ready for a better solution that will take care of the pain points they’re experiencing. On the other hand, some people are comfortable with their routine and not ready to change from the status quo.
In a recent Accenture Research global survey of business and IT leaders worldwide, 77% of executives said that their technology architecture is becoming critical to the organization’s overall success.
When it comes to significant initiatives to transform a health plan’s business, like a system migration, it requires buy-in from the executive level down to the teammates who will work on the new platform. Without buy-in and collaboration, the implementation process is always much more challenging.
I understand when plans are mindful of time and resources and say, for example, “I don’t think we need a technical person to join this part of the process.” However, if a project is understaffed from the onset, customers will spend more time and resources doing catch-up. Ramping down is always easier than ramping up mid-project. The entire process goes much smoother someone at the table can quickly solve an issue or answer a question to keep the project moving forward. Otherwise, clients will spend valuable time scrambling to find the right people and getting them up to speed.
The most successful projects I’ve worked on are those where the team includes expertise from all facets of the project. When health plans have everyone aligned―project managers, account executives, consultants, financial analysts, IT, etc.―from the beginning, they will achieve the best result.