In “Bad Decision Family,” a classic sketch from the 16th season of Saturday Night Live, guest host Tom Hanks, playing the father of the family, joins his wife (Jan Hooks) and children (Julia Sweeney, Mike Myers) at the kitchen table for “leftover night.” Hanks has just retrieved milk from the refrigerator. Upon taking a seat, he drinks directly from the carton. “Oh! Oh, geez!” he cries out in disgust. “How old is that milk? It is really bad!” Hooks asks to see for herself, and reacts similarly after taking a sip. To a mixture of laughter and moans from the live audience, Sweeney and Myers eagerly follow suit. As the sketch continues, each member of the family takes turns joining in on bad decision after bad decision: sniffing a plate of bad fish, sitting on a sharp nail, and testing out a broken staircase to the basement, to name just a few.
The sketch works because it illustrates our tendency as human beings to willingly opt-in for experiences that are guaranteed to be less than optimal. This phenomenon holds true when it comes to the performance of risk management information system (RMIS) software and support.
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Deciding to implement a RMIS system or make a RMIS switch comes with a range of emotions. There’s the excitement of knowing something better is on the horizon. There’s the nervous energy that comes with major change. There may even be dread over the daunting task ahead. After all, you know your current RMIS—warts and all—and a new one takes some time to get used to. But the payoff from getting a new system that’s adaptable to your organization’s specific needs can’t be overstated.
Don’t let the fear of implementation stop you from making a change that will reap benefits for years to come. With a straightforward plan in place that plays to your organization’s strengths, you can slay the implementation dragon—and even enjoy yourself along the way. Such was the case for non-profit professional association New Mexico Counties (NMC), which teamed up with Origami Risk to complete a highly successful implementation.
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When insurance carriers undertake the process of upgrading critical IT systems, project timelines can drag on for years. Such a long project not only is disruptive and daunting, but also poses considerable risks. An analysis of a Gartner survey on the root cause of failed IT projects indicates, “[B]y ensuring that projects are kept small, and as a rule of thumb, not exceeding six months in duration, a much lower failure rate can be achieved.”
What contributes to longer implementations?
While every implementation faces a unique set of challenges, there are several common factors that can push out the go-live date.
A multi-vendor architecture, layered with isolated legacy systems and a patchwork approach to quick fixes, breeds a complex environment where any change may be difficult. The Cognizant white paper Reducing IT Complexity to Accelerate Digital Business notes, “IT complexity has become a critical imperative — requiring businesses to fundamentally rewire and simplify their IT estate.”
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How many members of your current RMIS vendor’s service team have come and gone over the course of your relationship? What about the number of service team leads who have guided support efforts on behalf of you and the other users of your RMIS software?
When you dial into a meeting and get introduced to yet another service team replacement, your RMIS provider is under-delivering.
Many business-to-business software providers place far too much emphasis on “software” and not enough on “service.” In terms of features and functionalities, the results of such an approach may be impressive. But the imbalance comes with a cost. Subpar support is always detrimental to client success.
The importance of consistent, knowledgeable RMIS technology support is difficult to overstate. Given the increasingly complex risks every business faces and the ever-expanding role risk managers play within their organizations, a platform implemented five or more years ago may struggle to keep pace with an organization’s changing needs. A revolving door of service team personnel who need to be brought up to speed on the unique aspects of a RMIS and the risk management program it was put into place to support compounds the problem.
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When it comes to describing the expertise of their employees, there’s very little difference in the way RMIS vendors present themselves. A quick review of provider websites proves it.
“…we strive to have the best talent in the industry on our team.”
“…an ideal blend of business knowledge and technology expertise.”
“…among the most experienced in the industry.”
“…unrivaled industry and technical knowledge…”
If every provider is equal in terms of service expertise, what explains results like these?
(Customer experience and NPS source: 2018 RMIS Report)
Are our competitors stretching the truth when claiming to have the most talented, experienced, and/or knowledgeable support team? Not exactly.
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This is the third part of a three-part series that we hope will prove helpful in the RMIS selection process. Part 1 explained how moving from spreadsheets to RMIS can be beneficial and included some suggestions for determining if the switch to a RMIS might be warranted. Part 2 provided tips on researching vendors, suggestions for including stakeholders in the buying process, and thoughts on the potential for a new RMIS to solve issues that commonly exist between risk management and other departments.
You’ve put in the research, evaluated RFPs, and interviewed vendors. After viewing demos and getting answers to questions, you’ve learned more about what makes each vendor’s technology and service unique. It seems that you’re finally closing in on selecting the RMIS that best fits the needs of your organization.
There is, of course, a lot of ground to be covered between now and the point at which the work of putting your system in place is begun. Yet it’s likely—based on first-hand experience or “horror stories” you’ve heard along the way—that you have your fair share of concerns related to implementation.
System implementation marks the transition from the known—however imperfect—to the unknown. Even the promise of moving to a RMIS that significantly improves the organization’s ability to manage risk, insurance, and claims data is not likely to make the change completely seamless. This is where selecting the right partner can make all the difference.
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This is the second part of a three-part series that we hope will prove helpful in the RMIS selection process. Part 1 explained how moving from spreadsheets to RMIS can be beneficial and included some suggestions for determining if the switch to a RMIS might be warranted. In Part 3, we’ll take a look at what many cite as a major concern or roadblock when considering the move to a RMIS–implementing a new system.
Whether you’ve decided that using spreadsheets to collect, analyze, and report on risk, claims, and insurance data no longer works for your organization or you’re faced with the need to replace an existing RMIS system, choosing the right RMIS takes research and careful consideration.
The suggestions that follow are intended to help you find a solution that meets your current needs and is ready for the new challenges that will emerge as your business grows.
Who else needs to be involved?
Many organizations have internal policies and procedures in place for procurement that require the involvement of stakeholders across several departments. Some initial investigation on this front can help to prevent delays down the line. Examples include the following: … read more