Evaluating Alternatives to Meet Deployment Timeframes for a New Claims Management System

Situation:

project schedule timeline

A major international insurance company was deploying a new system for managing Workers Compensation claims by 1,700 employees in 31 regional offices in the United States. The training and deployment plan included classroom training with “walk around” support from trainers during the training and several days after training concluded.

The training component was comprised of ten modules targeted toward specific job functions. Each job function needed one or more of the ten modules to complete their training. Over 2,700 manhours of training and post-training support needed to be delivered. Workers Compensation management requested the rollout be completed within a two month timeframe.

The company had eight internal trainers available who were fully qualified to deliver the training for this line of business. The initial plan was to utilize internal trainers and have them train offices geographically closest to them. They would be supplemented by eleven contract trainers. However, a team of nineteen trainers extended the implementation rollout schedule to over five months and increased costs due to the extensive travel required. Other options included using other internal trainers without workers compensation experience by providing them with a train-the-trainer program to bring them up to speed on the new system and the business. This was not feasible because it would pull those trainers away from supporting other business functions for an extended period of time.

The requested two month rollout timeframe was the major constraint. Three of the sites each required eight or more weeks onsite training time. The next eleven largest sites each required six to seven weeks onsite training time. The two month rollout schedule could only be met by using twenty-one concurrent training teams. This was not acceptable to the project team due to resources constraints to support installation.

Action Plan:

  • Analyzed impact of using additional geographically dispersed contract trainers to reduce travel costs and delivery time. Tradeoffs included reduced travel expenses against costs of training contract trainers.
  • Additional analysis of the number of contract trainers to utilize. Closer positioning to local offices reduced travel costs but some engagements would be extremely short and there was little opportunity to leverage the train-the-trainer investment in the future.
  • Engaged national training company to provide 37 classroom trainers with experience training Microsoft Windows applications and proprietary business applications. Trainer resumes were reviewed and telephone interviews conducted to finalize selections.
  • Developed a 11 day train-the-trainer course to provide contract trainers with baseline knowledge of insurance, workers compensations claims, company specific software applications and workflow, and training and practice with the new workers compensation claims processing system.
  • Conducted two eleven day train-the-trainer sessions for contract trainers that included classroom training, periodic comprehensive assessments, and mock training sessions.
  • Revised schedule with new trainer locations and coverage assignments.

Results:

The Workers Compensation system was successfully deployed in fifteen weeks using in-house and contract trainers. All trainers received high post-training evaluation ratings.

Two additional contract trainers were added to the train-the-trainer to serve as backups in the event of an emergency. All trainers were assigned sites for training with two spare trainers always available to fill in.

Although total deployment time was longer than requested, approximately $300,000 of deployments costs were saved through the reduction of travel expenses. Subsequent cost savings was realized as contract trainers were utilized after the rollout for follow-up and new hire training.