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Mar 18, 2015

IT Project Management Gains Critical Importance for Insurers (Part 4 of 4)

2015_02_25_IT_project_managementby Ara C. Trembly

Last week... you read about possible pitfalls for insurers related to project management. This week... find out what project management for insurance will look like over the next several years.

Looking Forward 
What will project management for insurance look like over the next several years? "The industry will continue to increase its acceptance of agile as a base methodology for both IT and non-IT projects," says Jim Strebler, Principal Consultant at the Nolan Company. "The industry will also adopt hybrid approaches, incorporating the best of both the traditional and the agile methodologies. Maturity in PMOs and in the organization overall will lead to better, more reliable outcomes for major projects. Tools will evolve, but it's the people and skillsets that are the most impactful on a project's outcome." 

"The evolution of project management will match that of insurance workforces," states Samuel Stuckal, CEB TowerGroup Research Director. "In the past, insurers expanded to a global resource model through outsourcing and project managers need to take into account time and cultural differences. But this has usually been a 'home office/offshore' coordination challenge." 

"Now insurance knowledge workers are moving into more of a virtual company environment with many working remotely," he notes. "This may be the next big challenge for project managers. The ability to cull and coordinate work activities for resources on the same team but in different locations and with different work schedules will be critical for success. In some ways this will look like multiple 'home offices' from a work management perspective."

Benton predicts that the industry will not only see improvement in technology of the solutions, but increasing competence in managing these projects, both by vendors and carriers. "Modern insurance systems have improved technology stacks, better tools for configuration and integration, and in some cases faster implementation through cloud/hosted delivery models. These all contribute to reductions in project risk and more standardization around implementing a particular solution. As vendors continue to gain experience with implementation, project management will evolve to focus on more rapid delivery and knowledge transfer to allow carriers to better configure and maintain the systems." 

Ara C. Trembly is the founder of Ara Trembly-The Tech Consultant (www.aratremblytechnology.com), a writing, consulting and advisory practice focusing on technology for the insurance industry. He is also the author of The Rogue Guru Blog (www.aratremblytechnology.com/blog).