Policy Works blog | Commercial lines bliss

New Software? Find a Champion

Written by Steve Pieroway | Apr 16, 2014 6:39:00 PM

Or Go-To person. Lead. Hero. Person-who-will-see-it-through-to-the-end.

Whatever you want to call them, if you are bringing new software into your brokerage, you need to find this one person internally to spearhead the implementation. 

Why? Because after helping hundreds of brokerages across Canada implement Policy Works, we can tell you that the most successful implementations have one person who is responsible for leading the process.

One of the first things we do when a new customer has signed up is help them determine their 'Policy Works Champion'. We chose the word champion because the staff member really is championing Policy Works inside their brokerage. And whether you are changing the workflow for two people or twenty, you need to have that enthusiastic leader who has a vision and believes in what the software will do.

What makes a good champion? 

Here are three characteristics that can help you determine who should champion your new software implementation.

1. Technical Knowledge i.e. Knows Commercial Insurance

Technical knowledge in your area of business is a must. In fact, it's a baseline requirement. For our customers, the best Champions know commercial insurance inside out. This is critical as one of the Champion's primary duties is to help bridge the gap between current workflows and the new software workflows. 

Without understanding the lifecycle of a policy, or the challenges of marketing a submission, the Champion will be less than effective in designing new workflows. And they'll be unable to call 'bull' on pushback from employees who are not willing, or ready, to change. 

2. Recognized Leader

Buy-in from staff who will be using new software is a must. We recommend that prior to purchasing software, principals and owners get staff buy-in to new software. If you get 100% buy-in across the board, great. You'd probably be the first. In reality, some staff will always have an initial reluctance to change.

Your Champion should posses formal and informal leadership qualities. They need to be able to motivate and guide co-workers as the implementation progresses. As well, this person needs the authority to 'lay down the law' if necessary. 

3. Emotionally Vested

Your Champion must believe in what you are trying to accomplish and that the software will help you reach those goals. If there is no emotional connection between your Champ and 'the cause', the implementation will likely falter. Having an emotionally vested staff member lead the implementation helps to ensure that the process will not stall. 

So regardless of what new software you are investing in, find the person who really sees a need for change, and recruit them. You'll be glad you did.