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The Client

A national insurance company chartered to leverage market opportunities its health care insurance owner cannot directly exploit.

The Business Need

The client had sought to launch certain new products delivering insurance add-on and upsell opportunities to its broker network. While there was consensus that this was an attractive opportunity, they also realized that the offerings were different enough from their core offerings that they needed to test the market and respond quickly to market feedback.

While the client believed that it understood the market challenge, it had struggled to act. Its business was organized in traditional insurance department silos, each responding to different priorities in underwriting, compliance, business development and IT. Each of these had historically different metrics.  Most were used to working in a methodical, slow-moving, paper-based system not attuned to responding quickly to market feedback.

Why Did This Need Exist?

Rapid change in the insurance industry initiated a change for the client. Historically, insurance product approval is a time-consuming, state-by-state process full of technical language and defensive legal concerns. Policy applications were developed as paper forms full of disclaimers and legal language. The language was typically a long-winded disclaimer, not ideal for optimizing conversions. In some states, a broker of record had been required to sign the paper form, implying the broker would be physically present with the customer as the form was completed. In an Internet-based world, that assumption does not hold. The need to develop a strategy tuned for online customers had not yet been recognized.

Geneca Helped its Client

The client contacted Geneca after concluding it needed experienced outside help to break through internal obstacles to coordinated action.

The project was to launch in nine initial states in which client brokers had signed on to test the new offering. The first iteration would deliver the first state – the one that was the most complex. The thought here was to address the highest risk issues first. The second phase would deliver three additional states, and a final iteration would deliver the balance.

Geneca recommend an approach focusing on the three principles:

  1. Guide the client to envision version 1 as a minimum viable product (mvp). Because there was consensus that ongoing refinement would be key to success, Geneca recommend an approach that would keep complexity to a minimum at the start. This also would minimize the initial investment and quickly generate market feedback that would guide additional investment to where it would be most effective.
  2. Enlist Geneca to run the project. Geneca facilitated requirements and drove the program to a market launch within three months of project start. Having an experienced third party in charge helped to address the challenges of intra-department conflicting priorities and maximize the clarity of project ownership. Combined with strong program sponsorship with the client’s VP Marketing, this created a clear project leadership team that would give the best chances for a timely launch.
  3. Build the product. From initial kick-off to launch, the project spanned less than 90 days. Geneca facilitated initial requirements sessions. Three developers and a BA/PM sprinted to have an alpha version of the project on its feet in the first three weeks, including the initial workflow, wireframes and artwork to elicit feedback from the stakeholders. These revealed issues early in the project that may not have otherwise been discovered until when they would have been much more expensive to fix.
  4. Crucial was teaching the client to learn to work as a cross-disciplinary team. Meet as a group with representatives from all the involved departments that would contribute requirements, acceptance criteria and whose support was crucial to the engagement’s success.

The Results

By keeping complexity to a minimum to get to market as quickly as possible, the client identified and resolved unexpected obstacles early in the project. By pulling together a cross-disciplinary team, that team learned how to work together and improve its rhythm to support the demands of quickly building a minimum viable version of a new insurance project. While there were learnings along the way – including major unexpected hurdles – the client team led by Geneca delivered its MVP to the market in three short months from project kickoff.

The success of this initiative has enable the client to envision building other future innovative projects and effectively grasp the timeframe and investment needed to get to market effectively.

Why it’s Cool

Starting from an uncoordinated group of individuals, the client has learned to run as a fast-moving team, pursuing new digital opportunities at the forefront of their industry.