February 1, 2022


The process that disappeared

Where in the procurement and implementation work do the processes disappear? Where and why does it go wrong?

Click here to read the Danish version of Thomas Troels Hildebrandt and Morten Marquard article published in ComplianceTech.

A larger Danish insurance company chooses to acquire a new core system to strengthen their business through better productivity and compliance. In recent years, costs have evolved so that you are no longer competitive.

Prior to the decision, the processes described in detail in flowcharts and Word documents have been analyzed. It is an extensive work that requires a lot of resources. It has been found that the existing solution does not enable process improvements, which can improve productivity and otherwise improve compliance.

The material is included in the requirements specification used for potential suppliers. The suppliers read and answer the requirements specification and subsequently the answers are reviewed with follow-up questions and answers. Finally, a negotiation phase follows, after which a contract is written with the chosen supplier.

Then the implementation project starts. It typically lasts a few years and requires a lot of resources. The result is a core system that unfortunately does not support the new and changed business processes that were central to the decision to acquire a new core system so that productivity could be improved.


Complex, expensive and does not support the processes

Well, the work can be done as described in the processes, but the system has no support at all of the process itself. It is solely left to the employees to follow the processes described. SOPs – standard operating procedures – or workflow instructions are made available to employees in PDF documents, where employees can read up on what to do in the individual process. It is difficult to navigate from the written process in PDF to the new system, which often has complex screens with hundreds of fields and buttons. Choosing the correct field or button for a process step is a hassle and often goes wrong.

After the implementation project, a change management project is therefore started . Now the employees must be trained to use the system and follow the processes that were originally planned. It often takes 1-2 years extra and again requires a lot of resources.

4-5 years and 1+ billion kroner later, the insurance company is in the situation that the new system does not support the employees and ensures that the business processes, which should ensure productivity, help the employees. Of course, the old system did not either, so that way it goes well, but it’s a shame money.

The truth is, unfortunately, that the systems do not support the processes at all. The business processes that were supposed to ensure productivity and compliance are only found in historical documents and the link to the new core system is unclear. This means that the expected productivity gain is absent. The new system only works with support wheels in the form of instructions in PDF.


The processes were gone: Where in the procurement and implementation work did they disappear?

It’s supposed to be so good, and then it’s actually bad.

Do we really have to accept billion-dollar projects that are many years in the making and that ultimately do not help us support the processes that are supposed to ensure productivity and compliance?

Where and why does it go wrong? What is your bid?