How Progressive Bounced Back from a Rocky Implementation
The story of Progressive Casualty Insurance’s implementation of ARCHIBUS is one of learning from challenges to achieve great success. When the company first adopted ARCHIBUS, the attempt wasn’t able to fully meet the customer’s needs due to a lack of customization, communication, and stakeholder involvement. However, the team at the Real Estate Department closely examined what had made the first project fail and used the lessons they learned to, subsequently, drive a stunningly successful implementation.
The First Attempt Misses the Mark
Before implementing ARCHIBUS, Progressive Casualty used various internal systems to track building operations and accommodate work groups in the real estate organization. Employee moves, meanwhile, were managed on a third party platform. Progressive’s Real Estate Department decided that the company would benefit from a unified approach to building operations and turned to ARCHIBUS to supply this solution.
The first project took a “one-size-fits-all” approach that didn’t initially meet the organization’s needs and created several hurdles that would need to be improved upon going forward. The initial project was also inhibited by a lack of communication and mistimed communication during implementation. For example, the staff was trained before the rollout to support the implementation but, by the time the project went live, they had forgotten what they learned, or were not as involved in the project. Additionally, due to project delays and deadlines, reporting options were not addressed that could save time and resources.
As a result of these issues, the project did not meet key deadlines and the solution it provided was incomplete and did not match the company’s needs. Because of these issues, key stakeholders within the company found their old methods easier to understand and use than the new solution provided by ARCHIBUS.
Doing It Right The Second Time Around
In 2015, it was time to update the ARCHIBUS solution, and Progressive’s Real Estate Department was determined to lead the project to a success. The team very actively engaged stakeholders from throughout the company to figure out what had gone wrong and ensure that everyone’s concerns would be adequately addressed this time. Though difficult, this exercise made project stakeholders feel valued and invested in the project, and the implementation began with clear goals.
Where the first project had been based on a “onesize-fits-all” approach, the second project instead emphasized flexibility to ensure stakeholders remained involved and invested, and that the ultimate solution addressed the company’s building operation needs. To solve the communications challenges experienced in the first project, the real estate team held consistent check-ins throughout deployment, relied on demonstrations to show, rather than tell, how processes needed to change and could be improved, presented options to avoid rejection and facilitate productive communication, and worked hard to understand different communications methods.
Another cornerstone of the update project was collaboration. The team met with all groups and all levels within the company to involve everyone who would be affected by the project. They gathered and documented everyone’s ideas to help prioritize needs, and shared ideas between all teams in the company. They documented system enhancement ideas to review with the stakeholders, IT, and the vendor to ensure a responsive solution. Also, they customized the out-of-box reports to make sure that all necessary fields were included.
The team also took a creative approach to training that resolved both the timing challenges of the first implementation and the geographical challenges of a nationwide company. They first trained individuals from every office in centralized locations to create local experts at each site. They then trained the rest of the staff remotely, relying on the local experts to reinforce the training. Finally, they created a help site with quick hit job aids to ease the help process.
By thoroughly and honestly examining what had gone wrong in the first project, Progressive Casualty Insurance achieved phenomenal success with the update project, which was on time and on budget. The real estate team has received unsolicited positive feedback from people throughout the company and the systems they put in place are used. The facilities staff are independently investigating other application modules. The solutions’ results also speak for themselves, as the team now tracks 70,000 tickets annually, up from 15,000, while they reduced the number of SLAs from 100,000 to 2,000. The success of the project has stakeholders starting to ask questions to see where they might want to go next.