In the eighteen months prior to the launch of the Performance Excellence Deployment activity, the department experienced a substantial increase in new membership applications, coupled with the implementation of a new IT system that doubled application processing time and the loss of many experienced operatives.
As the process of registering an application is both highly complex and manual, these changes had a profound impact on performance, leaving the department under extreme delivery pressures:
"We were dealing with a service which was not stable. We were constantly firefighting to reduce the service level, without fully understanding how the existing process was working on our new CRM platform, and how our agents were performing."
Over a 12 week period, the organisation, together with PMI, was able to achieve outstanding performance improvement, with results that transformed their responsiveness to customers and established systems to manage ongoing performance.
The Management Team’s first focus area was the workflow management process. Traditionally, new applications were placed in a queue and then pulled one at a time by operatives in date order. Based upon the assessment of both process failure risks and operator competency levels, together with the management team we agreed to make two changes as a priority:
Having adopted a mindset of PDSA – Plan, Do, Study, Act – early in the study phase, a quick and more accurate way of assigning work in the new system was identified. This had a positive impact in reducing response times even further.
The next focus area was developing operator competence. The analysis work carried out was formalised in a competency matrix, which is now regularly reviewed as a key input to the department’s training and development plan.
The existing quality assurance system, designed to assess every aspect of application process from start to finish, was labour-intensive and generated little data. It was therefore modified into a range of narrowly scoped process confirmations, which are quick to complete, and focused on priority process risks.
Now that the process confirmations are carried out regularly, the data generated has become a dynamic input to the competency matrix as well as the IT system improvement plan.
Finally, we looked at the way performance is monitored:
“When we began this journey, we were dealing with a service which was not stable. We were constantly firefighting to reduce the service level, without fully understanding how the existing process was working on our new CRM platform and how our agents were performing.”
“Valuable data we collected during the deployment allowed us to understand some of the challenges and failures for us as a business, and for the customer. This allowed us to streamline a new process and provide guidance to agents dealing with these applications daily. Although this was a lot of hard work and man-hours for the team, it really did uncover things that we may not have considered before and identified new ways of working.”
“We’re now in a position where we’re reaping the benefits of turning our applications around within the service level and looking at our pending applications more timely. We can now provide a more robust quality assurance which lets us know as a business where we need to improve, and also enables us to better performance manage our team.”
Over the last 35 years we have built our business by delivering results for our clients. All executed by our team of true performance improvement experts, who have held senior roles in industry, sat where you are, and understand the real-world challenges of running a business. This lets us apply pragmatic solutions to your problems, not just the ‘out of the box’ approach taught in a training course.
Our team get stuck in. We roll our sleeves up and work with you to deliver your performance improvement goals. Contact us today and take the first step towards transforming your goals into results.
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