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Abstract:
Enterprise Automation: the Next Phase of Data & Reporting Transformation

In a previous case, we helped this client revamp their Medical Cost reporting process for 400+ innovation and improvement projects. Their workflow became standardized, consistent, and executed by trained staff. This case study highlights the next phase in their lean process transformation where we designed and built a custom tool that automated data capture, management, and reporting, as well as built ad hoc, real-time reports.

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The Challenge:
Onerous and Manual Reporting Requires Two Weeks Each Month

While the reporting process was addressed in the first case, this healthcare client was now ready to work on the next level of efficiency, including upgrading their software tools, automating laborious and manual tasks, and eliminating wasteful activities from their workflow.

Report data was stored in spreadsheet files with limited and manual capabilities. For a reporting group with this number of projects under management, the volume of data created a significant risk to progressive success. The client needed a tool to improve overall efficiency.

Creating an Agile Performance Process for 400+ Innovation and Improvement Projects Read Case Study
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The Solution:
Bringing Together Design, Lean-Agile & Enterprise Automation for Fast Results

Because of the previous work, our team was already intimately knowledgeable about their business. However, we needed to understand the needs of stakeholders from within and outside of the Medical Cost team to ensure we met the real-world requirements of users and those dependent on the system. We pulled from three of our disciplines for this project, including Design Thinking, Lean-Agile, and Intelligent Automation.

When combined, we could best uncover the required UI and functionality and work iteratively, improving the process as we built the tool. Every assumption was revisited and questioned for need, which helped ensure that the final deliverable was fully refined and taking all stakeholders into account.

Additionally, our approach revealed areas of highest value and made adoption very easy because the solution met their needs, solved inefficiencies, and delivered unexpected benefits for their value stream.

It also meant that several features weren’t developed from the original plan because the value for those was low. Other features, not a part of the initial future-state, were discovered and prioritized as higher-value. An iterative and highly purposeful collaboration utilizing design thinking sessions was well worth the time invested.

We created a custom tool that achieves three goals — facilitates the capture of data points, manages that data, and automates reporting with the flexibility to build ad hoc reports.

One further and unexpected benefit was that their thinking around performance analytics and the insights they could derive influenced higher-level business decisions. They requested that we build additional self-service dashboards that took advantage of the real-time, automated data resources this automation project made available.

“Their ability to work with our team in an Agile way and incorporate Lean principles plus design thinking was a fresh approach that yielded pragmatic options. They not only automated all the cumbersome parts of our process, but they delivered extra value that we hadn’t even baked into the plan. That’s what we like to see from our consulting partners.”

Adam Rathfon, Manager Medical Economics
Highmark, Inc.
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The Results:
Two Weeks Saved per Month Plus Unexpected Data & Process Benefits

As a result of this project, ~80 percent of their reports were automated. This feat was achieved in just 16 weeks, which was possible because it was focused, fast, high-value, and capitalized on Lean-Agile methodologies.

Each month, the team now saves two weeks of effort in reporting tasks alone. Those two weeks were the sheer cycle time to create all 20 reports manually, including validation and any required rework. Beyond time savings and greater efficiency, the team gained greater timeliness. Now, any user — from leaders to administrators to business partners — can see dashboards and data refreshed daily.

Today, their end-to-end process has the highest levels of efficiency, adoption, and quality, delivering visibility and transparency the team needs to manage all of their innovation and improvement initiatives.

Accelerate Transformation with Enterprise Automation

Every organization needs to pick up the pace of innovation. This client’s success highlights how perfecting a process, and then automating for accuracy and efficiency, transforms the entire team. Move faster and with greater reliability, transparency, and confidence.

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