Managing Complex Environments - Vanguard ??Managing Complex Environments ... How Consumers Are Changing and How It Affects Your Business

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  • ManagingComplexEnvironments

    HowtodeliverfasteratlowercostA s p e c i a l r e p o r t f o r e x e c u t i v e s w h o w a n t

    i m p r o v e d p e r f o r m a n c e i n c a s e w o r k s y s t e m s

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    ContentsHowConsumersAreChangingandHowItAffectsYourBusiness......................................................2

    IdentifyingCaseworkOrganisations...................................................................................................2

    WhatGoesWrong...............................................................................................................................4

    Multitasking....................................................................................................................................4

    FunctionalDesignMakesLifeWorsefortheCustomerandtheWorker.......................................5

    ServiceLevelAgreementsThatDotheExactOppositeofWhatTheyPromise.............................6

    WhattoDoDifferently:.....................................................................................................................10

    ChallengeOldAssumptions..........................................................................................................10

    NewAssumptions:........................................................................................................................10

    Conclusion.........................................................................................................................................15

    MoreHelpandInformation..............................................................................................................15

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    HowtoDeliveraFasterResponsetoCustomersataLowerCostinComplexEnvironments

    HowConsumersAreChangingandHowItAffectsYourBusinessWhenouryoungestsonMatthewwas4hewantedaWayneRooneyfootballcard.HewassittingintheloungecrossleggedinfrontoftheTVwhenanadvertisementforAmazonairedextollingthevirtuesoftheirfastdelivery.HeturnedtohismumandsaidCanwegoonAmazonandgetthatfootballcard?sheagreedandsittingatthediningroomtabletheyorderedthecard.Matthewwatchedtheprocesswithaweandthenoncetheorderhadbeenconfirmedhejumpedoffhismumskneeandrushedtotheletterbox.Wefoundhimwithonehandintheboxpeeringthroughtotheoutside.Whatareyoudoing?Iasked,Waitingonmycardhereplied,ThemanontheTVsaidIdgetitinstantly.

    Weliveinanagewithexpectationsofinstantgratification.Younolongerneedtogotoabookshoptogetabookorarecordstoreformusic,justorderitonlineandyouhaveit30secondslater.Themarketvaluesspeed,anditsalsooneofthekeystocustomerloyalty.

    Loyaltyisimportantbecause,accordingtoresearchcommissionedbyXerox,loyalcustomersbuymore(uptosixtimesmore)andcostless,becausetheycomplainless.Butwhilstservicespeedisonepartoftheloyaltyequationthereareanothertwopartsyoushouldbeawareof.Thefirstisofcoursevaluecreation(thisistheendresultofproductandwhetheritdeliversagainstcustomerpreferences).And,accordingtothecustomerresearchcouncilinNewYork,theotherkeytocreatingloyaltyisthroughcreatinglowcustomereffort,meaningmakingiteasyforthecustomer,easytobuy,easytouse,easytodowhatevertheywantreally.

    IdentifyingCaseworkOrganisationsSomeservicesarefairlyeasytodesignsothatthecustomergetswhattheywant.Bookingatheatreticket,arrangingaholiday,evengettingmedicaladviceonlineisnowroutinelyhandledinonestoptransactions.Butnotallservicesareeasytochange,especiallyifitsmorespeedthatsrequired.

    Oneofthemostcomplextypesofservicetochange,andunderstand,iswhatIvenamedtheCaseworkEnvironment.Thistypeofenvironmenthasthefollowingcharacteristics:

    Therearetypicallymultiplepeopleinvolvedinthedeliveryoftheendproduct Thecustomerusuallybearsaheavyburdenintermsofinformationprovision Thereareusuallythirdpartiessuchasotheragenciesorsubcontractorsinvolvedinthe

    servicedeliveryAndtherearethreebigpatternstolookoutfor:

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    1. Typicallymultipleinteractionsarerequiredfromthefrontlinememberofstafftogetthejobdone.

    InsystemslikehealthinsuranceclaimsforexamplewevewatchedtheclaimsassessororadministratorhavetorepeatedlyinteractwithaGPorconsultantandthecustomeroveranumberofweeksinordertogettheinformationrequiredtosettleaclaim.

    Inhousingvoidsthehousingadministratorwillbeworkingwithmultipleclientstofindtherightmatchforthepropertyandliaisingwithacontractorandhousingmanagertoensurethatalltheworksrequiredtobringthepropertyuptoscratcharecompleted.

    2. Thisisnotaprocessthatcanusuallybecompletedquickly,atleastbytraditionalmeans.

    Workingwithlocalauthorityplanningdepartmentsforexamplewefoundthatdespiteobviousdifferencesinruralandurbanplanningdepartments,therealtimetakentomakeadecisiononaplanningrequestwasstillaroundthesameaverageof60days.

    3. Normallysomesortofworkflowsystemisusedtopushworkatfrontlinestafftomaintain

    maximumproductivitylevels.Thusthissystemtypicallymakeslifechallengingforcustomers,difficultforfrontlinestaffandhasatypicallyslowdeliverywithhighcosts.IvebeeninterestedinthesesystemsforsometimeandIveanalysedtheminaround40indifferentbusinesses.Theycanbedifficulttostudyandchallengingtofixbuttheresultsareworthit.Ifyoumanageoneofthesesystemsandyouhaveaninterestinmakingachangeforthebetterthekeyisfirsttounderstandtheassumptionsaroundwhichtheyarebuilt,thenwiththeapplicationofdifferentthinkingyoucantransformlifeforyourcustomers,yourstaffandevenyourself!Youmaynothavethoughtofyourselfasworkinginormanagingacaseworkorganisation,mosthavent,butifyoudoandyourecognisethecharacteristicsitwillgiveyouastartingpointforfastchange.Thinkofitlikehavingacquiredanewandexoticpetthatgotill.Ifyoutookittothevetthefirstthingtheywoulddowouldbetoidentifywhatcategoryofanimalitbelongedtobeforestartingoutonaspecificdiagnosis.Thatswhatweredoinghere,startingoutwithacategoryorsectorwithcommonDNA(andcommonailments).BelowIveprovidedsomeexamplesofenvironmentswherecaseworksolutionswillapply:

    Housingallocationsandvoids Insuranceclaims Mortgagefulfilment Legalwork Publicsectorplanning Socialworksystems Publicsectorenvironmentalhealth Installationprogrammes Estatesettlement Pensionclaims

    WhilstImsuretherearemore,thesearetheoneswithwhichIvehadpersonalexperience.Anddontletlowvolumelullyouintoafalsesenseofsecurity,insomecases,likehousingvoids,theremayonlybeafewhundredlivecasesbeingworkedatanytime.Iveseenotherexampleswherelargeworkflowsystemswerebeingusedtomanageupto12,000casesatatime(moreonthislater).Theyrestillcaseworksystems.

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    WhatGoesWrong

    Takethisexampleofwherethetraditionalissuesofcaseworksystemscanleadpoorserviceandhugedelaysinalocalauthorityservicedeliveringhomeadaptationsfortheelderlyordisabled.Asyoucanseefromthegraphbelow(theheightofthelinerepresentsthetimetakentocomplete)theunfortunatecustomersofthissystemwouldregularlyhavetowaitaround23yearstogettheiradaptation.

    Figure1:TimeTakenPerCasetoDeliverHomeAdaptations

    Thiswasdespitethecouncilputtinginmorestaffandgettingadditionalagencies(atmorecost)involvedintheprocess.Suchresponsestotheseissuesarecommonbutaretheorganisationalequivalentofrepaintingyourcarandaddingaspoiler,itmaymakeitlookbetterbutunderthehoodtheenginestillworksasbadly.BychallengingsomeoftheassumptionsthatgovernthissystemandusingsomeofthemethodsImbrieflydescribinginthispaper,wehelpedthemdevelopasystemthatdeliveredadaptationsforcustomersinanaverageof49daysfromrequesttocompletion.Itishardtolookatthefamiliarwithfresheyes,soletstryandgettheclarityofanoutsideperspective.MultitaskingInatypicaldayJames,whomanagesclaimsforaninsuranceprovider,willstartworkataround8.30am.Histasksforthedaywillhavebeendecidedforhim,hellgetabatchofworkofaround3040tasks,buthellhaveaccesstoanumberofdifferentworkqueues.Whenitsbusyhemayhaveaccesstothousandsoftasks.Dependingonthesizeoftheworkinprogressi.e.thenumberofitemsinthequeues,hisworkprioritiesmayshift.Hemaybeinstructedatcertaintimestoworktheeasycasesinordertotacklevolumeandatothertimeshemaybeshiftedontothemoredifficultcasessimplybecausetheyll

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    nowhavebeenhavebeenlyingthereforalongtime.(ThisisalsohowitworksinmostofthehousingvoidsandplanningsystemsIvestudiedovertheyears.)Andthereareotherfactorswhichwillshifttheworkpriorities.Ifthereisatargettimeappliedthenthosethatarestillwithintargetmaybeputtothefrontofthequeue.Thosethathavemissedthetargetorservicelevelagreementcanbeleftasideindefinitely.Then,justtoturntheheatupalittlemore,Jamesmighthavetostopwhathesdoingbecauseofacomplaintthathascomethroughaseniorexecutiveorfromashouttheloudestclient.Thinkofitlikethis;imagineyouhavegianttodolistonyourdesk.Letssayithasover100itemsonit.Isitnotpossiblethatyou,asahumanbeing,mightbetemptedtopickouttheeasyonesinordertomakeitlooklikeyoudmakegreatprogressthatmorning?Andthenimaginethatasyoureworkingthroughthoseyourbosskeepspoppingtheirheadthroughthedoortoaskyoutostopdoingthatandstartdoingthis.Sothosecasesarelefthalfwayandothersstarted.Canyouseehowbytheendofthedayyoumighthavestartedlotsofbitsofwork,butmanagedverylittleinthewayofgettingcasesclosed?Thisisoneofthereasonswhygiantworkflowsystemsoftenhavethousandsoftasksinworkinprogressandsuspensionqueues,andasaresultnothinggetsclosed.Whatshappeningismultitaskingonagiantscale.Thepopularpressrunarticlestellinguswomenarebetteraremultitaskingthanmen.Mywifehasadifferentview,sheclaimsitsnotthatshesbetteratdoingmorethingsatonceshesjustbetteratdoingmorethingsthanmefullstop!WhilstshesprobablyrightonthelatterpointImafraidthepressarewrongontheformer.AndthoughImmakinglightofthesubjecttheresaveryseriousnegativesidetomultitasking.Theresearch,whichstartedasfarbackasthe1960s,claimsthreemainproblems:

    Thefirstisthatratherthanspeedingupthroughput,multitaskingactuallyslowsdownthespeedatwhichclientsareserved

    Itprovidestheillusionofproductivitybutinallcaseswevestudiedactuallyachievesless

    Frontlineworkerstressgoesthroughtheroof

    Thesecondcauseoftheproblemsinthecaseworkworksystemisrelatedtoprocessdesign,inthewaythattheprocessisbrokenupbe