Patrick Griffiths, V.P. Finance Special Projects at SIRVA Inc., looks “to use technology to bring greater value and efficiency to [SIRVA], and [policyIQ] has been key in that.”
I enjoyed a conversation with Patrick, recently, where he shared some of the secrets behind SIRVA’s successful launch and expansions of policyIQ and I want to pass them on to you!
Set your sites on automation
Look at the various processes that you touch on a regular basis. Do you find yourself, your team members or your stakeholders using email to hand-off documents for review and approval? Do you have multiple versions floating around your hard and shared network drives? Do you rely on email and the telephone to track down status or a progress updates? Do some processes simply stall or move at an unacceptable pace because something is resting on someone’s desk waiting until they return from vacation or from a remote audit location?
Consider what processes come to mind when you read these questions and then consider how great it will be when you streamline them.
Shift your thinking about who “owns” policyIQ
Some business units are very happy with their installation of policyIQ—they are moving through their processes efficiently, have greater access and integrity in their information. They can analyze data and make business decisions more readily since their implementation of policyIQ. So, why don’t they encourage other departments to jump in and add their content and manage their processes in policyIQ?
“Sure, it would be nice if other departments could taste this freedom, too, but we don’t have the resources to oversee the implementation and administration of their processes!”
You don’t have to take responsibility for the oversight of another department’s work, or even of the Setup for their work. It is possible to use the features of policyIQ to separate and share the ownership. They can manage it themselves!
Separate Development from Administration
You can follow the lead of Patrick and the Internal Audit team at SIRVA. They see Internal Audit as the ideal “promoter” of policyIQ. The team is one of the few in the business environment with access to observe processes throughout the business and to identify opportunities to automate manual processes, tasks and workflows.
Plus, by the nature of the Internal Audit department’s relationship to the business, they can’t own anything. They MUST hand off to the business. The Internal Audit team will support the various business units on what they call the development and implementation of policyIQ; beginning with assessing current state, investigating requirements, and creating a plan, then they will configure policyIQ, and support the training and roll-out process. Once the roll-out to end users is complete (sometimes it may be a phased roll-out) Internal Audit is then able to hand-off the day-to-day administration and maintenance to the business owners. This spreads out the administration of the site so that undue burden is not laid in the lap of an unrelated group.
Give significant thought and attention to change management
Another benefit of separating the development and implementation side of the work from the administration and maintenance side is better change management. Welcoming the business owners to oversee their own processes fosters buy in. It promotes the likelihood for success because the business owners truly “own” their policyIQ work. They have a vested interest in managing it well and in making improvements, as needed.
Another thought that Patrick shared with regard to change management is to phase in your implementations. You don’t have to automate the entire process in the first go-round. Look to automate components of the workflow first. Select some key data points that are critical for decision making and track those in policyIQ. It’s okay to slow down the pace of implementation by continuing to gather some signatures outside of policyIQ or to still complete some hard-copy forms and scan them into the system.
Realizing small efficiency gains by focusing on one area at a time or by making specific bits of information centrally accessible can go a long way to winning the favor of those served by the implementation—and it can win you some ambassadors who will carry the torch for you to relative teams when it comes time to bring them on board.
This was a great lesson for me. While it makes perfect, logical sense, I tend to be a “let’s try to save the world in a day” kind of person. Great points, Patrick! I’m grateful to him for sharing and I hope that his experience—and SIRVA’s success—serve you, too!