Problem to Solve
A rapidly increasing stream of ad hoc internal project requests related to COVID-19 threatened to swamp the digital team of a major health insurer. These time-sensitive requests ranged from posting COVID-19 protection recommendations to steering patients to useful online and tele-health resources.
The digital team was relying on ineffective job intake and handling practices. New requests would come to a variety of different personnel and projects were “tracked” via email and spreadsheets. With new COVID-19 related requests pouring into the digital team, the team’s job handling practices quickly proved inadequate.
The digital team needed a fresh approach for triaging, developing and reporting on new project requests related to COVID-19. Freed Associates (Freed) was tasked with identifying and resolving this issue within two weeks, to allow the digital team to focus on meeting its internal clients’ needs.
Strategy and Tactics
Freed instituted and managed a centralized tracking system for handling incoming project requests, offering an agile, simplified intake process and real-time project progress information. Featuring a Kanban board to handle and display all new and in-flight projects, the tracking system ensures a project’s requester and recipient are aligned on the project’s nature and timing status. The system also allows team members, in daily triage meetings, to swiftly review all new requests, assign job tasks and track active requests.
The prior jumble of incoming requests to the digital team was quickly resolved through the team’s use of the new project tracking system and related work processes. Team members particularly appreciated being able to see in real-time the status of any project, enabling them to more readily inform project requesters of each job’s status.
Results and Conclusion
Within two weeks, the digital team significantly improved its operational efficiency and effectiveness using the new project tracking system. This change also enhanced the digital team’s professional reputation with its internal clients, who now have greater confidence in the team’s ability to quickly and correctly fulfill their requests.