Decommissioning of the Central Processing System and Migration to an In-House Claim Management Solution
9 December, 2021
The central company system was based on an external vendor product. Therefore, our further growth was limited by its existing features and non-functional characteristics. The system was dedicated to processing service requests; we used it to process our customer claims. There were issues coming from this approach. One of them was that in our case, the communication schema with the customer and other engaged parties had to be different from the solution creators primarily planned. This introduced an additional level of potential problems in such crucial areas as communication – this could not be accepted.
The company started to implement its solution a long time ago. But as usual, the more features we added, the bigger the needs were; therefore, business was constantly surprising us with new feature requests that were "necessary" to decommission the old solution and entirely switch to the in-house one.
Additionally, the priority of the new system was never higher than other initiatives – there always were the more important things to do.
We set a non-negotiable deadline by making an internal decision that we will not prolong our current contract with the vendor. Therefore, the internal message for the team and all other employees was clear – there is no other option than to finish the roll-out before the deadline. This helped convince those who didn't believe that we were migrating. Additionally, this agreement was one of the best methods of securing the scope – everybody was aware that adding new requirements was raising the risk of missing the deadline.
We dedicated a single team to lead the initiative – those guys were responsible for finishing the decommissioning project. They had time to do that, as they weren't involved in other initiatives.
In the beginning, we prepared a plan that consisted of a list of necessary actions, list of required features, owners, and due dates. The plan was discussed and agreed upon with the business. We reviewed it on a bi-weekly basis. This helped us avoid scope creeping as it was super challenging to add new requests to the base plan.
- Having a plan is a good idea. Besides, only having that is not enough 一 you should stick to it and review it regularly. Plans can and should be updated – if it is needed, then do it. Don't forget to inform other people about that.
- Not always it is possible to have it from day 0 – sometimes you need to spend time on due diligence to gather the knowledge required to build the plan, but after some time, the plan is necessary.
- Assign such tasks to a team and ensure that that team has space to work on it.
- A strict deadline is your ally as long as you will fit within it. That's why it is good to have a backup plan for such a situation.
Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader
Lucjan Suski, CEO & Co-founder of Surfer, relates how he started a company as a side project and shares his insights on bootstrapping tech startups.
Co-founder, formerly CTO and CEO at Surfer
Mugdha Myers, former Engineering Manager at Google, discusses the challenges of leading a team through the ambiguity and anxiety caused by a large-scale team restructuring.
Engineering Manager at Google
Muhammad Hamada, Engineering Manager at HelloFresh, addresses the uncertainties brought on by the pandemic, how these have affected our work environments, and how we can adapt.
Engineering Manager at HelloFresh
Roland Fiala, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Productsup, raises an interesting issue about autonomy in teams: does it hinder collaboration opportunities that lead to better problem-solving? He shares his system for promoting teamwork in engineering departments.
Senior Vice President of Engineering at Productsup
Dursun Mert Akkaya, Software Development Manager at Product Madness, encourages a change in mindset for heavily technical individuals as he explains the importance of communication skills.
Software Development Manager at Product Madness
You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.
Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.