Maryland partnered with SLI to improve business processes to better enable the Commission to deliver workers' compensation services to employers and injured workers.

The Situation

The existing automated system is based on antiquated technology that no longer meets the agency or customers’ needs. The agency was burdened with labor intensive processes with a great deal of handling and transportation of paper documents. The aging system infrastructure also put the agency at risk for hardware failure and made it difficult to update applications.

WCC realized they needed an Enterprise System Modernization (ESM) effort to move from depending on multiple stand-alone systems to an enterprise application and architecture as a way to take advantage of new technologies and streamline work flows.

WCC asked for a Business Process and Technology Assessment (BPTA) to develop a detailed list of short-term and long-term risks and issues paired with recommendations and an action plan for workflow improvements and recommendations for technology. These plans would be used to provide design alternatives to migrate from the current collection of disparate information systems platforms to an enterprise-wide framework of current technology with credible extensibility capabilities.

The Solution

SLI delivered a process and information technology team that brought a process-based approach to document current and ideal processes. SLI also included technical staff to conduct an analysis of the current technical infrastructure and make recommendations for an enterprise-wide framework.

A current state process gathering approach was used to collect information about WCC’s work along with issues and risks. The technical assessment was done in parallel to the current state process gathering. That assessment included documenting the technical architectures and infrastructure migration paths with an emphasis on security and maintainability.

The ideal processes were designed to address the prioritized issues while providing information that would be used to recommend an enterprise-wide framework and an action plan that included a project methodology approach.

The SLI deliverables included:

  • Biweekly status reports
  • Project schedule
  • Current state process models including its enterprise process architecture
  • Ideal state process models including a modern enterprise process architecture
  • Architecture Assessment
  • Prioritized issues based on business value and complexity
  • Risks and mitigation recommendations
  • Final Comprehensive Report with action plan that addressed hardware, software and project management approach

The SLI team, working with the WCC users, analyzed existing workflow processes, data models, and business rules. SLI recommended improvements to meet the goal of maintaining a secure Enterprise Content Management System that supported judicial case management and all other key business processes.

The Outcome

Using SLI’s Lean / Six Sigma based Business Process Management approach, Maryland WCC received a comprehensive set of requirements for a future project to migrate from its legacy systems to an integrated and adaptive enterprise-wide framework. The SLI deliverables associated with the Business Process and Technology Assessment Project were provided in an intuitive on-line format that allowed both technical and business staff to drill down on each process and understand all inputs, outputs, and technology needed to support it.

The recommended approach to project management was “modified Agile” to create and implement work streams using a Business Process Management Suite (BPMS). The BPMS would allow WCC to translate the work stream processes into code. The goal was to avoid a “big bang” approach that is always risky, while using tools that WCC’s IT staff could use to create and maintain the system. The Agile approach supports the Information Technology Department learning and growing in capabilities as the software and environment changed, while continuing to show progress to stakeholders, users and claimants.

A commitment to strong project management and communications helped to ensure the project addressed the needs of all stakeholders. The results of this project provided WCC with the information needed to determine if a COTS or new development approach would be used to meet the agency’s needs. With SLI’s support, WCC’s BPTA initiative resulted in aligned and streamlined business functions and processes, and they are now poised to take full advantage of an updated enterprise framework.

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