Case Study

Modernizing Technology and Improving Speed to Market for Industry-Leading Third-Party Administrator (TPA)

challenge

Unintentional Siloing

Diversified Benefit Services, Inc. (DBS) is an industry-leading Wisconsin-based third-party administrator (TPA) of tax-advantaged benefit programs. They make a difference for their clients by providing a high level of client service, administration using trademarked proprietary administration software, and guidance using their 30+ years of knowledge and experience in the industry. Behind the scenes, however, business leadership felt that there were opportunities to better align their business and IT teams on the DBS vision and strategic direction. The unintentional siloing of departments was causing unnecessary churn and inefficiencies, and limiting the value the organization could deliver. Each employee at DBS was operating to the best of their abilities, however, collectively they were limited by a waterfall development process. This process contributed to long development lead times, varied expectations in outcomes and greater risk to the business. The leadership team knew something was not working and change was needed, but were unsure of how to proceed.

solution

An Agile Approach

DBS came to us with a simple goal – help us transform our product organization in a way that is aligned with business goals. We discussed how the product development process and the business development process needed to be aligned and recommended starting with some team-based work. Doing so would allow DBS to quickly deliver working software to their users, while giving our team the opportunity to lay the groundwork for implementing a process change by demonstrating the process on a real project. During the launch phase of the engagement, we worked on modernizing the technology and enhancing the workflows of DBS’s internal plan and claims management system, ASAP®. As our team began to make progress, DBS was introduced to several techniques commonly used in an agile approach, such as prioritization methods, customer feedback loops, internal communication channels, continuous integration and continuous deployment.

results

Faster Speed to Market and Improved User Experience

With the goal of an organizational transformation, DBS committed to adopting our proposed methodology, including new processes and tools, to help achieve greater collaboration within their departments and across the entire business. The employees experienced the positive impacts from new techniques in several ways, including more efficient workflows in their internal administration systems and quicker development release cycles. These efficiencies also helped create an improved customer service experience, which sparked an even greater desire for change to internal processes, ensuring the DBS team was set up to continue delivering this level of success going forward. The end result was increased speed in their time-to-market, reduced waste and risk, improved user experience of internally utilized proprietary software, and the ability to rapidly respond to new trends and opportunities.

tech used

ASP.NET Web API2, ASP.NET MVC 5, TFS Build & Release Pipelines, Vue 2, Vuex, Webpack 3, Entity Framework, ADFS WS-Federation Authentication, TFS Build, Postman, Protractor, Selenium Web Driver & Release Pipelines

The improvements to ASAP® have really made a difference in the way we are able to perform our jobs in the claims department. We are now able to easily navigate through the system and locate information more efficiently.

— Robin Slinga, Claims Manager at Diversified Benefit Services
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