Case Study: New Claims, Premium and Reserve Solution for a Major Reinsurance Firm
REF CONSOLIDATED AND REPLACED ACCOUNTING (CLAIMS AND PREMIUMS) AND RESERVES SYSTEMS INTO ONE INTEGRATED SYSTEM.
REF developed the functional specifications, planned the design and developed the the new integrated system.
Analysis included determining the core versus optional functionality. It also included identifying workflow processes that accompanied these functions. This phase required extensive work with the end-users. The functionality and workflow were documented at a high level and presented to the users for review. This required the accountants and the actuaries to work together to determine the requirements. Since the goal of the project was integration, this was the most important part of the development process.
Once the high level functions were approved, REF worked with the end-users to develop detailed functional requirements and system design. The functions were broken down into separate releases. REF worked with the end-users to determine what functionality would be included in each release. Functional and Design reviews were conducted regularly with the users.
Once the functionality for the releases was determined, data elements were identified and defined in the old systems. There was a substantial amount of redundant data to be eliminated, as well as adding missing data that was required to automate all the manual processes. This required working with the end-users to determine who would be responsible for maintaining the data (accounting or reserves). This process was an ongoing effort throughout the development process.
Once an initial database design was approved, the development process began. Since the functional requirements were at a high level, development was done by employing a quick prototyping strategy. REF, with the help of the business analysts, designed the screens, workflow and accounting functions according to the business requirements. We then performed many of the programming functions.
A major task of the project was the data conversion process. Getting the legacy data to conform to the business rules of the new application was a major effort. In the old systems, there was very little enforcement of data integrity. This effort entailed identifying the data that violated the business rules, documenting it, and then correcting the databases.
While the process of prototyping and developing at the same time can be complex, it proved to be a very useful approach when developing a new system without solid system specifications. Due to the extensive user involvement throughout the development process, the finished product exceeded expectations. It greatly enhanced the daily workflow, reduced cycle time and cost and most importantly resulted in satisfied users.