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ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS

Our experts know a thing or two about getting projects done the right way. We’ve worked with hundreds of organizations in dozens of industries – and that experience has been distilled down into best practices that can work for you, too. Here’s some of their advice.

risk management experts art

Behind every Riskonnect solution is a team of experts dedicated to helping you achieve success.

Bill Berry
Bill Berry CPCU, Lead Solution Architect
“Internal testing and review are easy ways to build credibility. When a customer is reviewing changes, we want them to see the care we have taken to ensure they see the correct results the first time.”
Tim Clark
Tim Clark PMP, MSHI, Senior Project Manager, Healthcare
“Success is driven by the simplest things. Communication — ensuring the right people have the information they need, when they need it, and in the
in the right format — ensures decisions can be made quickly and increases buy-in from the entire project team. Rapidly identifying and discussing issues as they arise allows the project team to resolve concerns before they can adversely impact the project, which builds trust and drives positive outcomes.”
Maren Cristani
Maren Cristani Manager of the Consumer, Industrial, Manufacturing, and Transportation industry, Customer Success
“Having been on the support side of the house for 10 years, I have seen that
customers that get the most value out of their system are the ones that are willing to put the time into it. Whether it’s partnering with us to build solutions to best utilize our functionality or as tedious as scrubbing data. Taking the time to work with our team builds stronger relationships and increases the value of their system.”
Alan Friedman
Alan Friedman Head of Global Professional Services
“One key thing I’ve learned over my career on a professional services team is that it’s critical we understand our position and role within the overall customer lifecycle.
We need to maintain the perspective that our project lives between the sales initiative and the long tail of support activities delivered by our customer success team. Our ability to drive continuity of information and success across these cycles is paramount to customer success.”
Bob Fulgham, Sr.
Bob Fulgham, Sr. Manager of Data Services, Professional Services
“As the industry and technology continues to evolve, I challenge my team to actively seek out process and procedural improvements. Acting on status quo isn’t acceptable.
Establishing relationships with data services early in the project and maintaining that throughout the project lifecycle builds the solid foundation and sets realistic expectations for a successful implementation. The ability to utilize standardized, documented processes, and best practices within data services is the cornerstone of customer successes.”
Tana Gidden
Tana Gidden Delivery Manager, Professional Services
“Selecting a new RMIS provider can be a difficult decision to make. Many times, customers make the decision to change systems with the intention to improve processes or close gaps in functionality.
This change can be a scary prospect for users. It is important both to plan for the change and to prepare the staff for handling the change. This often means the difference between quick adaption and positive adoption of the new product vs extreme resistance to the change. Our team members will consult with you throughout the project lifecycle to ensure a smooth transition for your users.”
Steve Giuliano
Steve Giuliano Delivery Manager, RMIS
“One key criterion that we have seen with successful RMIS implementations is a client project sponsor engagement. When the project sponsor is actively involved, it greatly increases the chances of a timely implementation.”
Shibani Gonsalves
Shibani Gonsalves Manager, Data Services
“We strive to understand customer’s key business objectives and work towards providing effective solutions that will translate the obscure into the concrete. We identify value-add activities and
bottlenecks to deliver qualifiable and quantifiable data. I have learned that engaging customers early in the project life cycle, communicating regularly, focusing on what the end result will look like, and having well-organized UAT provides positive outcomes and successful results.”
Jon Glashan
Jon Glashan CPCU Lead Solutions Consultant
“I make it a point to get to know my customers and their businesses, so I understand the issues they’re facing and can use that knowledge to speed up implementation decisions.”
Carol Goodsell
Carol Goodsell Senior Project Manager, Professional Services
“I have worked with many companies across multiple industries. The most successful implementations are the ones where customers carve out time to
test, test, and test some more. It’s super important to not only test each of the deliverables but also to get the end users involved prior to the roll out.”
Amy Gottstein
Amy Gottstein Senior Data Analyst
“I have a few things to make a project a success and help keep customers engaged and happy. Using tools such as visuals and examples allows the customer to see the big picture.
It is also important to speak in terms that are understandable to anyone, even those without a technical background.”
Kelly Harbin
Kelly Harbin PMO Director, Professional Services
“After 15+ years in project management, I truly believe that while there are many factors to drive project success, effective communication is the most critical.
For two organizations to come together on a shared initiative, open, detailed, and consistent communication is a must. All parties should be prepared to spend quality time together reviewing important data points, such as progress, budget tracking, risk mitigation, and resolving action items. Creating an environment where all parties are encouraged to provide input and are valued for their contributions will ensure the open communication projects need.”
Bob Henderson
Bob Henderson Senior Account Executive
“Having been in the RMIS business for decades, one of the biggest blind spots I have seen is a desire to replicate the processes, reports, and analytics from the system being replaced.
When you make an investment in new technology to drive your business forward, think about process changes that can drive measurable organizational improvement (save time, save money, etc.) and leverage new reporting and analytics tools to speed the pace of information to key stakeholders across the business.”
Stephen Maddex
Stephen Maddex VP of Strategic Services
“Change management is an area that is rarely thought of in context of a new implementation. However, understanding how a system will impact the organization – in terms of
users, business processes, reporting, and data distribution — needs to be prepared for. Identifying the positive impact of change also helps ensure everyone is on board, which is critical for the successful adoption of a new solution.”
David McGarry
David McGarry Director Professional Services EMEA
“I have worked with many companies across multiple industries. In the most successful programs, the customer maps out existing processes to
determine if changes are required or desired. Any changes should be mapped out and agreed to before implementing any risk management solution.”
Ilka Mchugh
Ilka Mchugh Customer Success Manager
“My advice is: Less is more. Keep things simple to ensure that end users are happy to adapt and use the system to improve efficiency. Make sure
improvements and changes to your system are managed centrally within your organization — and discuss them with your customer success manager for feedback covering both the business and software sides.”
Paul Nelson
Paul Nelson Lead Data Architect, Data Services
“I’ve spent the past 15 years implementing transformative data solutions for companies around the globe, and I’m a firm believer
that communication is the key to any project’s success. It starts with asking questions to learn a customer’s terminology and business needs while simultaneously educating them on our terminology and system capabilities. Once we are speaking the same language and the proper foundation has been laid, there is confidence that what we design will meet the customer’s needs. And if we come across something out of line with our mutual understanding, we can immediately recognize it, address it, and keep the project moving towards success.”
Dave Quinn
Dave Quinn Principal of Data Services, Professional Services
“Properly mapped data provides a strong foundation for success. Collaboration on the data-mapping exercise ensures there will be no
surprises when development is complete. The data-mapping process involves listing the source-data fields, any required data transformations, and the destination fields. This document forms the basis for developing data loads and is a great reference for reporting.”
Luz Rubiano
Luz Rubiano Solutions Consultant, RMIS
“When starting a project, I make sure I first understand the business process, workflows, and the customer’s ideas of using the application. I also think
it is necessary have training for all users who will interact with the process and solution and offer complete user-acceptance testing. This helps eliminate surprises on production.”
John Shaw
John Shaw Head of Customer Success
“One of the biggest challenges I have seen in software implementations is a lack of focus on change management. One easy win is to conduct a
stakeholder analysis. By mapping your stakeholders against a Mendlow matrix, you can quickly identify who has high influence on the success of the project and will require heavy engagement, versus those who may only need to be kept informed.”
Vonn Simpson
Vonn Simpson Senior Manager, Solutions Architecture
“I have worked in teams dedicated to large insurance clients almost my entire career. Success for me has always been rooted in building strong
relationships with key stakeholders so they see me as an extension of their own team. It’s not about a vendor and a customer but about ONE extended team. With quality data and strong relationships, you have a great foundation for success.”
Drew Stipe
Drew Stipe Senior Delivery Manager, Healthcare Implementations
“While testing throughout an implementation is a necessary and valuable exercise, the most successful customers I’ve worked with ensure
full end-to-end testing ahead of a scheduled go-live. After completion of all configuration, set time aside 2-3 weeks ahead of a go-live to test in a stable environment – which can directly impact how successful field-user adoption will be. Not allocating this time into the project plan — or attempting to squeeze additional configuration into this period — is like slowing down on the last lap of a tight race.”
Jay Walkington
Jay Walkington Director of Data Services, Professional Services
“Comfortable as you may be with your current system and data workflows, designing a new system around the old ways is a costly – yet common mistake.
Heavily customizing a new system to mimic your old one can have grave implications, including extended implementation timelines, increased scope, future supportability issues, and inability to use other core (or future) standard functionality. Riskonnect has invested countless hours and dollars to develop standards, so be open to learning how these standards can meet your business requirements. Sticking with a standard solution will pay off in the long run with better functionality and support.”
Karla Zuniga
Karla Zuniga Senior Data Architect
“Having a solid understanding of the desired outcome is an important input in the design process. One of the key success factors for data implementation
is the early creation of a detailed test plan. When a customer creates a thorough test plan and shares it early in the project, expectations are aligned, rework is minimized, and testing is expedited. These are the hallmarks of a smooth and successful implementation.”

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