A Risk Management Information System (RMIS) is a big investment of time, effort, and money.  When your new system finally goes live — whether in its entirety or just a new piece of functionality — you will breathe a sigh of relief as you see your data flow across the screen, with claims neatly lined up and analytic charts full of color.

But in order to get there, there is analysis, planning, and collaboration that need to get done. Here are some tips for getting the functionality you want from your system starting day one:

1) Your Vision – Start with the end in mind

Start with the end in mind. What does overall success look like? What are you expecting the software to do? Think about what you want to see on your screens when you log into your RMIS and move through your workflow.  Are there any graphs or pressing information you need to see immediately on a dashboard?  Be as precise and descriptive as possible.  If you can communicate exactly what success is and how you want your screens to look as you move through your ideal future workflows, your team can more easily achieve your vision and create a seamless experience.

2) Your Directions – Map to your vision

Now it’s time to look where you are today and map how you will get to your vision.  Here’s a step by step to get you there:

  1. Perform a workflow assessment by mapping out your current processes.
  2. Analyze your current processes, determine what’s working and not working, and identify any waste (bottlenecks and non-value add activities).
  3. Review your future state and compare it to your current state. Determine what needs to change and what can stay the same to get you there. Remember, technology is only one part of the equation and it is only as good as the processes and people it supports.

Your RMIS service teams are experts in how to maximize technology to make your processes more efficient and effective.  Work closely with them throughout the implementation process.  The more they understand your current state and what you want to do, the better they will be able to help you.

3) Your Utilization – Train for the most gain

A RMIS should make your job easier, save costs, and better manage risk. But it can only do this if your team utilizes it to its full potential.  Be proactive in planning how you will train your team and promote adoption of the new software.  By demonstrating the enhancements made to your workflow, you will encourage users to appreciate the benefits the software can provide to their everyday activities. It is critical to designate champions or coaches who can train users and help the organization embrace the change.

If you do the hard work up front your job will be easier, your data will be accessible, and your stakeholders will be happier.