Stories @ Work Series

Hey there, I am May Jones, Sr UW at JDIC Insurance, based out of Antarctica.  (You got it right – I am a penguin, underwriting home insurance for bergs). And here is my story!  

It was another workday; I was servicing a customer at my desk. I helped him fill out a proposal form and now, I am entering the details into my system. While waiting, he strikes a casual conversation – more out of curiosity.“So, I just filled up a small form, before I was sent to you. I see that you copied the details from that, filled in another and now you are looking at it & then keying it into a system. Seems like a lot of waste of time, don’t you get bored doing the same thing again? And, then he adds a remark “It’s easier for me to buy a mobile, online 😊”  

I smile, I couldn’t explain why. I just apologized for his wait time, direct him to the cashier and he leaves.  

But his question kept lingering in my mind. Isn’t he right? Isn’t my day very repetitive? What’s my typical day, like?  

  • Answering phone calls – mostly customers  
  • Attending to walk ins  
  • Doing data entry – for quotes & policies I issue  
  • Reviewing my team’s work – they are not authorized to issue quotes/policies (not that it’s rocket science)  
  • Processing renewals – I just do a few clicks, to get past screens & approve  
  • Reviewing my peers’ work – just their data entry, if you know what I mean (no reason at all, forget about rocket science)   
  • Distributing work to team – random basis  
  • Attending meetings – routine discussions on numbers  

I know, as a Sr Underwriter, what I should be doing – as in focusing on   

  • Work that requires my skills/experience  
  • Service that warrants my intervention  
  • Review that needs my expertise  
  • Relationships that I need to build on  
  • Develop & nurture those that work with me  
  • Overall, do my bit to strengthen the function and grow to the next level, I aspire to  

Aye, don’t I want to do just this? I don’t have time…. I have so much to do, I don’t have time to think. I am busy, busy, busy……  

I ask myself, once again – this time with a determination to pursue   

  • Why can’t we restructure our team and the roles & responsibilities – so we only do what we are supposed to  
  • Why can’t we redefine our operating model to have complexity-based processes?  
  • Why can’t technology help me – send out the updates/notifications, distribute work, automate data upload?  

If those are the questions, what could be the answers? Let me start by deciphering the patterns – I thought ….A…D… E….E….. F…  

  • Take help to Automate, all repeat work   
  • Delegate all that can be handled by my juniors  
  • Bring Customers/Partners into the process – Empower   
  • Escalate those that need intervention  
  • Focus on just what I have to do   

I spread the word around and got everyone, that matters, including my department, talking. And finally, my boss relented, and we sat together and came up with a plan to simplify our work life. We listed the areas of corrections, with those 5 points as the basis (+some more – those are for you to figure out please. You are a much more intelligent species!). And decided to work on immediate wins first… (We little penguins call them LITTLE BETS)   

And we have a plan for  A… D…E…E… F…..   

  • We worked around removing unwanted reviews first (it’s in our control)  
  • We sat with IT team and asked them if they could help support with simple automation – automatic data entry, simple reports from PAS, notifications to customers, movement of work among all of us.  
  •  And of course, what to do with the time saved with these changes 😊  

Do you connect with my story? I know this is just the beginning of a long journey…… Of erasing, rediscovering & recalibrating……  

Just remember: your job isn’t done just because you accomplished your goal. You have two things left to do – make sure the changes you have made are going to stick and be ready to undergo this whole process again (Thanks to “Our Iceberg is melting”)  

Biz Tech Insights Team Manomay 

Disclaimer: The views and findings expressed in this material are for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as a guideline, recommendation or a substitute to any form of Professional (Consulting or Technology) advice. Under no circumstance shall we bear a legal responsibility for the use or reliance of any information mentioned in this article.Unless otherwise specified, the views, case studies and findings expressed herein are our own. The content displayed here is the Intellectual Property of Manomay Consultancy Services (India) Pvt Ltd. You may not reuse, republish or reprint any of the aforementioned content without our written consent.