The use of Agile methodology has become increasingly common in the insurance industry over the last decade, delivering a broad range of benefits to insurers including improved quality and delivery time for IT projects.
- Midsize insurers have adopted Agile more readily than large insurers. While almost all insurers use Agile to some degree, midsize insurers use it more frequently and adopted it earlier than large insurers.
- There is little to no downside to adopting Agile for insurers, with positive effects accruing throughout IT, other business units, and even relationships to 3rd parties. Although a handful of insurers found the implementation of Agile problematic or troubling, they are vastly outnumbered by the carriers who have benefitted greatly.
- Agile is not for everything. Although most midsize insurers use Agile for more than half of their project work, most large insurers use it for less than a quarter of their projects. Some types of projects, like legacy maintenance, are not great candidates for Agile.
- Agile is not for everyone. While adopting Agile has significant benefits, it requires cultural change on behalf of business leaders to realize these benefits. For organizations in which business leaders are not willing to make these changes, it will be difficult to achieve any real benefits. But the wide adoption of Agile and the wide realization of benefits shows that this group of resistant business leaders is shrinking.
One of the values that Agile brings to an insurer is that it formalizes regular stakeholder review and involvement with technology projects, helping to create transparency and build better direct relationships between IT and other business units. Even insurers who choose not to adopt an Agile approach can learn lessons from the methodology about fostering communication, prioritization, and engagement across the enterprise, helping to treat IT as an ongoing strategy asset.
A free preview of our new Agile at Insurers report is available at: http://novarica.com/agile-at-insurers-2015/ or Novarica clients may contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a consultation on this topic.