Case Study

Leading Life Insurance Company Overcomes Technology Barriers

Guidehouse’s transformative consulting process strengthened governance, reporting, vendor, and testing functions to improve new business and underwriting.


A leading life insurance company was struggling with a long-term technology implementation for its new business and underwriting system. The implementation was several years past the expected duration and over three times the initial budget.

After pausing the implementation, the company engaged Guidehouse for ten weeks to complete a current-state assessment of the program’s objectives, governance, controls, and support functions and provide recommendations for going forward with the implementation.

To determine the best course of action, Guidehouse first conducted a thorough review of the program’s finances, governance, internal and external interaction model, reporting capabilities, system requirements and functionality, and support functions, including change management, production support, testing, and training.

The assessment involved requesting, documenting, and reviewing relevant information and interacting with key stakeholders to gain insights. This included:

  • Reviewing and cataloging more than 150 program documents such as email communications between internal and external program stakeholders; internal announcements; presentations designed for various governance and decision-making bodies; quantitative reporting; and related financial, status, and technical data sets
  • Interviewing 30 past and current program stakeholders to understand roles, responsibilities, and interactions and to identify pain points, bottlenecks, outstanding issues, and opportunities
  • Documenting and validating 110 observations from several different perspectives


Guidehouse’s  final deliverable consisted of two correlating documents, an assessment and a path forward. The comprehensive, 37-page current-state assessment was highlighted by:

  • A summary of the program’s financial costs to date, including expenses passed to other budgets
  • Evaluation of the functionality already deployed
  • Process, organization, and governance gaps
  • Reporting limitations and inconsistencies
  • Employee sentiment about the program

The findings from the assessment were the basis for the recommended path-forward; a document that included nearly 60 program enhancement opportunities centered on governance structure redesign, process redesign, prioritization methodology, organizational redesign, change management, and improved financial controls and transparency.

To provide a “jump-start”, Guidehouse also created head start tools for governance structure, go/no-go tollgate criteria, reporting templates, roles and responsibilities, work breakdown structure, change management and training strategies, and a RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed) chart.

The company’s senior leaders implemented many of the  recommended strategies immediately and engage Guidehouse as partners to drive implementation of others and assist with the overall implementation.



Guidehouse’s recommendations enabled the client to resume program implementation with confidence by strengthening the following core functions: 

  • Governance — Accountability and ownership were established through clearly documented roles, responsibilities, and distribution of authority. The client’s organizational structure was redesigned to align workstreams and impacted lines of business with workstreams , ensuring stakeholder and business priorities were considered throughout the development cycle.
  • Change management — Stakeholder engagement was improved through transparent communication and closed feedback loops. Regular touchpoints, pre-release communications, notification routines, and feedback loops were established—driving end-user engagement and improving overall program sentiment. 
  • Reporting — Existing key performance indicators were replaced to better align with program objectives and milestones. And new reporting routines were established to ensure continuous monitoring of program health.
  • Vendor Engagement — Relationships between the business and  technology vendors were strengthened via improved communications and transparent reporting. Business users were also integrated with vendors to ensure alignment with end-user preferences, with feedback delivered directly. 
  • Testing — Business involvement was bolstered in test case creation and user acceptance testing to reduce the volume of defects identified in production. 

The client is now well-positioned to meet its organizational goals thanks to this transformed new business and underwriting technology system implementation.

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