CASE STUDY | WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
Technology implementations can be difficult in specialist care environments where human capital management and workforce challenges are inherently complex. Our client was concerned about the rollout of its new WFM solution and engaged Quay to help it identify where the critical challenges were to get the project back on track.
- Strategic HCM solution and implementation review of an in-flight project to assess whether it had been set up for success
- Delivery of a rostering options paper and a solutions architecture assessment paper outlining recommendations and risks
- Delivery of a change management strategy to manage the change impacts into the business
- Delivery of a project implementation approach and support to go live
Aged care has been under considerable scrutiny in Australia and has significant challenges around rostering, utilising agency staff, staff overtime costs, payroll, and how WFM issues are managed.
Our Client had undertaken an independent review of its existing WFM processes and technology and determined they were no longer fit-for-purpose. The review had highlighted a number of issues with its existing technology, reporting, and business processes and the business identified a WFM solution that would provide the functionality and process enablement that the business needed.
However, as the project got underway, there was a sense of uncertainty in the business that the project was on track to deliver its intended benefits. It was taking an inordinate amount of time to roll out and there were concerns about its implementation and adaptation into the business.
As a WFM specialist, Quay was referred to and engaged by the Client to undertake an independent review of the project and make recommendations on how to best implement the solution, to assess its likely benefits, and assess the most viable implementation strategy to help the business achieve its goals.
Quay’s first objective was to determine whether the rollout of the WFM was being delivered as fit-for-purpose, taking into account the Client’s capability, capacity and culture to manage the change into the business.
Our secondary objective was to assess the project’s governance, ensure that its goals and objectives were clear, and confirm that decisions that had been made were the right ones.
As the review got underway, additional challenges were identified which showed the business that the issues were far greater than the solution they’d chosen and how it was being implemented. Quay was able to leverage its expertise in the sector to help the business recognise that its challenges were more systemic.
Quay had tight time constraints to work within and the review was broken into three phases:
- Problem Definition: Interviews, site visits document reviews and defining the current state
- Solution Evaluation and Decision: Integration design; solution fit to requirements; rostering models including their pros, cons and a recommendation; constraints, risks, and issues; nonfunctional requirements.
- Implementation Planning: Complete documentation of the artifacts that allowed the project to be properly established, governed, managed, and delivered.
With four potential implementation scenarios, Quay assessed each one for:
- Fit-for-purpose (current and future)
- Whether both tangible and non-tangible benefits could be realised
- Implementation risks such as the difficulty of implementing each option with its associated risks
- Costs for implementation
- And strategic fit to the organisation’s growth goals
The review revealed that there were more systemic issues at play such as a disconnect between priorities and problems seen at the leadership level and the challenges on the ground, for example:
- That the business rostered its staff at each facility, rather than centrally
- There was a lack of standardisation in its rostering processes
- How staff were trained varied across its facilities
- There were issues in how staff shifts were managed between facilities
- Considerable spend on recruitment and a heavy reliance on overtime and agency staff to fill gaps in resourcing
As a consequence, there was a lot of inconsistency with how staff were onboarded, how they were trained, and ensuring the right resources were in the right place at the right time to meet the care needs of residents. While the decision to centralise rostering had been made, the issues identified above didn’t support a recommendation to do so and led to a fifth strategy – business process improvement supported by a change strategy.
Quay formed the view that the Client’s expectation to implement its WFM solution and that they would reap cost and operational benefits in the short timeframe allocated to the projects were not achievable in the environment. There was a range of business challenges to address – some of which were outside the Client’s capability or capacity to resolve.
The scale of the change to the business was too significant to be absorbed by the business in the time frame and required a robust change strategy, which was developed for the Client.
Leveraging our knowledge of the sector, we were able to identify and surface these challenges and how they would impact the Client’s ability to drive in the level of change required for a successful implementation of their WFM solution.
Implementing a technology solution is rarely the challenge in WFM projects. In this case, the significant change and process impacts across the business had to be addressed in order for the new ways of working to occur. The Client was a long way from being ‘business ready’.
Quay delivered a change strategy to help the business address rollout, including:
- How to engage stakeholders across the business that would be impacted by the changes
- A detailed impact analysis to illustrate the difference between the as-is state and the to-be state
- Business process re-engineering
- The value of a change manager in supporting the project team to communicate the ‘what’s in it for me?’ messaging
- How the business should engage its users in training options that would help them to utilise the new system.
The review highlighted to management that their fears were correct but outlined far deeper issues within the business than they were aware of. The technology was actually a minor part of why the project was experiencing challenges and that ultimately they were set up for failure. The review gave them a completely new perspective and more importantly identified what they needed to do and how they could do it.
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