Configuration: Empowering Clients to Be Self-Sufficient

Configuration:  Empowering Clients to Be Self-Sufficient
Michelle Chiapputi, AVP Configuration – January 5, 2015

As consultants we know our role is to help our clients resolve their issues. We have the ability to look at their business from an outside perspective and make recommendations on resolving configuration issues, guiding them towards process improvement and increasing their understanding of the functionality of their payer system as it pertains to their unique business requirements. While it’s great that we can help clients to solve a problem, true success is only achieved if we pass our knowledge along.

Self-sufficiency is the key to any client’s success. It allows them to be less dependent on the vendor and outside resources when issues arise.

There are several things we can do as consultants to empower our clients:

Training
Training is essential to the ongoing success of our clients. Problems in configuration typically stem from the lack of understanding of the functionality of the payer system. Client configuration specialists may have an in-depth understanding of their specific area of configuration but may lack an understanding of the impact their configuration has on other areas of configuration or the business as a whole. Cross-training these analysts on other areas of configuration strengthens the overall effectiveness of the configuration team by providing a greater number of resources to identify, solution and remediate difficult issues that may cross several configuration areas.

Mentoring on the fly
This may seem the same a training but it is actually quite different. Mentoring our client’s configuration specialists on the fly as opportunities arise allows us to address ‘best practice’ configuration, how to effectively communicate with other areas and most importantly it gives the opportunity for the configuration specialists to see how we approach a problem, research and determine a solution. This one-on-one interaction is an effective tool in increasing the knowledge of configuration staff when structured training may not be feasible.

Documentation
We’ve fixed their problem but they have no idea how we did it! It is our responsibility to make sure our clients have a thorough understanding of how the problem occurred and what was done to correct it so that it doesn’t occur again. Documenting the issue and solution decisions gives our clients something to refer back to once we are done with the engagement. We can also use documentation to provide detailed recommendations on other issues we encountered but were unable to address due to time limitations or the issue being out of scope for the project. This gives the client a starting place to continue remediation of configuration or process issues.

Self-sufficiency is something that all clients should strive for. As configuration consultants we have the ability to guide our clients towards self-sufficiency by taking advantage of opportunities to train and mentor their staff as well as document our solutions.