In the evolving landscape of the insurance industry, a notable transition has taken place. Organizations are now leaning towards agile and iterative methodologies for software product development and launch over conventional methods. This shift has been motivated by the increasing need for the industry to adapt to market dynamics swiftly, integrate valuable customer feedback, and accelerate the time-to-market for introducing new insurance products.
Consequently, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) release model has emerged as a pivotal strategy. This approach entails launching a stripped-down version of a product or service, incorporating only the most crucial features and functionalities necessary for its viability. Additional features and capabilities are gradually introduced to accommodate further business needs. But is there a notable advantage of this incremental approach over the traditional method?
Alternative to the traditional approach, the MVP model allows for the early release of a minimally viable version of the product with essential features, followed by subsequent iterations and enhancements based on user feedback and market demand.
Minimum over traditional – A better strategy?
Insurance organizations have traditionally approached software product development from a conservative perspective, emphasizing stability, reliability, and thoroughness, which entails extensive planning, requirement gathering, and sequential development. This approach focuses on delivering a robust and fully functional product, but it often leads to lengthy development cycles and delayed business value realization. It involves multiple stages, such as market research, requirement analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment, where each stage must be completed before progressing to the next. It is challenging to accommodate changes due to this rigidity, resulting in significant extensions in the overall software product cycle timeline.
Alternative to the traditional approach, the MVP release model emphasizes the incremental delivery of product features. Unlike the sequential development process, the MVP model allows for the early release of a minimally viable version of the product with essential features, followed by subsequent iterations and enhancements based on user feedback and market demand.
Let us delve deeper into some of the other advantages the MVP release model has to offer-
IT team can focus on delivering a core set of features quickly, allowing insurance businesses to seize opportunities and gain a competitive edge over their less proactive peers. This approach also promotes early customer engagement, as users can provide feedback on the initial version of the product, shaping subsequent iterations and ensuring a more customer-centric development process.
Enhanced resource allocation
The MVP release model facilitates better resource allocation, as development efforts are focused on building essential features rather than investing time and resources in developing all components upfront. This lean and iterative approach reduces waste and allows businesses to allocate resources based on validated needs and priorities.
An incremental approach enhances organizational agility
The minimum viable product (MVP) approach drives organizational maturity within insurance businesses, empowering them to embrace changes brought about by evolving market conditions. With a decision-driven and iterative framework, insurance organizations can ensure a timely and responsive software product development process.
As an example, let’s explore the various stages of the incremental software product development cycle in the MVP model for a policy admin system in insurance
In the first iteration, the product is released with the capability to handle the basic underwriting of new applications by customers. Alongside this, the product is also equipped with features such as cancellation, basic endorsements, and renewals.
One of the key aspects of this stage, which generally lasts six months, is the development of a chassis for future analytics work. This involves building the foundation for an AI/ML-driven engine for enhancing underwriting and claims workflows by collecting and organizing relevant data for analysis.
In the next six months, additional add-on coverages and complex endorsement features are introduced. This enables customers to choose from a broader range of coverage options, including specialized coverages tailored to their specific needs.
In addition to expanding coverage options, efforts are also focused on enhancing the portal functionality. This involves improving the user interface and experience of the online portal through which customers interact with the insurance company.
The emphasis now shifts to introducing robust data-driven underwriting. Firstly, advanced analytics techniques and machine learning algorithms are leveraged to analyze and evaluate the data collected from previous submissions, claims, and other relevant sources. This is done to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the underwriting process. Another key objective in this stage includes achieving straight-through processing (STP) to streamline workflows and eliminate manual intervention where possible.
To support the data-driven underwriting and STP initiatives, a data lake is set up for reporting and analytics purposes. This involves building a centralized repository that stores structured and unstructured data, facilitating advanced reporting, and enabling in-depth analytics to gain insights into customer behavior, risk patterns, and other relevant metrics.
Thus, we see that across multiple stages in the MVP release model, a progressive approach to software product development is demonstrated, starting with basic functionalities and expanding to more advanced features and capabilities over time. This iterative development strategy, based on customer requirements and market sentiments, helps insurance businesses to inculcate a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, thereby enhancing organizational agility.