Outline Systems helps insurers grow. Our company got its start when the team decided to devote their full attention and energies on an emerging challenge -- workflow automation for the distribution of Insurance. Since then, we've maintained a steady, exclusive tie with insurance, mostly Property and Casualty Insurers. We've devoted considerable time and energy to understanding workflows and processes and then setting out to provide the tools and systems that support and improve those workflows.

Why Every Project Needs an Outline

December 6, 2013 - 17:31 -- Kevin
December 6, 2013
Post by: 

Jennifer Overhulse-King

And how Outline can help

Most of us use simple outlines every day. They take the form of to-do lists, shopping lists, and bucket lists, which we use to help shape our calendars, our trips to the grocery store, and our vacation plans.

Individual projects begin with outlines, as well. You draft an image of the flowerbed before digging (as per your honey-do list). You measure the shape of the wood before sawing (measure twice, cut once…). You determine where you want the tomatoes to go before planting to ensure they get optimal sunlight.

The same process occurs at work. In the insurance industry, projects include complete IT system overhauls or new capability implementations. They incorporate multi-departmental teams and sometimes numerous vendors. They represent significant investments of time and resources, and they typically affect every corner of the company.

Yet, they too start with an outline, a plan. What needs to be done? How can we do it? When does it need to be completed? Who will do it?

The trick, of course, is to create the best possible outline. No matter how massive, expensive, or cross-functional in scope a project may be, it stands a better chance of being successful with a good outline in place. The world’s greatest paintings began with charcoal sketches. Your city’s tallest skyscrapers started with a blueprint, a literal outline of what the finished building would look like. Even the trickle-down economic policy originated as a simple graph written on a cocktail napkin (many would debate the quality of this outline, but still, you get the point.).

That’s where Outline Systems can help. An insurance-focused technology company, we have deep domain experience. I mean really deep. Our management claims an excess of 100 years of combined experience in developing application development and management, data center efficiency, and enterprise security solutions for this industry. In other words, we know insurance.

We also happen to know project outlines and how to develop them. We offer an ITIL-based process strategy and can help you transform, integrate and maintain your IT enterprise. Whether you need architecture, operational support infrastructure or application design, our expert team is ready to offer insight into your organization's IT process environment and provide an objective view for planning and building process improvements.

High-level conceptual outlines are a good way to get started. For example:

I. Transform IT into an agile, highly-responsive enterprise

                A. Find the right partner

                B. Needs assessment

                C. Highlight top priorities

                D. Improvements


But, in order to bring the project to life, the more detailed the outline, the better. In fact, as you think through goals and challenges—and as you break a project down into smaller, more manageable parts—a clearer image will emerge. Much like a Polaroid print, the path from concept to reality will begin to fill in. Now consider:

I. Transform IT into an agile, highly responsive enterprise

                A. Find the right partner

                                i. ITIL knowledge

                                ii. Good references

                B. Needs assessment

                                i. Process maturity assessment

                                ii. Improvement plan

                C. Highlight top IT priorities

                                i. Reduce workflow

                                ii. Increase productivity

                D. Improvements

                                i. Incorporate new software

                                ii. Training


Of course, creating a detailed outline can be tricky. Once you start to break your project down into parts, you’re going to encounter hurdles, have differing points of view, and require more information. How much can we do ourselves? Will it all work together? When should we release the changes?  Can we do it within the constraints of this year’s budget? How much time will it require to develop?

Again, Outline Systems has you covered. We’ve developed the necessary expertise in critical aspects of professional services implementations, such as custom integration with other packages, data migration and management, and customization/configuration.

We’re experts not only in application development and maintenance, but in testing and QA, as well as infrastructure management. No matter your direction, we can help you navigate the details and get started down the right path.

On the other hand, perhaps you’ve already called upon your high school English class lessons and have crafted a beautiful outline that addresses everything you need. Maybe you keep looking at this beautiful outline, occasionally tweaking it to make it even more perfect.

If that’s the case, kudos. You’ve done a great deal of work already. Yet, at some point it’s important to stop outlining and start doing. I don’t know about you, but it’s sometimes easier for me to refine or add to my to-do list than to check things off.

Outline Systems can help here, too.

Appraised at CMMI® Maturity Level 3, we can deploy over 250 architects, developers, project managers, and/or QA engineers in support of your project.

Our skilled software development teams use SEI-CMM processes and capabilities to adopt client’s in-house established processes, or create a hybrid best-of-breed approach. We have also built extensive test cases for policy administration and claims systems software testing.

A system is a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole. Therefore, by definition, Outline Systems can help build your outline, as well as connect all of the parts.

We consider ourselves a natural extension of your team and are ready to jump in and help with whatever you need wherever you are in the process.

If you've only just started thinking about an IT project, if you’ve already reached for the napkin, or if the plan is approved, give us a call. From i. to x., we’re happy to help.