July 19, 2022
5 minutes read
Enterprise Program Leadership

Principles of Enterprise Program Leadership: A Healthcare Tech Transformation Story

“The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

That’s a quote from our old friend Dr. Seuss. It’s from his book I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! and is meant to encourage kids to stay curious and never stop learning.

But the great thing about Dr. Seuss is that although his books are intended for the younger generation, his philosophies are still relevant messages for adults as well. We shouldn’t stop gathering knowledge at any age.

At Kenway Consulting, we put a strong emphasis on continuous learning and we pick up pearls of wisdom from our colleagues, leaders, and clients. In this ever-changing world there is always something new to learn about different industries, capabilities, and ourselves. This gained knowledge drives our experience and hones our skills so we can best solve our clients’ business challenges.

Kenway recently worked with a healthcare technology company, and this multifaceted project provided key insights on enterprise program leadership, Technology Solution Delivery and Information Insight. Over a series of blog posts, we’ll be sharing the key takeaways from this project that we garnered along the way. We hope that by sharing, the more you’ll learn too, and well, as Dr. Seuss says, “If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn!”

Removing barriers to healthcare

The healthcare patient engagement company partners with the nation’s leading health insurance companies and supports them by growing health plan members’ engagement with the products and services available to them, thereby reducing average healthcare costs, improving quality measures, and increasing overall health outcomes.

The company aims to remove barriers to care, especially for vulnerable communities, by guiding health plans’ members on their wellness journeys as they navigate a complex U.S. healthcare system. 

In early 2021, the young, venture-backed company was embarking on a journey of re-platforming its engagement product and scaling its user base on the new platform as quickly as possible. Given the complexity of the platform and the speed at which the initiative needed to take place, the company turned to Kenway for its expert skillsets and capacity. 

Delivering personalized member experiences

The healthcare company curates insight-driven, personalized member experiences through culturally and linguistically aligned member attributes and preferences. The company’s flagship product is a unique two-way communications platform that is powered by cultural insights. Through a mix of automation and human intervention, the platform is used to communicate with millions of health plan members nationwide through more than 25 languages via SMS, email, phone call, and direct mail, giving it the distinct ability to engage a vast array of culturally diverse populations trying to navigate the complex healthcare system. 

Kenway’s client had been using a home-grown, legacy platform that was no longer capable of meeting the company’s needs as it scaled. It was inefficient, costly to maintain, and required manual efforts to perform basic, repeatable activities such as preparing reports. The client needed an improved, automated platform that would scale with it as it grew. 

Salesforce was the recommended solution to replace much of the current state functionality and provide an extensible platform for essential business processes. Salesforce allows the client to conduct outreach with members in their preferred languages which is an important part of building trust and improving overall engagement.

The outreach to members takes place through a series of multimodal touchpoints that comprise “pathways.” Each pathway has a unique objective such as helping a member schedule an annual wellness visit or gathering feedback from a member about a visit. Based on members’ responses to the communications, they are guided through a curated journey, like in the example below. 

Healthcare Digital Transformation

Developing enterprise program leadership solutions

One of Kenway’s client capabilities is Enterprise Program Leadership, a collection of services that enable companies to remain competitive and positioned as transformational leaders in their industries. Through this capability, Kenway helps companies orchestrate large, multi-project initiatives that align with current and future business objectives. 

Having an infrastructure that aligns IT investments with business strategies, coupled with the ability to execute on investments efficiently, is a must for organizations seeking to implement critical initiatives effectively and improve their competitive positioning. Kenway addresses the challenges that come with transformational initiatives through a customized approach that combines skills, processes, and data governance. 

For the healthcare company, Kenway aimed to develop and implement a Salesforce solution that would enable the firm to guide health plan members seamlessly and effectively through curated wellness journeys, all while ensuring the platform was extensible, scalable, and capable of generating insights through its vast amounts of data. 

There were many lessons related to Enterprise Program Leadership that were learned throughout the process by both Kenway and the client. Here are three of them:

1. ENTERPRISE PROGRAM MANAGEMENT: Addressing scope creep and shifting timelines

  • What was the challenge?

The healthcare company dramatically accelerated the project timeline by committing to contracts with its health plan partners before the Salesforce platform was built. The client made multiple changes and additions to the established scope of work to meet the shifting timeline, which resulted in the need to balance the priorities against the levers to pull.

  • What was Kenway’s solution?

Kenway reassessed the project drivers and timelines to determine how to best accomplish the significant amount of work in a short amount of time. Rather than reducing the scope of work, Kenway’s recommendation was to add more capacity leveraging resources from both the client and Kenway.

  • What were the key takeaways?

Accelerating a project completion date without changing the scope or resources results in a high-speed and high-stress environment. If scope or resource changes are needed, then weigh the changes against the benefits of the change and the alignment to the program objectives. When adding scope, evaluate the levers of extending timelines, increasing team size, or both, and deprioritize other scope items.

healthcare project drivers

2. IT GOVERNANCE: Doing due diligence upfront on the current state

  • What was the challenge?

Prior to engaging Kenway, the healthcare company identified three third-party application vendors to incorporate into the Salesforce platform. The client hired the vendors directly without a thorough review of their abilities to satisfy long-term requirements. For example, the SMS vendor could not provide the multiple languages and carrier codes needed to administer member outreach. 

  • What was Kenway’s solution?

When issues were unearthed with the preselected vendors, Kenway recommended conducting diligent, but light, vendor assessments to quickly pivot. Kenway assessed vendors by validating requirements, identifying vendors, conducting demos, reviewing technical documentation, and conducting fit-gap analyses. Kenway determined that the third-party applications were problematic – especially in a highly regulated industry with strict legal compliance requirements.

  • What were the key takeaways?

The order of operations is essential when bringing on third-party vendors to a project. First, document your business and technical requirements and then seek out vendors that best match your needs. Thoroughly vet vendors by sharing your requirements, attending product demonstrations, obtaining references, and closely evaluating documentation and capabilities. Never assume that an assessment has already been made in order to avoid the impact of risks and costs in the long term.

3. CHANGE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION DELIVERY: Ensuring the right involvement and communication to lessen the impact of change

  • What was the challenge?

The healthcare company struggled with the roll-out of the new Salesforce platform for a significant period of time due to the lack of product and technical leadership to define, clarify, and communicate the product’s vision to internal teams. As such, there were many differing opinions about how the product should be used in the long-term, leading to uncertainty, confusion, and churn among team members. 

  • What was Kenway’s solution?

Companies tend to think of change management as an afterthought and rush to educate and train teams prior to a product launch. This strategy is a recipe for failure and the principles of change management must be consistently communicated throughout the development process. The Kenway team was flexible and adaptable and conveyed updates and progress with internal demos to show the product’s capabilities, solicit feedback, and build upon progress toward an increasingly defined direction. 

  • What were the key takeaways?

Rarely does a final product look the same at the end as it did at the beginning. Projects change, and those ebbs and flows need to be managed during the entire time. By applying the fundamentals of change management, you can educate teams throughout the process and articulate when a project driver may be shifting. By showcasing progress and pivoting along the way, Kenway ensured accountability and communication were adhered to, resulting in a successful rollout for its client.

A customized approach for program management delivery 

At Kenway Consulting, we address your key challenges that come with undertaking transformational initiatives related to Enterprise Program Leadership. We deliver business results through our unique, customized approach that combines effective skills, processes, and governance. Connect with us to learn how we can enable you to drive organization-wide transformational change.


How Can We Help?