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Executive sponsorship a key factor in PPL adoption success

JLT Specialty Ltd recently started its adoption of PPL. The LM TOM team and PPL interviewed Clare Lebecq, Head of Operations JLT Specialty, to understand its approach.

Executive sponsorship

Paul Knowles, is CEO of JLT Specialty Ltd and chairs its PPL Steering Committee. He has consistently been mentioning PPL in his Specialty Town Hall addresses over the last 12 months.

Clare explained: “Having this kind of Executive sponsorship can be a key factor for success, as teams recognise that PPL is something that the CEO is interested in and they are part of the team that’s driving its adoption.”

Setting up the right structure

Clare set out JLT’s structure for implementation which includes:

  • PPL Steering Committee – to define the roll-out strategy, to act as an escalation point for issues and to agree the Key Performance Indicators for success.
  • PPL Project Team – which includes a central programme manager, project managers per business division and a business analyst plus divisional working groups with both broking and operational representation.

Each division has been empowered to define its adoption method (big bang vs gradual build up). Clare advised that: “This is key, as the business makeup and size differs across the company, so it has to work locally as well as for JLT Specialty as a whole.”

Communications

Clare was quite clear that: “Every single person in JLT Specialty will be aware of what PPL is, because it’s so visible every day.” With PPL featuring in updates from the CEO and Mark Wood our deputy Chairman in Town Hall meetings, a poster and banner campaign and regular intranet drops, awareness built gradually over time. Clare says: “It’s a case of ‘OK, so we’re now placing business on PPL’, rather than there being a big fanfare launch – it’s just becoming part of our everyday consciousness.” JLT also allocated budget to support banners and posters to help raise awareness of PPL and the approach to adoption.

Training

As a large broker, JLT used a train-the-trainer approach when getting its teams ready. The initial training was provided by PPL and Ebix to train two internal trainers who can now train internal teams quickly and onsite. Clare highlighted: “It’s the PPL demonstrations that create the most interest internally, and really drive questions from the teams. The demonstrations of the PPL platform and training are linked to JLT’s own internal processes and that means our teams can make the link from what they do today and how it will be done in the future, which helps bring PPL to life. As each class of business goes live, the trainers make themselves available to the teams providing any assistance needed to new users, so they are able to overcome any initial challenges, ask questions and feel supported.”

Technology

PPL isn’t yet integrated into JLT Specialty’s own systems, but it’s an easy to use platform. Integration will come later, however, JLT Specialty does not see integration as a reason not to proceed. On technology, Clare pointed out that: “PPL isn’t an IT implementation, it’s a change project, so we have approached our plans from that angle. It’s about helping people understand why we are adopting PPL and helping them through that process.”

Challenges

Any change comes with its challenges and Clare was open in saying: “There are, of course, some resisters to PPL, as we are changing the way people have worked for a long time. We openly accept and respect their view, but simply asked for their help in supporting our CEO and JLT Specialty as a whole in getting fully behind PPL now that the decision has been made to support this initiative. Those that want to adopt PPL should be given that opportunity. It would be unfair for them to be unduly influenced by those who don’t.”

Change isn’t just within JLT Specialty. “Paul, our CEO, asked us to canvass the market to gauge underwriters’ response to our plans and to escalate any concerns and encourage conversation on how PPL will be used with them. For example, using PPL for electronic quotes didn’t quite work for one market, so we agreed to still use PPL but do the broke around the PPL screen.

“We also have a clear escalation route if brokers encounter an issue with a market: Broker, Broker Team Manager, Divisional Chief Executive Officer/Divisional Chief Operating Officer, Portfolio Manager and then our Association. This is another clear sign that the teams are supported in adoption.”

Keeping the momentum going

Starting to use PPL is just the beginning of embracing change. JLT Specialty recognised that its internal Working Groups needed to continue after each class went live, but with reduced frequency over time. Clare shared that: “Divisional Chief Executive Officers and Divisional Chief Operating Officers have clear objectives relating to the successful adoption of PPL. We also monitor what’s on the platform and what should be on the platform to understand progress. KPIs are being developed, so we will able to be very clear on what success looks like with our teams.”

What would you say to those brokers and carriers who are yet to use PPL?

We asked Clare how she would respond to this question and her response was clear: “PPL is designed to support face to face negotiation and remove paper and wet stamps from the placement process, but it takes all parties in the process to make it work.

“We have been really heartened by the collaborative approach of other brokers in sharing ideas, which has really contributed to the structure of our approach.

“Overall, I’d say that both brokers and carriers have a duty to engage with modernisation in its totality to safeguard the future of the London Market, especially in light of Brexit. If we can work together, modernisation will drive future success.”

The LM TOM team and PPL thank Clare and JLT Specialty for the support in providing this case study. 

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