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Case Study Summary

The Process:

  • Performance appraisal 

The Pain Points:

  • Administrative challenges with 10,000 users
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Specific parameters set by the hospital
  • Previous processes on legacy systems

The Benefits:

  • Rapid implementation of performance appraisal processes
  • A streamlined, online system that makes self-assessment possible

Next Steps:

  • The client has further commissioned Think Associates to build a second flow to support top team talent development

UK Hospitals Streamline Self-Assessment with FlowForma BPM

Think Associates' affiliation to the FlowForma Partner Programme has been helping the company deliver services to healthcare organisations by reducing administrative tasks and empowering individuals to spend more time on what they do best – serving the healthcare needs of the citizen. Over the last ten years Think Associates has introduced efficient technology solutions to more than 180 NHS organizations. Now they are using FlowForma Process Automation to build services onto client's existing SharePoint platforms, stripping out the complexity that can so often inhibit innovation.

The Challenge

With new directives in operation across the NHS designed to relate pay rises more closely to performance, the workloads on HR departments has increased significantly. Thousands of healthcare workers requiring individual performance appraisals create administrative challenges that can only be met through technology. Towards the end of 2013 Think Associates was engaged by Barts and King's Hospital Trusts to create a solution tailored to meet regulatory requirements as well as the specific parameters set down by the hospital environment.

Both hospitals were looking for a streamlined, online system that would make self-assessment possible. It had to be easy to use for a wide variety of individuals and it had to come in at a competitive price. With more than 10,000 users in each of the two hospitals, the cost issue loomed large. Previous processes linked to databases on legacy systems would incur per user license fees that simply made the investment – for what was fundamentally an administrative task – prohibitive. 

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The Solution

FlowForma Process Automation enabled Think Associates to create easy online workflows and, by avoiding complex functional specifications (not needed with the FlowForma Process Automation solution) offer rapid prototyping and instant responsiveness to the customers' HR people. Changes which the hospitals were accustomed to taking months to make could be made instantly; forms, templates, fields and layouts could be 'tweaked' on the go. Tim Newham says that the experience of working with FlowForma through the Partner Programme has been one of close collaboration and advice to add to Think Associates' core skills.

Think Associated and the FlowForma Partnership

In its preparation to meet not just the requirements of these two hospitals but also the anticipated demand from a sector undergoing transformation in its processes, Think Associates joined the FlowForma Partner programme to gain a fast start and support a wide range of options to meet the identified goals.

Through the FlowForma Partner Programme Think Associates gained immediate access to a collaborative team who worked closely with the company to refine its proposed solutions to the very specific needs of these two high profile customers. Think Associates' deep knowledge of the inner workings of the healthcare sector were combined with the FlowForma Process Automation platform to deliver a Business Process Management solution that could integrate with King's and Barts' existing platforms whilst deliver capabilities to handle vast workflows — at a fraction of the cost and with much faster implementation times.

Tim Newham, Managing Director of Think Associates, explains: "The assessment system in many public sector organizations is often based on complex policies and equally complex methodologies. These are necessary requirements given the accountability and transparency which is critical in this sector. What's not necessary, however, is carrying this complexity through to the end user, the hospital employee. FlowForma completely understood what we were looking for to address this issue. We set out to keep things simple not just for users but also for the HR personnel charged with running the appraisal systems. The FlowForma Process Automation solution, and the FlowForma Partner Programme, were pivotal; the key to simplicity both for us and for our hospital customers."

As a FlowForma partner, Think Associates has been able to depend on support through the entire process with King's and Barts hospitals and will continue doing so into the future. "The Partner Programme is right behind us when we need it" says Tim. "In operational terms the FlowForma team helped us progress from trial to beta to prototype to go live in a very short timeframe. The team is professional and willing to work as an extension to our own team and that has been a real bonus. They are also happy to appear directly in front of our customers and we have every confidence in their representing the Think Associates proposition when they do so. In terms of deploying the FlowForma Process Automation solution, the Partner Programme and the support it offered helped us become self-sufficient right from the start."

Think Associates says that as a result of its successful implementation with two extremely high profile London hospitals and the support of the FlowForma Partner Programme the company's opportunities within the UK healthcare sector have expanded significantly. Their remit with King's and Barts is also expanding. Based on the rapid implementation of appraisal processes at King's, for example, the client has further commissioned Think Associates to build a second flow to support top team talent development. The FlowForma Partner Programme offers Think Associates the flexibility to respond to such requests by building on the FlowForma Process Automation common template system for all common workflows and processes to provide bespoke solutions as the needs arise.

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Partner Feedback

Tim Newham, Think Associates, FlowForma Partner

Tim Newham

Managing Director, Think Associates

"We set out to keep things simple not just for users but also for the HR personnel charged with running the appraisal systems. The FlowForma Process Automation solution, and the FlowForma Partner Programme, were pivotal; the key to simplicity both for us and for our hospital customers. The Partner Programme is right behind us when we need it. In operational terms the FlowForma team helped us progress from trial to beta to prototype to go live in a very short timeframe."

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