August 2022

4 Make or Break MES Implementation Considerations Addressed

By Adam Hayden

Introduction: MES implementation considerations

Modular MES (Medicaid Enterprise Systems) holds exciting potential for more efficient Medicaid management. To guide agency, employee, vendor, and provider planning, we are sharing a blog series from our perspective as Medicaid’s first and only Training Integrator: The name itself brings to mind the role of a Systems Integrator in a modular environment but for the people side of implementation. 

A Training Integrator provides a common brand and voice for learning audiences so that training includes a consistent look and feel

In this installment, we detail how a Training Integrator can address four critical considerations for training and change management to ensure a successful MES implementation. 

Four Key MES Training Considerations 

We described each of the four considerations in an earlier blog post. To recap, these considerations include: 

  1. Sources of Training Content: Systems training often focuses on features and functions, not business processes and real-life scenarios. 
  2. Audience Readiness: Modularity may seem more complicated to legacy system users and stakeholders. Acknowledging and addressing learner resistance, even fear of the unknown, presents a unique challenge. 
  3. Timing of the Training: Too early, and learners may not retain knowledge and skills; too late, and learners may not be proficient for system launch. 
  4. Internal Training Team Capacity: Internal training teams play a critical role in bridging old and new processes, but they can be stretched to meet the demands of a system implementation. 

A Common Voice in MES Training 

In practice, the concept of a Training Integrator can be compared to the role of a Project Management Office (PMO) across the whole MES project. The importance of a PMO to oversee the MES implementation is well understood: a bird’s eye view to ensure multiple vendors and partners stay on track to achieve a common goal. While the PMO is especially concerned with managing the complexity and degree of change to processes and systems, training is an activity that also spans every module. 

A siloed approach to training for a modular system won’t provide that broad view focused on the user experience. A Training Integrator provides a common brand and voice for learning audiences so that training includes a consistent look and feel. In short, training that looks like it all comes from the same place, like a PMO! 

Addressing 4 Key MES Training Considerations 

As Medicaid’s first Training Integrator for an MES implementation, we’ve learned lessons that we’re excited to share with the community. Following is our guidance to address the four considerations. 

1. Sources of Training Content

A systems vendor may describe the functions of each component well, but someone who designed the system may struggle to offer insights into the how’s and why’s of new business processes. Learners may have knowledge of each module but without structuring training around daily activities, knowledge of a single module doesn’t translate to confidence in navigating between many modules in a single encounter or transaction. 

A Training Integrator enables users to learn technical proficiency with a view that expands beyond individual components to see how the modular system works as a whole. As an objective third-party, the Training Integrator will select the best sources for training content by: 

  • Reviewing vendor training, evaluating content, curating materials, and stitching disparate content together into a cohesive training plan 
  • Mixing and matching training content for multiple users in different roles who access similar modules 
  • Supporting vendors with creating accessible training system environments for learners 
  • Focusing learning objectives on performance expectations 

2. Audience Readiness

As experts in adult learning solutions, we recognize that all learning is emotional. In many cases, a Training Integrator will employ OCM (Organizational Change Management) specialists to: 

  • Analyze and identify stakeholders 
  • Evaluate the impact of the change 
  • Communicate with tailored messaging 
  • Monitor learner attitudes 

This is an ongoing process that may last for many months before and after the launch of the new system. A phased approach in system implementation can extend this period even longer, so you can also expect an OCM specialist or team to stay engaged throughout this entire time. OCM professionals will immerse themselves not just in the system functions but in all the business processes, daily activities, and workflows the system supports. The goal is to create a behavior change experience that is relevant to their unique needs and environment, sensibly paced, instructionally and measurably effective, and seamlessly and smoothly delivered. 

3. Timing of the Training

As you plan, a Training Integrator will weigh in on your decisions about timing. Agile or phased development is often a preferred approach for developers, and your training plan should follow suit. A competent training integration team will recommend practical timing solutions, including regular check-ins. With access to fully functional system components, a Training Integrator can also establish a schedule that minimizes the costs of any rework. 

In addition to an agile training plan, Briljent’s Senior Learning Consultant, Susan Gulde, emphasizes the importance of a strong design foundation. To map learning objectives to a curriculum and delivery plan, instructional designers will benefit from deep immersion in your workflows so that they have a better understanding of your audience and how the new systems will improve their processes.

The earlier the Training Integrator understands your changing processes, the more relevant and focused the training will be. The sweet spot for effective learning is to deliver content at a pace and cadence that prepares users for go-live. Procuring a training vendor equips agencies and employees with this third-party expertise. 

4. Internal Training Team Capacity

In-house training teams are critical for bridging the gap between legacy materials and a modern, modular environment. And yet, given the complexities of a modular MES, internal training teams may be stretched too thin when required to learn the new system while developing and delivering training materials. A Training Integrator expands the capacity of your internal team to effectively equip audiences for change. It is important to provide your Training Integrator with enough information to address capacity needs early in the procurement process, which helps the Integrator more accurately estimate costs. 

Not Just Another Vendor 

In a complex, multi-vendor environment, adding yet another “vendor” can sound daunting, but with a Training Integrator comes important efficiencies and time/cost savings. By centralizing training and change management, a Training Integrator:  

  • Eliminates waste by reducing content rework and training remediation 
  • Reduces overhead by supplementing the work of your in-house training team 
  • Eliminates non-productive hours from systems vendors who would otherwise be pulled from DDI tasks to organize training for all MES audiences 
  • Reduces the time and cost to manage fragmented and siloed training from multiple vendors 

Interested in learning more? Join us at MESC next month in Charlotte. In fact, look for a blog post next week to learn about one of our MES training leaders, Jessica Porter, and the sessions that she will be moderating.

Not planning to be in Charlotte?  Reach one of our HIT consultants any time!

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