21st Century Insurance Uses the Best in Project Management to Help Ensure Bright Future

Oct 22, 2010, 08:26 ET from Project Management Institute

—Company receives 2010 PMI® Distinguished Project Award—

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While stories about corporate difficulties and their impact on jobs have received a great deal of attention since 2008, less well-known are the stories of success brought about by companies who have moved aggressively to transform themselves to improve their future standing in the marketplace.  One company that effectively re-oriented itself - Wilmington, DE–based 21st Century Insurance, a member of the Farmers Insurance Group® – has been selected as a winner of the Project Management Institute's (PMI®) Distinguished Project Award for successfully implementing best-of-class project management concepts, techniques, practices or theories through the effective application of project management principles.  The award was presented today to 21st Century Insurance in a ceremony held at the company's Wilmington headquarters.

Led by a dedicated group of talented-leaders from a number of business units, including those who hold the Project Management Professional (PMP®) designation, the project management team at 21st Century Insurance implemented the "Day 1 Separation" project that evolved into a blueprint that one team leader described as "…the beginning of our future."

The Day 1 Separation Project was critical to preparing 21st Century Insurance for purchase by Farmers. The team had to decouple hundreds of systems and business processes in just 90 days.  With this self-imposed deadline, 21st Century turned to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) — Fourth Edition as its foundation for project management, becoming the latest organization to rely on this globally recognized standard.  21st Century was tasked with severing hundreds of systems and procedures and aligning them with Farmers, all while complying with the insurance rules and regulations imposed by each of the 48 states it operated within, and without interrupting service to its stakeholders and customers.  

"This project was the most critical one we have ever completed, for it meant the literal future of the company and it has become a part of our history," said Tony DeSantis, president at 21st Century. "It involved an unprecedented scope and scale to be achieved under an accelerated, self-imposed time schedule.  By staying on schedule, in scope and within budget, while using the PMI framework for effective project management, we not only met Farmers requirements but continued providing uninterrupted service to our stakeholders and customers in 48 states.  We are extremely honored to have been named a recipient of the Distinguished Project Award."  

Various 21st Century business units pulled together resources from all areas of the enterprise in order to lead the project. Much of the success can be attributed to an internal talent pool of PMPs, the most widely recognized credential for project managers, who were able to rely on a body of knowledge, tools and techniques in Project Management.  The team leveraged the rigorous application of the (PMBOK®) Guide to handle the project's aggressive size, scope, timeline, and risk.  The team relied on daily meetings to address and control project obstacles. Any issues were analyzed through detailed risk assessments and interviews. A scope management plan assessed environmental factors, including key influencers that affected the timeline and a five step plan was adopted to manage the scope of the work.  The project managers monitored the project results closely to ensure that they were compliant with the pre-defined requirements, which included security and IT standards. They communicated progress and results to all stakeholders.

"The Day 1 Separation Project completed by 21st Century is a model of exemplary project management efforts and it is most deserving of this award," said Mark Langley, executive vice president and chief operating officer of PMI.  "Their work underscores how project management industry standards and discipline can help enable fiscal solvency and job stability and how a set of credentialed people can make the difference in successful execution and outcomes on any given project."  

For more information on PMI and the Distinguished Project Award, visit www.pmi.org.

About 21st Century

21st Century Insurance is a trade name for a leading group of direct-to-consumer auto insurers in the United States. 21st Century is dedicated to providing customers with excellent coverage and award-winning service and helping them save on auto insurance. Insuring over 2 million vehicles across 49 states and Washington, D.C., 21st Century is also a proud part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, the third largest personal lines insurer in the country. For more information, visit http://www.21st.com/ or call 1-877-310-5687 for a quote.

About Farmers Insurance Group

Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is the country's third-largest insurer of both private Personal Lines passenger automobile and homeowners insurance, and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers operates primarily in 41 states across the country through the efforts of approximately 20,000 employees. Farmers exclusive and independent agents, along with Farmers employees, are responsible for servicing more than 15 million customers.

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

PMI is the world's largest project management member association, representing more than half a million practitioners in over 185 countries. As a global thought leader and knowledge resource, PMI advances the profession through its global standards and credentials, collaborative chapters and virtual communities and academic research. When organizations invest in project management, supported by PMI, executives have confidence their important initiatives deliver expected results, greater business value and competitive advantage. Learn more at www.pmi.org.

SOURCE Project Management Institute