An empowered approach to digital transformation with Ability Options

How an all-women team successfully transitioned Ability Options to a new system and transformed the way the organisation operates and delivers care.

Effectively implementing a new system across an entire organisation can be stressful. Ability Options, an NSW-based provider offering disability and employment services, has recently navigated this change and transformed the way they deliver supports. 

According to Ability Options’ Chief Operating Officer, Naomi McCorkell, the company’s recent growth resulted in different systems and processes in operation throughout the organisation. There was an urgent call for a company-wide digital transformation with a centralised, interoperable software solution that could provide a single source of truth and streamline operations across regions.

Right from the start of the project, Ability Options understood the importance of finding the right people to manage the change, developing a strategic project plan and creating a positive environment that was open to feedback and encouraged people to make mistakes as a way of learning.

 

Powerhouse Team of Women

“To ready our organisation for the new tech rollout, we gathered the best people from within the Ability Options team – individuals that people already looked up to, that showed natural leadership skills and who would be trusted by their peers. What we created, in the end, was an incredibly passionate team that happened to be all female,” says Naomi about their successful approach to implementation.

With no gendered agenda at the outset, this powerhouse team of women included a project manager, a business analyst, a change manager, a reporting analyst, four subject matter experts and COO Naomi. These key team members were committed to the vision of what was possible – they knew what they wanted to achieve and why they needed to transform – and were at the heart of the planning, designing, development and final rollout of the 12-month project. 

Most of the project team members had minimal software experience. They were initially a little unsure about being chosen to be part of the project, but selecting people from within Ability Options was a smart and strategic move. It meant that the core people driving the change understood the organisation’s needs inside out. These ladies now had a real opportunity to bring to life everything they had been hoping for in a purpose-built solution that connected departments and put their participants at the centre of everything they do.

 

 

Positive Change Management

Ability Options chose Lumary for its company-wide software solution. With Lumary’s complete healthcare platform, Ability Options had the solution they needed to transform how their organisation operates at every level.

For successful change management, employees across all regions must accept, embrace and support the new system. “We picked our key team members from different departments, and they became our tech champions and advocates”, says Project Manager, Helen Conway. Constant feedback – both good and bad – and fierce collaboration helped this all-woman team secure the endorsement and adoption they needed from the rest of Ability Options’ staff.  

The collaboration was not just limited to one location. The project team regularly coordinated with people in different regions to ensure the entire organisation integrated the platform successfully. 

Shivani Jayasinghe was the Change and Communications Manager and a true champion for change. Shivani was responsible for the communication and training of each rollout, helping people migrate from one way of doing things to another. 

Bringing in a new system alone won’t guarantee success. It’s the commitment of the people behind those processes that drives the digital transformation. Since the new rollout, all  1,200 employees at Ability Options use Lumary’s platform – a massive uptake and a testament to the hard work and efforts of the Ability Options change management team.

 

Positive Impact So Far

Along with the four subject matter experts on the women-led change management project, the team collaborated with Lumary to plan, design and implement the new software. The solution needed to be fit-for-purpose to meet the specific needs of Ability Options and equipped to grow with the organisation and support their dreams for the future.

Ability Options’ disability services and audit and compliance subject matter experts had a powerful impact on the success and suitability of the final solution. Working closely with Lumary, these knowledgeable team members cleaned participants’ data for streamlined billing and claiming, helped design their new incident management process and implemented rostering and scheduling. Their in-house reporting specialist helped define reporting using Lumary’s analytics dashboards to provide easier access to data insights. 

“Before implementation, we had multiple disparate systems and processes that needed to be streamlined across the entire organisation”, explains Naomi. Each region had a different way of working – to the organisation’s detriment. Since the company-wide tech implementation, staff are more connected, working collaboratively and sharing information effortlessly and securely. 

“This transformation has hugely improved our efficiency by allowing us to have control over the whole documentation process, make data-driven decisions, track inquiries and qualify participants,” says Naomi. “We can now gather all information about business inquiries in one place”. 

Ability Options has said goodbye to spreadsheets and manually collating information from different regions. Today, there is a single source of truth of participant information accessible in real-time using Lumary’s secure platform. Previously, this information was sent in emails, passed on verbally or housed in paper-based case notes. 

“Lumary’s patience and realistic approach to the implementation project played a critical role in recognising the potential of our all-women team and the new solution”, says Helen. “Their support and partnership went a long way to helping us achieve a smooth migration and maintain perspective of what we could achieve together.”

 

Quality Care Delivery

With the new solution firmly embedded, the Ability Options team is more coordinated and efficient, ensuring the focus is always on the delivery of quality supports. This was the ultimate end goal for the change management team. Naomi adds, “now that our support workers are better informed and more connected, they can focus their energy and time on participants’ wellbeing and delivering the best outcomes rather than scrambling to gather and share information through archaic systems”. 

Integrating Lumary across all its business processes has supported Ability Options in its mission to be a genuinely person-centred practice. “With a participant-centred solution, we have a better understanding of our clients’ needs and progress, and working towards offering our participants a chance to connect with us even better in the future”.

“The complete digital transformation of Ability Options has enabled us to better support participants in leading their very best lives and being the star of their own show,” says Naomi. And that’s what matters most.