The recent NCSEA Leadership Symposium held in Anaheim, California, served as a gathering point for child support leaders from across the country. During this event, sessions delved into areas like leadership, soft skills, and the ever-important topic of system modernization. As someone deeply involved in system modernization projects, one particular session caught my attention – “Leading a System Modernization Project,” presented by a panel of experts in the field.
The session featured insights from Tim Mose (SC IV-D Director), Jose Encarnacion (SC DSS DIO), and Katie Morgan (Protech Project Manager) as the Moderator. Their discussion unveiled some eye-opening facts that left many attendees intrigued.
South Carolina’s Project Challenges
South Carolina, until 2019, held the unenviable distinction of being the last state to obtain a federally certified system. Considering their position, South Carolina had the ambitious task of meeting three separate targets simultaneously:
- Implementing the PACSS IV-D system
- Incorporating a State Disbursement Unit concurrently
- Integrating a Family Court Case Management System
What made South Carolina’s achievement remarkable was its approach. They accomplished these goals by establishing a shared vision, defining guiding principles, and creating distinctive branding. Directors Mose and Encarnacion generously shared their valuable lessons learned during this challenging journey, leaving us with some crucial takeaways for states contemplating a system modernization project:
- System Development and Implementation require significant effort and dedication.
- Adequate staffing is paramount and should not be underestimated.
- Tasks such as data clean-up, forms, and reports tend to consume more time than initially anticipated.
- Interface partners may have differing priorities, necessitating effective communication and coordination.
- Training efforts may not yield immediate results. In-depth and follow-up training may be necessary for lasting success.
- Organizational Change Management is pivotal and should encompass the creation of an As-Is | To-Be framework.
This session provided valuable insights into the world of system modernization projects and offered a roadmap for successful implementation. It’s heartening to know that South Carolina’s modernization efforts have yielded positive results, including increased collections, enhanced CSENet (Child Support Enforcement Network) utilization, and faster case processing times thanks to a statewide system. Click to read more of our Courtland Insights.
Blog credit: Lisa Bender, Senior Training Consultant