Create a vision, starting at the top of the institution.
Focus on areas that need to be improved, asking questions like:
- What analytics and insights are missing in our reports?
- What customer service feature could we add to gain a competitive edge?
- How could we make our lenders’ jobs easier?
- What processes could be automated?
With an executive vision developed, plant the seeds for staff buy-in by communicating your vision early and often.
Select the right vendor.
Use the vision to select the right fintech vendor to help realize your institution’s goals. Make sure the vendor you choose will:
- Provide a list of required roles and expectations of the institution’s implementation team
- Create a checklist and timeline for implementation milestones
- Assist the institution with improving and maintaining the software
Build internal support.
Ensure your IT team is engaged and ready to assist as needed. Let them know the implementation is a priority and communicate your expectations of them. All divisions need to be kept abreast of the implementation -- especially your management team. Communicate your vision and your expectation that they will support the implementation and be champions for the new software.
Designating an executive sponsor is another key and often overlooked step in digital transformations. The executive sponsor must believe in the vision, have the authority to gather resources, and ensure timelines are being met. He or she must be a valued leader – willing to fill the role of change champion. They must be able to regularly obtain project updates from team members and be ready to report to all stakeholders.
Assemble a project team.
You want team members on the project team who are willing to change, see value in the vision, and encourage others to get on board. This team will help lead communications in your change management plan by word of mouth and deliver positive messages about the implementation’s progress. Select:
- A project manager
- A change manager/champion
- Other team members outside of management
To keep moving an implementation forward effectively, the executive sponsor must be active and clearly present throughout the engagement. He or she must be ready to push the project team members and help make decisions.
Prepare and train end-users.
Plenty of communication with end-users is essential. These members should receive regular updates on the implementation’s progress and “road test” the system along the way. End-users need ample, thorough training. They also need a structured process to ask questions and offer feedback, such as through a SharePoint file or SurveyMonkey survey.
Get ready for launch.
The launch is exciting, but kick-off will go smoothly if you take several actions ahead of time. A good software vendor will provide you with a checklist of everything to do before going live, along with a road map of what happens after that day. Turning off legacy systems and ensuring all users have correct access to the new system are among the steps you’ll need to take.
Enact a post-implementation plan.
A financial institution’s leader could do everything perfectly leading up to going live, but retention rates can fall significantly without a post-implementation plan. The plan should include continued training and improvement, testing new updates, and appointing ongoing ownership of the product. It should also include leveraging the vendor partnership to plan for the future and ensure that your team is satisfied with the product and receives assistance in improving and maintaining the software for the years to come.
Conclusion: Generate digital transformation enthusiasm with change management.
Digital transformation can get sidetracked by software implementations that sputter or, worse yet, fail. When that happens, staff and board members lose confidence in the value of making changes that will benefit customers or members and the institution.
By incorporating change management practices into fintech implementation, bank and credit union executives will generate more enthusiasm and adoption by staff. The boost to digital transformation will help drive growth and efficiency while making interactions and transactions easier and more pleasant for your customers or members.