So, now we know that transformation is necessary (we cover the “why?” in 5 Reasons to Transform Your Commercial Lending Business) to an enterprise-wide, holistic approach to commercial lending lifecycle management, now what? What are the next steps in your evolution? We’ve outlined the key elements in realizing a successful transformation.
1. Have a Clearly Defined Business Case.
The first key element to any successful project is a detailed Business Case, necessary to achieve the critical Executive Management support (see #2, below) and to form the basis of your detailed project plan with your chosen technology partner (see #3, below). Focus on where you are now (Current State), where you want to go (Future State), and what benefits your institution will see once the project is complete (Return on Investment). It’s the value that the project will bring to the organizations that is key to moving forward.
2. Get Executive Management to be Advocates.
Once you’ve made your case for the transformation (Business Case) include Executive Management in all of the next steps – the second and perhaps the most important element for success. It is critical to every step of your process that your bank’s Executive Management provides vocal and ongoing support for the success of this enterprise-wide undertaking. This is key not only for the initial investment, but for later communications and project decisions. Expect your leaders to consistently, persistently, and persuasively advocate for the change process and outcomes of the transformational initiative.
3. Find a Trusted Technology Solution Partner.
Find a trusted technology solution partner that will engage in an in-depth assessment of your Current State of doing business and understand your Target State. Your partner should have experience in developing a detailed plan on how to transform your Current State to your ideal Target State, as well as invested in taking you beyond the “end goal” to continue to grow and realize your Return on Investment. Your chosen partner should have a solution with the scalability and flexibility to reach all of those goals, and have a proven, successful conversion and implementation strategy that can be customized for your specific needs.
4. Create a Culture of Transformation.
Successful projects are ones where the entire organization feels invested and involved. As mentioned above, make sure as you move through every step of the project that your bank’s Executive Management team is heavily represented on the project’s steering committee or otherwise actively engaged, and build in regular accountability to them for reporting and identification of risks and assignments for their mitigation. But while Executive Management involvement and advocacy is a key element, also make sure that you build into the project as a core feature accountability, knowledge sharing, and best practices from key advocates of every major silo of your organization—including the head of every line of business and any other area the project will materially effect.
As we’ve written before, transformation is no longer not an option. We’re now in a real-time, 24/7, anytime, anywhere world, and your customers want services that are fast, accessible, transparent, and easy. Getting to a place where you can provide that level of service may not be any of those things, but with the right Business Case, Executive Management advocates, the right technology solutions partner, and a carefully built culture of transformation it is more than possible, it is achievable.