When a bank opts for a new treasury management system, managing and executing its implementation is no mean feat. It is a career defining activity for a treasury professional. The right treasury management system has to be selected. The system has to be customized to be in tune with a bank’s processes and existing technology applications. The system needs to be validated within the bank to ensure that it functions correctly. All of this while staying within time and budget limits and keeping up with day-to-day treasury activities! It is not surprising that an average implementation cycle can range from 18 to 24 months based on the complexity.
Go-Live Faster has been part of multiple implementations over the past years and has had the first-hand experience of some of the key challenges faced and risk mitigation strategies. Here are some best practices that Go-Live Faster believes should be practiced by product teams during an implementation:
- Map your need for change to the product life cycle and conduct an objective analysis of existing system features with business gaps.
- Spend time understanding the incumbent system. Build detailed data/ feature maps of the incumbent system.
- Define your minimum viable product (MVP). In addition to this, a product road map from that MVP to the fully functional system (FFS) is important.
- Spend time and money writing detailed requirements upfront. Breaking requirements down into project phases helps.
- On an average, each organization banks with anywhere between 3 to 5 banks. Just because you see your competitor offer a feature on their system does not mean you need it for yours.
- Front load activities linked to Wires/ACH and Information Reporting functionality.
- Ensure that backend systems are available and integrated for validation. Identify accounts with Check Images, deposit items and special cases in the back end systems before validation begins.
- Brutally prioritize and limit the number of customizations. Deploy the high priority, customized functionality early.
- Verify high priority and high risk functional areas early. Get Product and Line of Business teams involved in daily failure point triage calls with the vendor.
- Sign failure point turn around SLAs with the vendor. Get the vendor to focus on high and medium priority failure points.
- Bring all integrating system vendors on the same page through weekly/ bi-weekly meetings. Create more clarity and raise flags early.
- Share the list of user conversion failure points with the support team before the system goes live. Post go-live, divide the support team to champion specific functional areas of the application.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate- This is critical to ensure collaboration and change management.
The success of a treasury management system depends entirely on the success of its implementation. Proper implementation is just as important as selecting the right treasury system. Majority of the times, it is only when a crisis comes up and treasury departments have to produce quick and accurate reporting on the organization’s liquidity, that the actual quality of the supporting treasury technology is actively tested. To prepare for such events, treasury professionals need confidence in the quality and dependability of their treasury technology. While the above is not a laundry list, we believe that anybody doing a treasury implementation would find it useful.