Credit unions still running on legacy systems originally built to meet the batch processing needs of in-branch transactions have to face the daunting task of completing a core conversion. This process can enable institutions to effectively handle the anywhere, anytime request for real-time transactional processing.
The benefits of a core conversion are clear, yet the path to achieving it is not always as simple. Before embarking upon this endeavor, credit union leaders should be aware of some common errors. This can help guide a more efficient transition and result in better outcomes. Here are 10 mistakes to avoid during a core conversion:
Leading With IT
Business needs, not technology, should fuel and drive a core conversion while technology supports and facilitates it. Credit union leadership must first identify the processes and end results needed and then let teams, including IT, make it happen.
Doing Everything at Once
A full-blown core conversion will involve many stages. Completing these one at a time rather than simultaneously helps teams troubleshoot issues more effectively along the way. When too many changes are made at once, it can be near impossible to identify the root of a problem and to therefore fix it.
Adding Non-Core-Related Changes
Akin to the point above, adding other changes or enhancements while also engaging in a core conversion increases the chance of additional problems.
Not Testing Along the Way
Every change should be tested as it is implemented and before initiating the next change.
The level of documentation needed in a core conversion is immense but necessary. Skimping here will make solving issues more difficult.
Bypassing Proper Planning
A clear project plan must be put in place up front. This should identify the steps, teams and timelines and be updated in real time as the project progresses.
Under-Communicating With Members
When it comes to informing members about changes, there is no such thing as too much communication.
Ignoring Staff Training
No matter how well you communicate ahead of time, members will have questions, and your employees must be able to answer them immediately to avoid grave dissatisfaction issues.
Understaffing for Member Inquiries
Overloading your customer service and other employees with member questions when they are in the throes of learning a new system can seriously hamper employee relations and engagement.
Discounting Future Problems
Even the best system will have problems at some point. Every core conversion plan should include provisions for what to do when this happens.
It is possible to not just survive a core conversion, but also for a credit union to thrive from one. The right foresight and approach will make all the difference here.