I think a lot about the preparing banks for successful transformations. Normally these transformations revolve around the replacement of some or all of the bank’s existing systems; “the Legacy” systems. Often the focus of transformation programs is on a specific timeline, a specific business case, specific software, and a specific budget. Bank’s are quick to share their vision of getting from point A to point B with shareholders, analysts, and internal teams. They focus on the what but often ignore the how. In short these initiatives start with a point of view that normally includes a fixed date and a fixed outcome. As the true scope of these initiatives are compared to the current capabilities of the bank the real challenges come to light and budgets and timelines are most often extended time and again as the organization deals with the how of delivering on the vision.
Recently I have been rethinking how to address the common behaviours that cause the majority of banks to take the same missteps on the path to transformation. The majority of my blog post centre on preparing your organization for the transformation. What I have realized in the last few weeks working with a client struggling with the common transformational issues is that the true transformation is the preparation. Building the capabilities within your organization to deliver transformational programs and projects of enterprise scale and moving your bank toward a capability maturity where the successful delivery of transformational programs is possible as part of a continuous improvement methodology is “a Legacy” that sets your organization up for continued success and will set you apart form your competition. The process and core system replacement that account for the majority of transformational programs and projects can, in this light, be thought of as use cases for the enterprise capability model that is being built. If more banks thought about transformation in these terms the seemingly impossible and difficult tasks of core banking replacements, large scale process change, and organizational changes that break down silos would become the possible, the norm, and the slam dunk successes that we work for everyday.