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By Dang Manh Pho, Director, Standing Member of BIDV IT Commitee
More recently, many banks around the world have migrated to a new core banking system (CBS) to meet their business strategy. This was done through a core banking system transformation project (CBSTP). CBSTPs are often complex and large - to the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. What are the key factors for successful implementation of a CBSTP?
1. Project Plan
The project plan must be consistent with the Bank's business strategy. The project plan must be developed on the basis of the Bank's capacity and taking into account the external effects of the external socio-economic environment. The plan must be comprehensive, covering the whole project.
Good preparation will help the Bank avoid risks during the project implementation. It can be said that the preparation accounted for nearly half of the factors that determine the success of the project.
Preparation for CBSTP is very broad, including preparation of human resources for project implementation and adoption, preparation of technical facilities and legal frameworks as well as preparation of data conversion. Preparation for the project should be carried out early and comprehensively.
3. Select CBS
A new CBS replacement is necessary when the existing system will no longer meet the Bank's strategic requirements. Therefore, a suitable CBS solution should be selected. This option can only be based on the correct and complete identification of project requirements. When entering the RFP, CBSTP selection requirements should be presented in a systematic and detailed manner
4. Restructuring the Bank
CBSTP requires the Bank to innovate its business model and governance. It is important to understand that CBSTP is fully related to the organization, personnel, business, and entire operations of the Bank.
5. Project Management
The project management team should be provided with appropriate project management tools and methods for accomplishing goals, enhancing, and managing change during CBSTP implementation.
A key function of project management is to ensure effective scope control and management of the project, with traceability of all configuration and customization to the agreed requirements for the project. Moreover, during the testing phases, all tests must be traceable to the scope as agreed after gap analysis.
It is important to understand that CBSTP is fully related to the organization, personnel, business, and entire operations of the Bank
The project team must have full and effective support from the Bank’s top management. With executive support, the success ratio goes up.
6. Coordination of Project Implementation Forces
To implement a complex and large project such as CBSTP, there should be participation of many units and people. It is important to focus on how to coordinate these units and individuals. The coordination of project implementation should be based on the unified direction and joint effort of all participants. There should also be a good reporting system on the situation of the project.
Closely managing the solution provider and the implementing / deployment unit during project implementation is very important. There should be good cooperation and coordination between the bank and these units in all stages of the project.
7. Reasonable Deployment Schedule
CBSTP should have a reasonable deployment schedule. Often, gap analysis and pilot testing are particularly important steps.
8. Monitoring the progress and quality of the project
The bank should monitor the progress and quality of the project. Banks may hire supervisory consultants but always have their own supervisory staff to monitor the entire process of implementation, detect problems that arise, report the leadership and propose handling measures timely.
9. Training and User Training
It is necessary to provide end-user training, and training for the technical and professional staff, especially the staff who are responsible for the operation, management, and development so that they are capable of mastering, operating, using, and developing system to ensure efficient exploitation and control of system safety. There should be training programs appropriate for staff at different levels.