Data processing systems are critical to a credit union’s ability to grow and evolve. This is why 40 percent of respondents to the Callahan Credit Union IT Spending Priority Survey reported that they would undertake a core system upgrade in 2005,and 16 percent stated they would convert systems in 2005. These percentages reflect credit unions desire for enhanced capabilities as they expand their fields of membership and add new services.
The numbers are even more telling considering the process is never taken lightly and requires substantial investments in time, money and manpower. When performing such an overhaul there are several critical steps that need to occur to ensure a smooth transition.
With the benefit of hindsight, Kinecta Federal Credit Unions ($2.8 billion, CA) offers these tips for a successful conversion.
- Hire a highly capable project manager
- Ensure every business unit is represented in core conversion team
- Hold several mock conversions and a complete dress rehearsal
- Appoint a conversion manager with c omplete authority to make any necessary decisions
- Prepare to delay additional application development until post-conversion
- Meet regularly with core conversion team
- Maintain constant open dialogue between both project managers and C-level executives at both organizations
- Communicate with and educate m embers, employees, and business partners