The complexity, lead-time and cost of a conventional treasury implementation put it out of reach of most mid-sized banks. For them, a pre-configured package that can be executed quickly at a significantly lower cost is a decidedly more attractive option.
Product, people and process are the three pillars of any pre-configured implementation package. At its heart lies a product that can be easily customised and configured. This should be supported by a capable and experienced team (the ‘people’ pillar) from the partner organisation. Last but not least is the process, which is aligned with a best-in-class set of processes to ensure a high quality implementation.
A Problem-driven Approach
In order to be effective, any transformation initiative must start out with the right goals, means and mindset. The transformation should be a way to solve a defined set of challenges and problems. This sets the right tone to achieve the desired business goals.
The processes housed in the implementation package should enable the achievement of business objectives by identifying and surfacing the ‘right’ problems and providing the means to solve them. Hence, in such an execution, the transformation partner should be a facilitator who augments the base product with a host of supplementary services. This problem solving approach is far superior to the mere implementation of the core product.
Standard Yet Bespoke
The pre-configured package should have a rich repository of comprehensive solutions for the bank’s context. Since the context can vary from bank to bank, there should therefore be set of solutions for each context. The bank is then able to pick the most appropriate set of processes or practices for their specific context from this extensive predefined basket. In this manner, the implementation package is both standardised and customised, providing an out-of-the-box solution specific to the bank’s requirements.
When selecting the most appropriate solution for the given context, the following factors need to be taken into account:
- What problems need to be solved?
- What is the structure of the treasury in the bank?
- What is the primary function or role of treasury in the bank?
- Are the core banking and treasury solutions separate or bundled together?
- How do various departments and offices interact?
- Is the implementation being approached ‘big bang’ or modularly?
- Which modules are required and what adaptations do they need in that market?
- What are the profiles of the users who will be using the system?
- Will key people be available as required?
- What is the current and targeted efficiency level of processes/practices/work flows?
Based on the context, the set of processes and practices should be designed to add value. There may be processes and practices that are good in general and in isolation, but are not relevant to the context and these should be eliminated. The main focus should be on the reduction of non-monetary cost, time and effort, and on increasing the ease of realising the business goals.
Paper Implementation and Rework
Another key process aims to reduce rework. It is important that the entire transformation plan can be realised on paper prior to altering the pre-configured system. This eliminates the need for repeat testing and rework, a problem typically associated with the traditional approach when changing a configuration. The process framework of the package should enable the team to visualise the end situation or scenarios with them having to actually implement the system and procedures.
The ‘three Ps’ – product, people and process – are vital for a cost effective, efficient and rapid treasury transformation. I’ve highlighted three important processes that should be included in any pre-configured package for treasury implementation in mid-sized banks. These processes incorporate a set of practices to ensure that the right set of problems are identified and solved with a custom-designed process for the context, and enable the complete transformation plan to be visualised on paper before commencing the treasury implementation.
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