Scoping of Software Projects
Core banking transformation is a mammoth task involving huge investment, planning and strategizing. On procuring budgetary approval for the project, the next step would be to identify and engage an external consultant to aid the bank in the evaluation process. Having understood the bank's business strategy and requirements, the consultant then converts them into a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) covering functional, technical and implementation aspects. It is crucial for the bank's project management team, comprising its business heads, to engage in continual dialogue with the consultant to ensure that all facets are adequately covered in this document.
Banks should curb the tendency to replicate existing software processes in the newer versions and aim to fix any existing gaps; they should also ensure that the RFP reflects this. The new software should incorporate international best practices and, to the extent possible, eliminate older, more cumbersome processes. This would go on to reduce the extent of coding involved, resulting in lower project costs and shorter implementation lifecycles. Some of the exception situations, such as a client's death, may warrant legal procedures to be covered and it may not always be possible to develop software which is process oriented and requiring complex engineering and complying with complex legalities across countries in the globe.
Consultants need to take a broad-based and calculated approach, ensuring that critical business and regulatory requirements of banks are met and users are eased into the newer processes. They should also advise banks on mapping existing practices within the new software, where possible. The inbuilt business functionality of the new software should be utilized to garner more business.
Core banking transformation success relies heavily on a sound understanding of current business processes; demarcating solutions, functions and features as "must-have" and "optional" will help prioritize them. Furthermore, banks and consultants should be flexible and quickly adapt to any changes along the way.