7 Steps Needed for a Successful Business Transformation – Case Study for Banks


Published on 6 July, 2018

Being able to stay agile, flexible and efficient is key to a successful business transformation in any industry. For banking and finance, running a tight ship helps to maximize both performance and profit.

Adapting to rapid changes in the marketplace can be challenging when you are operating at scale.

Over the last 30 years, I’ve helped a huge range of businesses make the business transformations they need to make to adapt and thrive. Here are my top ten tips for those in the finance and banking and professional services. London, The City, here we come!


1. Decide on your goal


7 Steps Needed for a Successful Business Transformation
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First thing – you need to decide on what the business goal is. A valid business goal is a strategic goal set by the board and senior management.

The strategic goal can be divided into several phases spanning over several years.

Types of goals for a successful business transformation:

1. Compliance control: The goal can be to adhere to regulations meticulously.

2. Customer Experience: The goal can be to improve and facilitate the way customers contact the bank and make their transactions.

3. Profit/product/performance: The goal might be to deliver new services or improve the services delivered.

4. Innovation Goal: The goal might be to deliver services to FinTech companies. Many companies come with an idea of a new service. They can develop their applications and they can deliver their services to end clients.

Each goal will require an adjustment to the way business is done to deliver a quality and profitable result. This is where business process transformation comes in.


2. Map the transformations needed


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If the goal is to:

a) adhere to regulations the business transformation might be only about improving the process of reporting to the authorities.

b) improve and facilitate the way customers contact the bank and make their transactions the transformation might be developing a new app and a new website and then drive user adoption of the new method.

c) deliver new services or improve the services delivered, the bank has to acquire knowledge and personnel. The transformation might be upgrading or replacing the core systems, which means the back end and back office.

In case the goal is delivering services to FinTech companies, the transformation is about delivering banking as a service (BaaS), which means developing many API’s (application programming interfaces) above the core systems and determining an appropriate pricing strategy and compelling offer.

For example, nowadays investment banks are helping their clients to prepare the pitch and all the necessary documents and escort them in a face to face meetings with potential investors.

An investment bank might decide to deliver its services online by creating an arena for roadshows moderated by the bank’s analysts, or by other banks’ analysts.

This arena is a platform for money raising, where the pitch and the necessary documents (preferably interactive and digitally signed) are uploaded. The investors can review the documents and discuss the relevant issues over the platform. This platform can be moderated by the bank. This platform can be used as a service to other investment banks or other investment institutions.


3. Estimate the resources needed


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Once the goals were set and the transformation activities were derived, the resources needed should be estimated.

Resources do not mean only the quantitative values – as in ‘what will it cost to make this happen?’

Resources also mean the qualitative or the soft values. Changing processes, making organizational changes, recruiting new employees, adapting existing systems and adopting new technologies all require a long period of assimilation during which the culture changes and clients begin to respond to the shifts the business has made. This testing period takes time and patience and needs to be costed into the resourcing plan.

This costing includes training days, trainers charges, extra working hours of employees, temporary manpower, human errors, guidance to clients, customers’ complaints and time needed to handle the complaints, and even the possibility of some minor clients’ churning.

In one of the telecom companies, clients complained over the long time needed to get assistance from the helpdesk. The solution, in that case, was replacing the manager. The new one set time goals for delivering services, replaced the system so each employee was monitored and the results were published every day within the department. Many employees resigned because of the transformation, and a process of recruiting new personnel and lots of training and workshops was initiated. The end outcome was that this telecom company excelled over its competitors and gained new clients.

4. Prepare a successful business transformation plan


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After setting the goals and mapping the transformations needed a detailed plan should be written down.

The plan enables the team to decide on the appropriate activities to take them towards the goals. It also enables ownership of key deliverables and activities by the project team.

A successful business transformation may hold both an overarching vision and a detailed agile ‘sprint’. This means that both the long-term view and the short term are taken into consideration and changes in approach can be made as needed along the way.

Project managers and sponsors need to be kept in the loop. Employees and relevant suppliers may need access to the plan and to receive regular updates on how work is progressing.

The benefits of a clear plan are many – but perhaps most importantly, an explicit and robust plan helps to make employees feel more confident that the transformation will be successful.


5. Monitor the progress of the transformation


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Planning alone isn’t enough. For a successful business transformation, it is essential to devise a process of monitoring progress.

Monitoring enables you to discover the obstacles and risks. Of course, some will be minor but some are major.

For example, in a museum, there is an IT unit, but there are other units that handle IT.

The transformation is to unify all those units to eliminate redundancies (release some employees) and align the IT with the museum needs. The transformation had 2 plans. The first was to unify and out-source the IT function.

However, there was a possibility that the union won’t let this process be realized, hence the 2nd plan (B plan) was to out-source only some of the roles, according to the reaction of the union.

Another example is described later in chapter 7.

In other words, the monitoring gives us valuable feedback not only about the implementation but also about the whole process of transformation.

Monitoring is not only for senior management or the board. It is also for the employees and all the participants of the process. They can see the progress, the milestones, and the timeline and celebrate success at key milestones.


6. Make sure the transformations are still needed and the goals are relevant


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Implementing the transformation takes time and, in the meantime, the marketplace is constantly changing, technologies are evolving.

An impresario company, that arranges music, play and dance performances all over the country, had to get online and sell tickets on the web.

The project was started using a CRM platform. During the project, several clients took part in giving feedbacks.

In result, the whole concept of the project was changed. Meanwhile, a new module of selling was developed by the ERP developer. The impresario company bought this module abandoned the CRM and restarted the project with the ERP, receiving excellent feedback from clients and tightened connections between the selling and the back office.


7. Comply with relevant regulation like privacy and security.


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The banking sector is full of regulation, like Basel iii, security, privacy (GDPR) and more. While making the transformations it is a must to verify high-quality compliance with these regulations, because there might be some temporary deviances from the regulations that might convert into permanent ones without a conscious eye on the overarching process.

Bank of Israel audited the mortgage activity of a commercial bank. It was a severe report demanding a massive transformation including changes to procedures, the information system and sending home 2 C-level managers. This was an intensive project of a year and a half of a very tight schedule. A thorough monitoring was needed. Every week mid-level management was reported, every month the CEO was reported and every quarter the board was reported. Bank of Israel was reported every half a year.

The monitoring as such helped all participants be aware of the goals and the progress and became more motivated and a part of the success of that transformation project.


We in one-process assist clients by defining the stages of progress of their strategic goals, we design the solution for a successful business transformation using the minimal resources needed in an efficient way and we set a plan to accomplish all these and monitor the progress of the plan’s implementation.

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