How to Properly Game Plan for Your Loan Software Implementation

In every project, successful implementation depends on three essential stages – planning, organization, and execution. When you think about it, your implementation needs to be just as calculated and coordinated as your overall lending programs and strategies. You can’t just wing it if you want things to go smoothly.

Much like assessing how loan software will be able to fit and enhance your current operations, the same type of effort must be invested when the decision has been made and it’s time to integrate that platform with your programs.

To help you figure out whether your loan software provider can deliver a successful implementation, it’s important to focus on these key factors:

  • Roles of the implementation team: To realize all of the benefits promised by the loan origination system and achieve your projected ROI, you need to ensure the platform is implemented successfully. You will be relying heavily on the guidance of the system provider, so it is important to investigate this process and gauge how well prepared the provider is to lead you and your team. The list of team member roles should include an executive sponsor, which is the client role responsible for setting direction and championing projects within the organization; a project manager from the provider responsible for providing direct oversight to the implementation; a system administrator from the client who is responsible for day-to-day setup and maintenance of the software; an IT/networking client role responsible for fulfilling IT tasks during the project lifecycle; and an integration role responsible for configuring the system and testing integrations.

  • Implementation plan development: Ask your provider to share an implementation plan developed and executed for another client of similar size and scope. Look at each of the tasks and major milestones to get a sense of the plan’s organization. You will likely want to adopt the provider’s plan as a starting point since, presumably, it has that experience to leverage.

  • Scope of the requirements gathering process: The requirements gathering process is absolutely critical to getting everything else about the implementation process correct. It is the process whereby anything that may have been forgotten or hidden should now be brought to light so it can be planned for with efficient design, configuration and customization. The loan software provider should interview different members of your team to be sure all areas have been covered.

  • Transition logistics: A roll-out plan should accompany the implementation plan. There are many considerations to account for when finalizing the plans for full utilization of the system in a production environment. Be sure to ask the provider to provide recommendations on an approach that involves the least amount of risk while maximizing the benefits expected in the new system.

It’s important to keep these particular considerations in mind when evaluating how a specific system and provider fit the needs and goals of your institution’s lending operations. Not only does MeridianLink offer the industry's most powerful and efficient loan origination and account opening systems on one platform, we also have the expertise to streamline any implementation process.

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Photo Credit: RichardBH