Tips for LOS Implementation Program Management
So, you’ve decided you need a new LOS. You’ve secured user buy-in for a new system, you’ve selected the right LOS, and you’re ready to start the LOS implementation process. Your organization is well on its way to reaping the benefits of a modernized, automated, compliant loan origination system. But how do you keep your LOS implementation project running on track?
At Saxony Partners, our team of financial services digital consultants helps our clients implement their new loan origination systems successfully every day. Here are our tips for optimal LOS implementation program management.
Define your goals before you start.
Saxony Partners Senior Manager Harry Hixson has years of hands-on experience specifically with LOS implementations. He serves as an advisor and a project manager for our mortgage clients to ensure their LOS implementation projects go smoothly.
According to Hixson, some of the most critical steps in the implementation process take place before it actually begins.
“Start by outlining your business requirements,” Hixson said. “Make a list of what you need to have vs. what you want to have. You won’t necessarily be able to do everything right away, so you need to prioritize your key requirements and metrics, then plan for future phases.”
Determine how much configuration or customization you’ll need.
Once you know what your organization wants to accomplish using the new LOS, you need to determine how much you’ll have to adapt it to get there. Some changes can be made within the existing system as configurations, whereas others will require customization by developers.
“You have to decide: Are you going to use the system out of the box like it was meant to be used, or customize it?” Hixson said. “Are you going to follow the vendor’s recommended best practices or attempt to update the system to work with existing business practices? Customization costs you time and money, but there are sometimes features on your ‘needs’ list that require custom code.”
Set up your third-party integrations.
The next critical step in the implementation process is to coordinate with third-party vendors. You’ll need to select which vendors you want to use, then draw up contracts.
This typically includes: credit report generators, automated underwriting systems, data compliance assessments, documentation, pricing engines, general ledger, and CRM reporting.
“You need to identify your vendors upfront so you will understand the scope of your project,” Hixson said. “You don’t want to staff incorrectly and realize it months later. That leads to overruns in cost and time.”
Build your implementation team.
Finally, you need to build out your LOS implementation team with the right experts in each role.
There’s your project management team, consisting of program management, governance, and change management. You need executive sponsors with a clear-cut team structure and authority as decision-makers. And you need a business unit and cross functional team, equipped with plenty of freed-up time to be successful.
“Identify who the players are and who will represent each of the following teams: business leads, technology leads, project management, and empowerment,” Hixson said.
How Saxony Partners Can Help with LOS Implementation Program Management
If your organization needs guidance as you implement a new LOS, our team of financial services industry experts can help.
“We have experienced people who can plug into some of these different roles – guiding and acting as a trusted advisor to ensure they are going down the right path,” Hixson said “We’re not the businesses owners, so we can be open and objective. We have employees with specific experience in LOS implementation and we can staff program/project managers.”
Reach out to us for more information about our LOS implementation and project management services.