Yes, technology projects are sometimes an excuse for credit unions to help move along the institution. Last week I was talking with one of our Professional Services Consultants who were on-site assessing a credit union. It quickly became apparent that a key central information system (in this case, it was a type of CRM/Intranet) wasn’t trusted by employees, wasn’t used effectively by employees, and processes were inconsistent. Credit union staff avoided this intranet tool by putting key information in other storage areas. This workaround is an all too common phenomenon when there is friction to technology change within an organization.
At some point, this key central storage information system created a few issues for the credit union. Those hiccups occurred over an extended period of time when many of these workarounds were created. Individual departments started relying on their own shared folders, or pulled information from other systems to complete their daily tasks. The consultants/software vendor experts were called in, who identified and solved the problem but the credit union still had an underlying issue at hand: employees rejected this new and improved system. Besides an endearing message that the system was fixed, the credit union staff went right back working with their trusted workarounds which for the past year had become the norm.
To be very clear, there are no issues any longer with this information system and I’m sure there are actually feature updates and upgrades available that could benefit the credit union. Truthfully, IT doesn’t trust the upgrade process either at this point, as it could interrupt those who do still use the system.
The Pure IT Professional Services Consultant asked both executive and tech teams if they could get their staff to use the system again, to which both teams replied that this behavioral change was not going to happen. In this case, a technology change can be a great RESET, acting as a an opportunity and catalyst for getting the processes and people back to a central information system. The credit union knows member service is dependent on this change. Organizational goals like better reporting and numerous internal efficiencies all linger on the successful technology adoption, and credit union leaders are prepared to change technology to move their people and processes forward. Sometimes that nudge is needed. Regardless of the drivers for change, your credit union needs this technology bridge. As a best practice, system changes and technology updates offer opportunities to improve more than just processes, they allow education and tool utilization for your entire credit union team.