User Training is a fundamental part of any bank’s project delivery and is often overlooked or neglected in lieu of wider project demands on resources. Companies can spend millions of pounds implementing a new programme, but if users don’t know how to use it, it’s pointless! Whilst Prototyping and Agile methodologies have recently encouraged early demonstrable solutions, often in large scale programmes such as a Bank Divestment or Integration, the End Solution or “Target Operating Model” is a difficult concept for business users to visualise, i.e. they don’t really know what they’re getting…

As such, there can often be disappointment or negative of the final solution at the implementation stage.
How can banks overcome this challenge?

The Model Office

A training method that creates a working prototype of the target production environment, operations and processes. It allows the business and operational teams to validate their understanding and “bring to life” the proposed solution.
What value does this method bring to end users and the business?

  • Provides individuals with experience on the new system prior to it going live.
  • Individuals can ask questions regarding any errors that may occur and how to avoid them.
  • Provides the business with an insight into what part of the system works well and what area needs updating.
  • Provides the business with feedback on end user training to assess whether more sessions are required.
  • Provides both the end user and business an understanding of how long it will take for functions to be completed.

What happens during a Model Office Session?

An organised session in a physical room with workstations set up for each necessary department within the bank.

The attendees simulate a real life working day in the bank, using the new system. In order to set up a plan and roll it out, the organisational team need define:

  • Scope: Definition of the bank needs and the Model Office sessions objectives.
  • Schedule: Definition of the key milestones to cover the bank needs and Model Office sessions objectives.
  • Model Office Delivery Organisation: Definition of the sessions, dates and checklist to Model Office objectives.
  • Before a Session: Define all activities to complete prior to a session.
  • During a Session: Define all activities to deliver within a session.
  • After a Session: Define all activities to complete post session.

It’s important to remember that expected output must be consistent throughout and cannot change before or during the Model Office sessions and scheduling of sessions must not be inconsistent of altered at the last minute, which can result in lack of trainer availability.

Model Office - Who should participate?

The staff that normally participate in these sessions tend to be key operations personnel who will ultimately be responsible for using the systems and processes once the execution of the project or programme is complete.

Model Office

Not every bank will have a Model Office department when completing a platform replacement. However, having one throughout has many advantages in managing a large transformation programme, including:

  • Bridge any confusion between those leading the sessions and those attending.
  • Speed up the implementation process, as the end-users will have had practice working day simulations on the new system.
  • Drives user and business engagement and facilities adoption through early involvement.
  • Feedback from the end-users can help understand what the most important areas of the system are and ultimately determine the optimum business rollout approach.

The true power of Model Office approach lies in its collaborative approach, which brings in a powerful set of features:

  • Actively engages business stakeholders in design and implementation of the business change.
  • Collaborative approach with shared accountability of the results.
  • Real life scenarios tested by real users in a simulated work environment.
  • Working sessions over offline reviews.

The Model Office provides a platform for cross functional teams to work together and devise the right business solutions to solve complex problems. It ensures the systems developed during the project or programme can transition to operational use smoothly. It can also help to gain support from the staff that will ultimately be using the new system, as it gets them involved early, so that the business can adapt the systems based on their feedback.The collaborative environment brings together a cross-functional team of business stakeholders and systems SMEs to design and implement complex business change.

Do you want to speak to someone about implementing Model Office? Contact us today.