Beyond Due Diligence – Resourcing For a Successful Implementation 


The process of selecting a strategic platform has concluded, the vendor contract is in the final stages, and the organization is aligned around the target operating model. Your due diligence effort has paid off and congratulations are in order. However, it is imperative to understand that this milestone does not signify smooth sailing ahead. Risks emerge when firms mistakenly rely solely on the vendor to fulfill all project staffing needs and believe subject matter experts (SMEs) alone are sufficient. The foundation for building an optimal project team lies in a disciplined assessment of the various types of resources required. 

Vendor Resources  

Vendors will provide a team of product and technical experts to configure the system, identify when customization is required, and provide guidance to integrate internal systems with the target platform. They also provide project management resources to track key milestones and interrelated implementation tasks. However, it is important to note that these resources are typically allocated to multiple client projects, maintain a bias to their firm, and often lack the comprehensive understanding of the holistic operating model. Therefore, the transformation vision advocated by the firm’s management team may be lost unless internal resources keep it in focus.  

Asset Manager Resources – Are SMEs enough?  

In truth, no. While a successful team will rely heavily upon SMEs to explain processes, other skillsets are just as critical. Technical staff are imperative for developing the data imports and exports between internal systems, the new platform, and any third-party integrations. This helps ensure the adoption of modern data management practices and decreases reliance on bespoke applications. Additionally, a project manager and business analysts are necessary to: 

  • Capture operational metrics 
  • Document business requirements, workflows, and procedures 
  • Coordinate working sessions 
  • Assess and communicate impacts to downstream teams 
  • Develop future state operating models 
  • Coordinate user acceptance testing 
  • Provide status reports to executive sponsors and key stakeholders 

Additional Skillsets Needed 

Apart from robust technical resources responsible for the integrity of data and SMEs, incorporating staff with prior project experience will ensure the firm gains a comprehensive understanding of the scope, scale, and complexity required for a successful implementation. Deploying individuals with prior transformation experience and a proactive “change mentality” will significantly contribute to the project’s success. They are best equipped to propose risk mitigation strategies and hold the vendors accountable. Without thoughtful staffing, firms will risk replication, overlook efficiency-enhancing solutions, and encounter vendor underperformance.  

Impacts of Inadequate Staffing  

Failure to assemble the right team can lead to higher overall project costs, extended timelines, and end-user frustration. Timelines stretch and budgets inflate as staff are burdened with balancing daily tasks alongside project responsibilities, potentially leading to burnout and decreased job satisfaction, thereby increasing employee turnover. However, by conscientiously addressing resource constraints and implementing robust project governance, projects can be positioned for success. 

Olmstead possesses the expertise and a proven framework to lead asset managers through various transformation initiatives from initial assessment to implementation. Reach out to us today to discuss how Olmstead can empower your firm to achieve success. 

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