Best Practices for a Successful Systems Implementation

 In Back Office Systems

The decision to upgrade or change technology at the fund office will have widespread impact on the processes and people that manage day-to-day operations.  For both the fund administrator and the trustees, the stakes to succeed are extremely high.  To share what we have learned in shepherding clients through this risky and complex endeavor, I was asked to author a series of articles for IFEBP Benefits Magazine.

The first article, that I coauthored with my colleague Jim Hynes, Executive Administrator of Pipe Trades Services of Minnesota, highlights five steps that will help you manage the RFP process and select the right vendor for your project.  Selecting System Vendors: What to Consider covers the requisite pregame preparation to guide the development of a comprehensive and detailed RFP.

In the November issue of Benefits Magazine, you will find my latest article: Successful System Implementation: A Fund Administrator’s Guide to Getting It Right. Here I share my perspective about the key aspects of the implementation process that need to be in place before you push the “go-live” button.  This article includes best practices to:

  • Plan the work: understand the program, define the ecosystem, set goals and milestones, establish guiding principles
  • Design the functions: be sure to cover these 9 key functions before you assign resources
  • Work with your technology partner: understand your mutual responsibilities to keep the relationship positive and progressive
  • Manage the risk: best practices to avoid disasters, stay on schedule, manage the costs

Although we all face the challenges of meeting regulatory compliance and funding obligations, the specific operational needs of each fund are different.  I am happy to elaborate on any points in the articles and hear how your fund is meeting the challenges of changing technology. You can reach me at (617) 864-8813 or at

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