Conversion Management




We Know What Must Go Right and What Can't Go Wrong

Next Step’s seasoned, hands-on Conversion Management experts will ensure you avoid the typical pitfalls that jeopardize so many conversions in this industry. Banks and credit unions have enormous responsibilities to complete in order to attain success. Next Step can help. Our specialists will provide the strong leadership your organization needs to supplement your internal resources and guide you through all the complexities. Next Step serves as the Project and Risk Manager for your team’s responsibilities and fills the key role as liaison with the new vendors (core, digital banking, loan and account origination, debit/credit card processing, etc.). We are a very experienced advocate helping you every day to seize the opportunities while avoiding the pitfalls. We know what must go right and can’t go wrong. You can count on us to be 100% objective, proactively looking out for your best interests at all times.

Customer/Member Impact is Consideration #1

Our unique 11-point risk management methodology complements and integrates with the new vendor’s approach, securing a very successful and timely conversion. Customer/Member impact is always consideration #1 with every decision, thereby always ensuring the right perspective. Taking care of your share of the work in an expert manner makes a huge difference in the results. You will go into go-live conversion ready and confident - and the vendor will also be positioned for one of their best conversions. With Next Step, everyone wins.


We serve as your Project & Risk Manager throughout every step of the conversion process

Your Trusted Day to Day Leader

Next Step’s Project and Risk Manager is not a “paper pusher”. We apply our 11-point risk management methodology at a detailed level, getting involved with each of your project team members on a daily basis. As part of our Master Assurance Plan™, we develop an integrated project timeline covering all the institution tasks, vendor tasks, and third-party tasks - ensuring all dependencies are established. We work with your management to build the best possible project team and set clear responsibilities and accountabilities for all tasks and events. Our clients rely on our Project and Risk Manager to be their team’s leader, bringing practical discipline, showing how to complete the tasks successfully, and providing expert guidance. It is our job to work with your team and vendors to proactively manage the inherent risks involved in such a large initiative, avoiding the pitfalls and obstacles before they occur. You can count on us to take on the difficult issues head-on without delay.

Full Scope Project Management Services 

As you would expect, Next Step’s Project and Risk Manager handles the administrative functions, such as maintaining the project timeline, scope control, status reporting, etc. More importantly, our responsibilities also include working with your vendors and your team to ensure timely and successful completion of all project components. With our “no shortcuts” approach, we manage data validation, acceptance testing, procedure development, customization requirements, interfaces, training, network considerations, and more. Very importantly, we make sure your team’s valuable time is not wasted during every step of this challenging process.

Our Approach to the Process Makes a World of Difference

We know conversions - our roots are conversions - our passion is conversions. With our involvement, you can expect great results. As with our Vendor Selection process, we approach things differently during conversions. No shortcuts in the data validation process, acceptance testing, staff training, readiness assessment, process uplift, etc. Everything is done in a practical, efficient manner with the full support of the vendor. The disciplined, smart approach Next Step provides to your institution achieves the results you want. Just like with the systems, you don’t just need to know if a consulting firm does or doesn’t do something. You need to know how the consulting firm does it. We look forward to walking through the process with you, step by step. We are positive you will agree to the numerous advantages.


Specialized Help to Reinforce the Key Risk Area of Testing

Next Step’s Project and Risk Manager oversees the overall project, managing all involved parties. The full-time, dedicated commitment of a testing coordinator on your team is also essential to the success of the project. If your institution does not have a qualified individual available for this role, Next Step can dedicate a Testing Consultant whose sole focus every day is to ensure that all system components are comprehensively validated and tested according to the Test Plan. The Testing Consultant provides detailed hands-on guidance to your testing team on a day-to-day basis to validate all converted data, perform acceptance testing, and resolve issues.


With effective training, your staff will gain the knowledge to confidently use the system from the first day live, thus ensuring no degradation in customer/member service

One of the largest risks to the institution is significant loss in productivity as each individual transitions from a high level of comfort with the old ways and accepts the new way of doing business. If this transition is not managed effectively, there will be a significant loss of productivity and negative customer/member impact. The training requirements associated with a conversion or acquisition are exponential compared to day to day teller turnover training. If your institution does not have a training manager with experience in major conversions, Next Step can assign a Training Advisor to help guide your training manager at a detailed level through the large scope of activities.


At the Heart of a Merger/Acquisition is the Technology Conversion

The need for strong project management and hands-on expertise escalates during mergers and acquisitions.

Understanding & Know-How

Next Step knows the issues and risks involved in getting two organizations on disparate systems to make the required decisions and transition effectively to a single solution set. Most importantly, we understand the potential negative impact to your customers/members, staff and bottom line. We have provided project and risk management services for numerous multi-billion dollar acquisitions, including large mergers of equal-sized institutions. We have also worked smaller initiatives, ensuring the same level of high success. Perhaps the best indicator of our value is the fact that the same clients utilize our services for multiple M&A engagements as they fulfill their growth strategies.

Next Step Gets You Started Fast 

M&As typically come with very strict deadlines, thereby demanding a very fast startup on the technology conversion. Next Step’s approach ensures your staff is immediately productive on key tasks that must be completed quickly to ensure timely success. With proven tools and processes, we get the business units of both organizations working on product consolidation/mapping, process review, and operational integration. At the same time, we work with your team to compare the two system environments and determine what components will comprise the new combined environment. We then develop a detailed strategy for conversion.

11-Point Risk Management Methodology Delivers Success

The fast start is complimented by the simultaneous development of our Master Assurance Plan™, integrated project timeline covering all tasks, and the ongoing management of the initiative according to our 11-point risk management methodology. All efforts are focused on managing the risks, completing the job on time and within budget, ensuring staff readiness with new systems and procedures, and minimizing impact to the customers/members. The bottom line -- your institution will be able to realize benefits of the merger/acquisition as planned.

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