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2 min read

How to Avoid a Branch Transformation Trainwreck

How to Avoid a Branch Transformation Trainwreck

If you were getting ready to embark on a branch transformation project, which set of characteristics would you like to describe your project with:

Disconnected, cost overruns, change orders, missed deadlines, wasted time and money, confusion and frustration, project failures, poor visibility


Unified, visible, simplified, saved time, saved money, happiness


For most of us, the choice is pretty easy. So why then do so many FI’s set themselves up for failure and fall into the first set of characteristics when creating their Branch of the Future? 

As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know”.  

Here is One Critical Oversight Most FIs Make When Creating Their Branch of the Future

Transformation - a thorough or dramatic change

As the name implies, a Branch Transformation is no easy task.  

Even more concerning, consider a few of these project stats from The Project Management Institute:

  • Two out of three projects ultimately fail
  • Project failure costs U.S. businesses at least $300 billion each year
  • 9 out of 10 companies fail to execute on their strategic vision
  • 66% of workers don’t have enough time to get their work done
  • 94% feel overwhelmed to the point of incapacitation

Yikes…. And do you know what one of the biggest factors that causes all of this? 

LACK OF COMMUNICATION – people not knowing and understanding what is going on, who is doing what, and teams working together harmoniously.

Miscommunication Creates Chaos

So you may be asking yourselves, what does that have to do with my project?  

Well, with a typical Branch Transformation project involving up to 14 different companies from start to finish– each of whom will complete a separate, but interconnected critical function of the process - you could be setting yourself up for failure.

It all starts out innocently enough – you begin with a consultant, then maybe add a real estate agent to find the perfect location.  Then you’ve got to find the right architect and design team. Next, on to getting a construction crew added to the mix.

All the while they’re all trying hash out the details and coordinate everything together, you’ve still got to start investigating banking equipment, technology, and fixtures.  Your consultant may have ideas, but they don’t actually sell the equipment, so now you’ll need to bring in several more vendors. 

Thought you were done? Nope, you still need to bring in software vendors and of course a facility maintenance team, technical field support crew, a training team, and possibly even a project manager.  

Total tally? 10-14 different companies, each with their own agenda, trying, but ultimately failing to work together.

The train is running full steam ahead and who is the conductor?

A Tightly Integrated Approach is Critical to Eliminating Chaos 

Without having a dedicated and knowledgeable full-time person responsible for directing the train (and even then it’s an uphill battle), projects start to disappoint, budgets start to blow up, fire drills reign, and chaos abounds.

The answer to this madness?  Either try and find yourself a really good project manager that can be dedicated solely to this project, or even better, find a company that already has every single critical piece of the Branch Transformation process already integrated closely together. 

The rewards for a unified team of branch transformation experts abound, and you'll thank yourself when your project is everything you hoped for and more.

But beware, many companies claim to do Branch Transformation, but then ask you to find additional vendors down the road.  Save yourself the trouble, and seek out a company that can truly bring it all together without any multi-vendor management needed from you.

Besides, you've got a bank or credit union to run.


Interested in learning more about a comprehensive Branch Transformation Process? 

DBSI is a one stop shop for all your Branch of the Future needs. Contact us to learn more about our simplified branch transformation methodology.





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