Tailgating and Technology: It’s All in the Planning

As I divulged last month, I am a football fanatic. I recently took my annual fall road trip to the mecca of college football – The University of Notre Dame. Tailgaiting and technology

Whether you’re a Fighting Irish fan or not, you have to recognize the University of Notre Dame football program is steeped in tradition. It has won an impressive 11 National Championships. Notre Dame also has the most individual Heisman Trophy winners at seven. And it is represented by 48 players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, the most of any university.

But for those of you who aren’t football or sport stats buffs, Notre Dame is also well-known for its superior game-day traditions that appeal to the masses. Most importantly – tailgating.

Surrounded by throngs of football fans, tailgating has taken on a life of its own on game day in South Bend. In the process, it’s become synonymous with the college football game-day experience. For some, tailgating has become as integral to the day as the game itself. With the right preparation, it can also be just as much fun.

You can’t win without a plan

As I started the robust planning and packing of my Jeep to prepare for the tailgate, I took inventory of the “musts” that go into the planning of a success football tailgate.

  • What to wear – Show off that team spirit, but be prepared for any type of weather.
  • What to pack – Load up on food for all (brats, veggie burgers, or even my daughter’s favorite – fried chicken), paper products, and flags or balloons for friends and family to easily identify your tailgate spot. Don’t forget the grill!
  • What else to do – Binging on barbecue potato chips is just the start. You can catch up with old friends, toss the football, listen to your favorite playlist, play corn hole, watch the school’s marching band, or even cheer on the team as the players make their way to the stadium.

All this planning, and the four-hour car trip to South Bend, led me think about the “musts” for planning a new and successful technology implementation at financial institutions. 

  • Analysis – Discover, understand, and articulate the business requirements and strategic vision for the need of the new or enhanced technology, as well as the project scope.
  • Form a Committee Make sure the right stakeholders are involved in the project – from the beginning – including executive champions, project managers, business analysts, and departmental experts. These folks are crucial to setting the vision of the project, ensuring adequate resources are allocated, and understanding the current processes within the lines of business.
  • Vendor selectionDo your homework. Seek out successful implementations. Talk to other financial institutions about their experiences. See their solutions in action. Is the solution scalable? Is it flexible? How is the customer support?
  • Pilot Test, test, test.  It is imperative to test everything. Rollout a training program, check the impact on your ancillary systems, test support, and get other stakeholders involved.
  • RolloutGo at an aggressive pace, but have pre-determined checkpoints. Track the ROI. This will help you expand the solution throughout your enterprise and validate all of your preparation.

Whether you’re rolling out an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, taking on a new core banking platform, or implementing an eSignature solution, you will need to go through the right steps to ensure success. Just like planning the perfect football tailgate, others depend on you and your preparation to ensure that the venture is a success – regardless of the technology being implemented or the teams facing off on the field. 

That’s how you play like a champion.

So what are your plans for this fall?


Michelle has expertise in the financial services industry and has been a contributor to the Hyland blog.
Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle has expertise in the financial services industry and has been a contributor to the Hyland blog.

... read more about: Michelle Harbinak Shapiro