Launch


Introduction

Creating a launch strategy
for your digital workplace

Launching your new digital workplace should be easy. Flip on the switch, open the gates, and watch the people pour in. Right? That's not exactly how it works. Many organizations believe that if they build it, their employees will embrace and adopt. This is a misguided belief. Albeit a fast and loose reference to the ’80s film, "Field of Dreams," it uncovers one of the most common and most dangerous assumptions to make when launching your digital workplace: if you build it, they will come.
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There are many aspects to consider when getting ready for the launch of your digital workplace solution. Launch planning and execution can be a lot of work - but with the right plan in place, it can be smooth sailing.  Here are three simple ingredients to help you successfully launch your digital workplace solution.
  1. Launch Planning - creating a launch plan for your digital workplace could be the difference between success or failure. Don't leave it to the last minute and don't be surprised if you change it at least once or twice.
  2. Launch Prep - like a great meal, it's all in the upfront preparation. Think about creating a drip campaign (if you don't know what this is, ask your marketing team) to hype up your launch day.
  3. Launch Day - the big day has finally arrived - it's time to make a huge splash. Review your plan, get your team ready and don't forget to slow down and enjoy the moment.  

Planning

Building a successful launch plan

The first step in any successful engagement strategy is your launch plan. It sets the stage for employee adoption and engagement, both in the short and long term.
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Checklist

Here are some handy items to help you get started
             when creating your launch strategy.

Launch
plan


The first step in your launch strategy is a plan.
  • Create your plan including a schedule, resources, timing, funding, outcomes, and risks.
  • Determine if you're going to do a pilot, soft launch, or full launch.  
  • Set your goals for launch - pre and post. Use a methodology like SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) to ensure your plan is realistic and attainable. 
  • Make sure your goals align with the objectives of your digital workplace strategy (e.g. employee engagement, productivity, communications, collaboration, culture).
  • Interview key stakeholders for feedback on your plan, and ask for participation in the launch.

Identify
key roles


You're going to need to assemble a strong launch team to help you with all the details leading up to launch day.
  1. Summarize the key roles and responsibilities for your launch strategy. 
  2. Create a skills map summarizing the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need.
  3. Identify your key candidates.
  4. Be sure to have "back-up" candidates for every role.

Secure your
launch team


Your launch team will most likely be cross-functional, so start assembling your team as soon as possible. Securing the right team won't be easy - expect a lot of meetings, conversations, and convincing to get the right team.
  1. Secure your launch team. Ensure you have the right skills and resources. 
  2. Check on resource availability and confirm. 
  3. Summarize the overall launch plan with the team, including key milestones, tasks, timelines, expected outcomes, and potential risks.
  4. Set out individual action plans for each key role.

Planning for engagement


Launching a new solution can be fun and exciting. However, change management will be your biggest hurdle for adoption. Expect some employees to resist a new way of doing things. Understanding this is crucial to ensuring that no one is left behind. Addressing the potential alarm and opposition proactively will lead to a better launch.
  • Make your launch fun.
  • Make it easy to join in.
  • Celebrate activity.
  • Be sure to have advocates to spread the word and help others.

Risk
management


Every plan, no matter how good, has risks. Meet with your team and identify any potential risks to the launch strategy and work on possible solutions.
  • Funding
  • Executive sponsorship
  • Resourcing
  • Timing
  • Blockers
  • Competing projects

Measurement
and monitoring


The only way to determine success is measurement. In your plan, make sure you have outlined your criteria for success and how to measure it. The most common success criteria in the early stages of launch include:
  • Unique logins
  • User views
  • Comments
  • Downloads
  • Profile completion
  • Messages
  • Subscriptions
  • User flows
As your solution matures, you'll want to create
more sophisticated criteria for success.

ICE '17 Session - Expanding Your Audience

The success of a digital workplace increases exponentially when there is cross-functional adoption. See how one organization leveraged innovative solutions and use cases to expand reach and create not only a spike in engagement but also employee productivity.



Key Resources

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Goal setting and launch planning checklist

A checklist to walk you through the steps of preparing, launching, engaging, and measuring your community.

Download the Checklist
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Goals and launch planning

Define business priorities, community goals and learn what's at the core of community behaviours. Plan a strategy that will lead to measurable success. 

Read the guide


Preparation

Getting prepared for launch day

Preparing for launch day doesn't happen the day before. It takes weeks of planning and preparation to ensure you achieve your adoption and engagement goals once the site goes live.
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Prep Checklist

Here are some handy items to help you get started
                when creating your "prep" list for launch day.

Determine the
needs of key
audiences


Your digital workplace strategy determines your target audience at launch. In most cases, there are two distinct launch planning scenarios you need to prepare for:
  1. Company Wide: this is a digital workplace strategy that is focused on the entire organization. A typical use case is a strategy focused on improving corporate communications across the entire company. Understanding the demographics of your organization is critical in this scenario.  Here are just a few things to think about:
    • Corporate culture
    • Distribution of the workforce (e.g. geographies, languages, generational gaps and time zones)
    • Email centric or mobile first
  2. Targeted Communities: this is a digital workplace strategy which is targeted at specific teams or groups such as marketing or sales. In this scenario, you will need to develop programs and messaging geared to this specific audience. 
In some cases, organizations it is a hybrid approach, where the digital workplace strategy focuses on both company wide and at specific employee groups. Developing specific and relevant messaging and programs for your target audiences will be essential for a successful launch campaign.


Launch plan
schedule


Now that you have determined your target audiences, it's time to create a master schedule and series of checklists which outline the programs, timing, and resources for your launch plan. 
  • Master project schedule
  • Resource checklist 
  • Program checklist 
  • Communications checklist
  • Go live checklist
  • Transition checklist

Roles &
responsibilities


Your launch team will most likely be cross functional, so be sure to schedule a regular project meetings that everyone can attend.
  • Set up a project room for collaboration
  • Publish the launch plan
  • Confirm attendance to all meetings (RSVP to meetings)
  • Set clear a clear agenda for every meeting
  • Conclude every meeting:
    • Summary and status of the plan
    • Review key milestones and tasks
    • Confirm timelines are not slipping
    • Reiterate the expected outcomes for launch
    • Review and if possible mitigate potential risks with the team

Recruit
champions


Champions have been identified in your digital workplace strategy as the evangelists, experts, influencers, business leaders, and savvy adopters of the solution.
  • This group of users may be outside of the project team, but will be a key part of your successful launch and ongoing engagement. 
  • Identify your champions and empower them with your key messages anyway you can. 
  • Ask them to go recruit more advocates. Sometimes it takes a person on the inside to show others the ropes and win them over. 
  • Start communication with these groups as early as possible – determine what they will need to know and when. 
  • Consider inviting them to a ‘Preview’ event to showcase the solution and get them excited about it! 


Campaign Plan


Let them know it’s coming prior to your launch date. It’s important to start communicating and creating positive hype before you launch your new digital workplace solution. Start your teaser campaigns a month out and increase as you get closer to launch.

Campaign Schedule

  • Plan to run a campaign schedule
  • Start 4 weeks prior/after to launch
  • Make sure the campaigns are fun and friendly with key messages on what's in it for them
  • Get your Roosters involved - it takes a person on the inside to show others the ropes and win naysayers over
  • Use campaigns that leverage multiple delivery methods

Teaser Campaigns Ideas

  • Run a naming contest
  • Run a four week publishing campaign to create hype
  • Ensure the messaging is short, yet progressive (it builds)
    • Week 1: CEO blog
    • Week 2: HR update
    • Week 3: Employee hype
    • Week 4: Digital Workplace Manager – launch is around the corner
  • Video on the homepage
  • Update in the townhall
  • Naming contest
  • Increase the frequency of your teaser campaigns in the final week

Growth
planning


Create a plan for providing end user support at go-live for answering questions and troubleshooting any issues - driving adoption and growth. 

Remember, this is a new solution and you want to ensure your users have a great initial experience. 
  • Help desk
  • Online forum
  • Feedback form
  • Digital workplace facilitator


Key Resources

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Building engagement before launch

A checklist to walk you through the steps of preparing, launching, engaging, and measuring your community.

Read the Guide
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Calling all champions

Managing an intranet is way more fun with friends. They’re there to lift you up, help you out, and simply appreciate everything you do. Do you know who yours are? This 32-page guide will help you find (and celebrate) your champions.

Read the guide


Launch Day

It's time to launch your digital workplace

Launch day is finally here. It's time to go through your launch plan and checklists to ensure your project team is ready to launch your digital workplace to the company.
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Checklist

Here are some handy items to help you
coordinate "all the things" on launch day.

Pre-launch
meeting


Set up your pre-launch meeting a week before launch. This will give you time to resolve any unknown issues or complete any final launch day tasks.
  • Review the launch plan and distribute a launch checklist.
  • Confirm projects and tasks are complete.
  • Identify and resolve issues.
  • Hype the team.

Launch day
meeting


Set up an early morning meeting with your project team to go over the final details of the launch. Ensure there are no issues or risks for launch (e.g. technical glitch or competing corporate event).
  • Review your launch checklist.
  • Ensure everyone is clear on their roles, responsibilities, and tasks.
  • Review the escalation process in the event of any issues or emergencies.
  • Check monitoring/analytics systems that measure adoption.
  • Confirm that your IT team is ready to turn the site live when notified.
  • Launch site when ready, and be sure to thank your team for all their hard work. 

Kick off

It's time to press the button. Contact your IT team to flip the switch to make your new digital workplace go live.

Feedback
loops

Ensure your project team(s) are available to help field questions from users during launch week based on the feedback loops you've initiated. 

Team
celebration


It's time to take a deep breath and celebrate all of your hard work.  - Be sure to take some time to celebrate with your team and users. Recognise and acknowledge your key contributors on the project.




Key Resources


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Checklist - Goal Setting and Launch Planning

A checklist to walk you through the steps of preparing, launching, engaging, and measuring your community.

Read the Guide



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