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.
You're going to need to assemble a strong launch team to help you with all the details leading up to launch day.
- Summarize the key roles and responsibilities for your launch strategy.
- Create a skills map summarizing the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need.
- Identify your key candidates.
- Be sure to have "back-up" candidates for every role.
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.
- Secure your launch team. Ensure you have the right skills and resources.
- Check on resource availability and confirm.
- Summarize the overall launch plan with the team, including key milestones, tasks, timelines, expected outcomes, and potential risks.
- 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.
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.
- Executive sponsorship
- Competing projects
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:
As your solution matures, you'll want to create
more sophisticated criteria for success.