Creating a launch plan
The first step in your launch strategy is a creating a plan. Your launch plan should be your guide to a successful launch of your digital workplace solution. It is strongly recommended to create a multi-disciplinary launch team which consists of team members who have specific roles, responsibilities and expertise. Generally, it takes a couple of weeks to create a launch plan and another two to four weeks for preparation before launch.
Here are some key items to get your started on the right foot:
- Build your launch plan which includes 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 (e.g. sponsor, advocates, business owners) for feedback on your plan, and ask for participation in the launch
Building your launch team
You're going to need to assemble a strong launch team to help you with all the details leading up to launch day plus launch execution. Here are some helpful tips on building the right team for your launch project:
- Summarize the key roles and responsibilities for your launch strategy
- Create a skills map summarizing the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need
- Identify key candidates available within your organization
- Don't be afraid to hire a consultant if resources and/or skills are not available internally
- Be sure to have "back-up" candidates for every role
- Ensure you have a project manager on the team to manage the schedule, milestones and tasks
Your launch team should be cross-functional (e.g. project manager, marketing, design, promotions), 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. Think of it as an interview process.
- Meet with each candidate and describe the role, responsibilities, and time commitment.
- Ensure each member has 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
Organizations expect their employees to embrace their new digital workplace. 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
- Highlight the business benefits
Identifying potential risks
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
Creating a measurement plan
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 digital workplace matures, you'll want to create more sophisticated criteria for success.