Launch Prep

Getting ready for launch day

Once you have created your launch plan, it's time for preparation: defining the scope of the launch, determining key audiences, creating a launch schedule, recruiting champions, and scheduling tasks and responsibilities across the launch team.

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. The purpose of the launch preparation is to get the site ready for use within your organization.  Depending on what activities you plan to implement, be sure your plan has specific deliverables, milestones, and clearly articulated measurable objectives. 

We recommend creating a pre-launch checklist which includes the following items:

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Determining launch scope and audiences

Your digital workplace strategy determines both the scope of your launch and the target audiences. In most cases, there are two distinct launch planning scenarios you need to prepare for:

  • Company-Wide: This is a digital workplace strategy which is focused on the entire organization (e.g. improving corporate communications across the entire company). Understanding the scope and audience is critical in this scenario as your launch plan will have different goals, objectives and outcomes. 
  • Targeted Groups: This is a digital workplace strategy which is targeted at specific teams or groups within the organization (e.g. a department, office or business unit). In this scenario, you will need to develop programs and messaging geared to this specific audience. 

In some organizations, it is a hybrid approach where the digital workplace strategy focuses on both company-wide and specific employee groups. Developing specific and relevant messaging and programs for your target audiences will be essential for a successful launch campaign.

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Creating a schedule

Now that you have determined your scope and 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
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Determining roles & responsibilities

Your launch team will most likely be cross-functional, so be sure to schedule a regular project meeting that everyone can attend.

  • Set up a project room for collaboration
  • Publish the launch plan
  • Confirm attendance at all meetings (RSVP to meetings)
  • Set clear a clear agenda for every meeting
  • Conclude every meeting by:
    • Summarizing the status of the plan
    • Reviewing key milestones and tasks
    • Confirming timelines are not slipping
    • Reiterating the expected outcomes for launch
    • Reviewing and if possible mitigating potential risks with the team
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Recruiting your 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 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 any way you can. 
  • Ask them to 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! 
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Building a campaign plan

Let employees 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.

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

Try out some teaser campaigns before launch day. This helps to create hype and provides vital feedback on your messaging. It will give you time to: 

  • 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 town hall
  • Increase the frequency of your teaser campaigns in the final week
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Planning for feedback

Create a plan for providing end-user support at go-live for answering questions and troubleshooting any issues. Remember, this is a new solution and you want to ensure your users have a great initial experience. Consider these supports:

  • Help desk
  • Online forum
  • Feedback form
  • Digital workplace facilitator

Toolkit

Access resources to help you prepare for your digital workplace launch.

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