Understanding the importance of a launch plan
Don't underestimate the time, effort and importance of your digital workplace launch plan. It can make or break the success of your entire digital workplace strategy. We all know how important first impressions are to the overall success of any project.
Think of your launch plan as the first phase of your engagement strategy. It sets the benchmark for employee engagement and adoption. Many organizations believe that if they build it, their employees will embrace and adopt it. 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."
Getting started on your launch plan
When should you start working on your launch plan? It's a great question and one we get asked often.
The answer is, it depends on the size and complexity of your digital workplace strategy. At a minimum, we recommend starting your launch plan at least 2 to 4 weeks prior to your launch date. This means creating a launch team (usually a cross-functional team) supported by Marketing and Communications with a clear project plan and budget.
Launch planning and execution are happening at the same time as your digital workplace implementation process. You need to be prepared to manage both projects at the same time.
| ||Playbook Tip: LaunchPad program|
Igloo has created a launch program to help you launch successful digital workplace solutions. It's called LaunchPad and offers a simple yet effective three-step approach to launch strategy.
PLAN, PREP & LAUNCH
The LaunchPad program also includes a collection of tips, examples, and best practices. You might also want to set up a "Launch Room" and have Igloo experts consult along the way.
Key ingredients of a successful launch plan
Although the LaunchPad program is covered in detail in Stage 5 of the Playbook, here are 10 recommendations you should consider when building your digital workplace launch plan:
- Include 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, objectives and expected outcomes for pre- and post-launch.
- Assemble your launch team including a project manager and experts from your marketing organization.
- Use a methodology like SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) to ensure your launch plan is realistic and attainable.
- Align your goals 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 their participation at every stage of the launch.
- Identify risks early and propose resolutions and/or workarounds.
- Stay on budget.
- Be ready on launch day – that means be prepared for anything, respond to feedback and enjoy your success.