Digital rollout: to a single team

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When rolling out new software used primarily by one team, but with the power to impact others, you need to take a collaborative approach towards communication, training, identifying risks, and post-launch review. Here’s how to execute a successful digital rollout.

Now you know what you want your software to achieve and your team is expecting the change, it’s time to plan your rollout.

We’ve created a Software Rollout Action Plan to guide you, step by step, through the process. We take a look at each of the sections in more detail below.

How to plan

When rolling out new software to a specialised team, it’s important to assess the impact your rollout will have – not just on the team adopting your software, but also others across your business. Identifying risks before they occur will ensure any issues that arise can be dealt with promptly and effectively.

For a software rollout to be successful, you need to allow plenty of time to plan, organise and implement it. It’s not a process that can be rushed. Taking the time early on will ensure that you’ve covered everything.

Think about:

  • your launch date. When do you need the software to go live, allowing you and your team enough time to do everything that’s needed?
  • how much time to allow. To see how much time you’ll need, complete our Action Plan and allocate the time required for each step
  • who to involve. Speak to the people who’ll be using the software. Ensure everyone knows when the changes are coming and what their next steps will be
  • the risks. Listing the areas of risk gives you the chance to create a back-up plan. If you’ve introduced new technology before, consider the lessons you learned from this

Communication is key

As your software rollout directly impacts one team, you can take a less business-wide approach when discussing the finer details. However, it’s important to make sure all teams across your business understand what changes are coming and for you to provide everyone with a complete overview of what to expect.

Think about:

  • nominating a team representative. Choose an ambassador for the team who’ll be impacted most by the new software. This could be a manager, team leader, or someone who’s worked on successful new software rollouts previously. They’ll be the one to share your vision of what the rollout should look like, and act as a point of contact between most communications between you and the team
  • arranging pre-launch meetings. Explain to your ambassador what they need to do and listen to any concerns they or the team may have. Having regular conversations is a great opportunity to get their input and keep them engaged throughout the process
  • telling the rest of the business. This can be communicated by your ambassador, or by way of a larger company meeting, with follow-up meetings to provide updates. As we highlighted in our guide to making sure software works for your team, getting everyone on board comes from having regular conversations and not just giving instructions
  • setting milestones. Create a timeline for the overall delivery plan, and add it to your Action Plan, with milestones and check-in points along the way, to help everyone stay on track
  • what you need to tell other teams. Decide what information you need to communicate to other teams who will be impacted by your new software rollout.
  • your customers. Will the new software impact them directly? If so, let them know well before launch, and explain what changes to expect

Prioritise training

Clear and easy-to-understand training will help address any fears people have of not being able to use the new technology.

Devote as much time to ensuring members of the relevant team are trained, as well as other teams it might affect, as needed.

Think about:

  • appointing an ambassador. Will you nominate one person to champion your new software to the wider team?
  • how you’ll approach training. Will there be different levels of training required, depending on individual team member’s roles or skillsets?
  • what the desired outcome will be. Will members of all relevant teams trained be ready to use the software on launch day, or will you choose a more staggered approach?

Enquire about, and make the most of, all the information your software supplier provides with the product. For example, many provide training videos and tutorials.

Listen, and gather feedback

Listen to those who are using the software, they may raise issues you hadn’t thought of which will be crucial to the success of your rollout.

Think about:

  • whose feedback you need. Is it just the people who’ll be using the software on a regular basis? Who else is impacted by the software rollout?
  • how you want to gather feedback. Surveys, emails, and workshops are all great ways to engage with your staff and customers. Decide on an approach and add it to the Action Plan
  • what you want to use feedback for. It’s always good to hear about what’s gone well. But it’s vital to address all feedback that highlights issues and bugs

Test and test again

Keep testing the technology before launch. For example, if you’re introducing new eCommerce software, ask the person who manages your digital shopfront to list some products on the new system before you go live. Was it easy to do? Could it be better?

Next steps

Continue to monitor how the new software is being used and gather feedback in the weeks and months after launch to assess how it’s bedding in. Are people comfortable using it? Is its full functionality being used? Is it achieving all you expected it to? Think of the rollout as an ongoing process.

Download and complete the Software Rollout Action Plan.

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