Digital rollout: to all teams
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Good planning, organisation and communication are all essential when rolling out new software. When new software affects all the teams in a business you need a coordinated approach so business can continue with minimal interruption.
How to plan
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’re well prepared for launch day, and beyond.
- your launch date. When do you need the software to go live? Make sure to allow you and your teams enough time to do everything that’s needed before this date.
- 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
- team ambassadors. Nominate team representatives, to share your vision of the rollout and be a point of contact between you and each team that will be involved in the software rollout
- the risks. Listing the risks your rollout project may experience gives you the best chance of having a strong back-up plan, so you know how to address any issues that crop up
Communication is key
When rolling out new software that impacts every team in your business, it’s essential to keep communication channels open, ensuring they are aware that they’ll need to work collaboratively when the software launches.
- tailoring your message to each team. Communicate clearly how each team will need to use different software functionality according to the work they dohow you’ll provide updates. Consider arranging regular meetings with an ambassador from each team
- 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
- your customers. Will the new software impact your customers directly? If so, let them know well before launch, and explain what changes they should expect and when
Devote as much time as needed for training. It’s an investment that will help to build the confidence of the people using the new software, helping you achieve success on launch day and beyond.
- having software champions. Identify some tech-savvy members of your teams, and see how they can help roll out the training, champion the benefits of the technology, and support the rest of the team
- targeting training. Each team will need to know how to use the specific software functionality that’s relevant to their own work, so ensure training is targeted and relevant for each team
- new starters. Have you got new staff starting soon after launch date? Make sure to put a plan in place for getting new starters trained on the software, perhaps as part of their induction process. Add what you need to the Action Plan
Listen and gather feedback
The continued support of those who’ll be using the software is crucial to the success of your rollout. They may also raise issues you hadn’t thought of.
- whose feedback you need. Involve and listen to the teams who’ll be using the software. If you’re introducing a customer-facing change, when do you need to check in with your customers?
- how you want to gather feedback. Use your team representatives to gather feedback. Q&A sessions, surveys, emails and workshops are all great ways to engage with your staff. 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 and ensure relevant measures are put in place to address these issues and improve the systems for those using the software
Test and test again
Keep testing the technology before launch. For example, if you’re introducing new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, use a dummy email to test the system before you go live. It will help identify any issues. Was it easy to do? Could it be better?
- running a test launch. Test the software on a small group, from across all teams, to identify any bugs or fixes that are needed ahead of the wider rollout
- your customers. Identify the areas that could affect your customers during the transition, so your sales, customer service and business operations are interrupted as little as possible. Engage your customer services team, so they’re able to deal with any customer concerns swiftly, making customer feedback a priority
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.
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