Digital rollout: to several teams

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When rolling out new software to several departments across your business, it’s important to maintain communication throughout, and plan thoroughly. Here’s how to achieve a successful digital rollout.

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Now you know what you want your software to achieve, it’s important to communicate this across your business to ensure everyone knows what to expect before, during and after it’s rolled out.

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 you’re introducing new software across several teams, allowing plenty of time to plan, organise and implement is key to success. 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? Having this date in mind will give you, and your teams, enough time to prepare for launch. Also, consider whether you need to launch your software to all teams on the same date, or whether you’ll stagger your rollouts
  • how much time to allow. To see how much time you’ll need, complete our Action Plan and allocate the number of days required for each step
  • who to involve. Identify people from each team to act as ambassadors. Make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities and when they need to complete their tasks
  • the risks. Listing the areas of risk gives you the chance to create a back-up plan, so you know how to address any issues that may occur. Are there lessons from previous changes in the business you could apply here?

Communication is key

As your software rollout impacts multiple departments, you need to make sure everyone knows what needs to be done, and when.

Think about:

  • nominating team representatives. Choose an ambassador for each team who’ll be impacted most by the new software. These could be managers, team leaders, or someone who’s worked on successful new software rollouts previously. They’ll be the ones to share your vision of what the rollout should look like, and act as a point of contact between you and the team
  • arranging pre-launch meetings. Meet with your ambassadors; to answer questions and listen to any concerns or feedback. Define everybody’s role clearly and explain what you want the software to achieve, so they can communicate this to their teams
  • telling the rest of the business. This can be in a larger, business-wide meeting, as well as smaller, departmental meetings. 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. This will help everyone stay on track, while ensuring a successful rollout of your new software across different parts of your business
  • 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 for each team across your business will help address any fears people have of not being able to use the new technology. Understand what your training options are from the beginning, and consider whether you can utilise in-house staff to train your teams, or whether external help will be required. Make sure people across your business are given as much time to be trained as needed, as this will help to ensure that people use the software as they should.

Listen and gather feedback

Continued feedback from those who’ll be using the software is crucial to the success of your rollout. They may raise issues you hadn’t thought of.

Think about:

  • whose feedback you need. Is it just an ambassador or software champion from each team who will be feeding back, or do you want to hear from the wider team?
  • how you want to gather feedback. Although it’s the responsibility of delegates from each department to gather relevant feedback, how will this be achieved? 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 feedback that highlights any issues too. Ask ambassadors from each team to offer feedback on issues that might arise; and remember, what might not mean much to one team, may be more of an issue for another.

Test and test again

Keep testing the technology before launch. For example, if you’re introducing new eCommerce software, ask the person who looks after listing your stock to place an order. 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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