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The ABCs of Pilot Programs

A pilot program can be a great way to work out any technical sensitivities that may arise with a full-scale deployment and figure out what sort of adoption efforts are necessary to help prepare your organization for a seamless and successful transition to new technology. Here are a few tips for implementing a pilot program that contributes to a successful deployment.

A. Always include more than just IT staff in your Pilot deployment. Chances are, your IT team is technically savvy and will get the hang of the new tool faster than your average user. In fact, in many cases, the IT team may have driven the decision to move to the new technology and might have already received demo or trainings that also put them at a learning advantage. So make sure that you have the full gambit of your organization represented when you are putting together your pilot program.

B. Bring as many resources to the table as possible. Put your pilot through full-scale training and then collect feedback on the training. Have users go through different types of training to help determine what might be the best for the rest of the organization. Put together an FAQ for the full-scale deployment based on the real challenges your pilot group faced. Finally, survey your pilot group before, during, and after to understand exactly where improvements are needed and what worked or didn’t. The survey will set you up for success and reduce the need for remedial education efforts later with end-users.

C. Champions are a natural progression that can take your pilot to the next level and support the full-scale deployment. A champion is an informal training resource spread across the organization empowered to help other users out. They champion the technology by having super-user skills and often play the role of “cheerleader” for the new technology. Technology champions are a natural progression for your diverse pilot group, which can help take some of the burden off your training team and help mitigate questions only coming to one person or department.

Need help figuring out how to best put together a successful pilot? Cerium Networks’ team of seasoned adoption experts can help guide you through the process and provide consultative services throughout the duration of your pilot and beyond.

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