If you've ever added a new technology into your business, then you know the feeling. The nerves around what could wrong, the lack of confidence wondering whether you checked all the boxes.
Technology in a small business is transformative. It can take your business from a mom & pop low key shop to a sustainable and scalable business built for the long-term. And if you're ready to take your business to the next level, then having technology that works in your business is key.
But how can you be sure you've thought about all the details? Over the last 10+ years, we've worked on dozens of new technology implementations. From multi-million dollar budgets in the corporate world, to budgets the size of peanuts, we've worked to ensure our clients and teams are ready when we hit "go live" on that new technology.
But rarely is it 100% smooth sailing. Because if there's one thing we know about technology and adding it to the mix, it's almost always got some complexities involved. We also know that not every business owner, employee or team is tech savvy and often might be dreading adding in something new to the mix.
This past week we helped our client successfully launch yet another new technology. We've been working on it for months with the team and it was finally 'go time'. So in order to get everyone on the same page, we used our Launch Day Checklist to ensure we'd crossed our Ts and dotted our Is. But more than that, we need to ensure our client (the big boss) felt comfortable that even if he didn't know allll the details of this new tech, that we had covered our bases and the team was ready.
We break our launch day review into 4 areas: People, Process, Technology & Communication/Escalation. For each of these areas, we have a list of things you will want to check off and ensure readiness for.
Our Checklist (you can download it for free here) covers what you need to ensure is ready BEFORE you hit "go" and then what you should be validating on Launch Day itself.
For People, this is where you want to ensure the team and stakeholders are ready to go. If it impacts clients or customers, this is even more critical that you have enough input and validation to feel confident that the people are ready to go. Do your people feel ready? Are they trained? Make sure you have their sign off, since they will be most impacted.
Process consists of your workflows and systems impacted by this new technology. You want to ensure that the way you will operate, now that you are launching, is ready across the board. Are there big changes to the way you manage your books, or your clients for example? Make sure you have documented these changes and tested them out.
Technology refers of course to the tech you are implementing, but also any other systems impacted. TESTING, TESTING, TESTING is key here. The technology must work, otherwise what is the point?! Document any workarounds or issues so that you can figure out how to approach that.
Communication and Escalation. Know who needs to stay in the loop, where you can escalate issues to, and how often you will communicate with your stakeholders throughout the launch. Bigger launches will likely have bigger issues, bigger risks and a longer communication timeline. Over-communication is always better than under!
And lastly, CELEBRATE your success! Whether it's a team of 2, 10 or 100...make sure the team knows what a team effort the launch was, and how they each contributed. Thank the team for their help with an email, a video or even a team get together!
Want to ensure you haven't missed any thing before you launch? Check out our free checklist to help you feel confident that your team and business are READY to go!