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Rollout and adoption success kit


Best practices for rollout and adoption

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Following are best practices recommendations for each phase of your rollout, as gained through years of experience and customer learnings.

Project scope phase

  • Ensure success metrics are tied to the overall business goals for the rollout
  • Plan for parallel but coordinated work streams to focus on core technical deployment
  • Incorporate the needs of key stakeholders, as well as end users when developing your timeline and top-line messaging
  • Secure explicit executive sponsor early so they can help influence other key stakeholders where you may need representation
  • Focus on enabling users for essential tasks
  • Choose success metrics that tell the whole story

Proof of concept phase

  • Invest in your Proof of Concept environment. The coordination between multiple teams and configuration of testing resources will be required to validate testing scenarios.
  • Maintain the environment post Proof of Concept. Validate new configurations and patches in this environment prior to implementing in production.
  • Do not install your PoC in your production environment.
  • Do not add 'production' users to your PoC environment.
  • Apply the lessons learned from your PoC to the production design.
  • Invest the time into deploying your production environment in small scale. (i.e. if you are deploying high availability in production, deployed high availability in the PoC.
  • Use the PoC to develop your operations handbooks.
  • Maintain build and configuration 'as-built' documentation. This will be helpful when building the production deployment.

Pilot phase

  • Have a plan and assemble the right team.
  • Define and document qualitative and quantitative success criteria for your organization.
  • Include the right combination of users.
  • Focus on user experience.
  • Provide detailed communications and set expectations.
  • Ask for feedback & use it to improve.

Enterprise rollout phase

  • Have your executive sponsor send the initial announcement to drive readership
  • Hold launch-day activities to generate excitement: launch event, live demos, lunch'n'learns, etc
  • Customize training to match organizational deployment: Keep training focused on tasks and scenarios, not on features
  • Leverage familiar communication channels
  • Use multiple channels in your awareness campaign
  • Include "change management" tactics and core value prop in all messaging
  • Use Champions to help drive awareness and ready new users

Run state phase

  • Implement a healthy monitoring system in place so that system administrators can identify and fix problems before the end-user encounters them.
  • Create a solid change management plan in place, so that Cumulative Updates are rolled out in your enterprise with minimal end-user impact.
  • Have excellent written and verbal communication strategies between system administrators, help desk personnel, and employees of your organization for efficient dissemination of information.
  • Set up a test environment to private test software fixes before rolling out in production.
  • Author and test a disaster recovery plan in case you need to rollback fixes due to unique characteristics of your topology.