Three considerations before launching your tech pilot.


Smart teams think about people during their digital transformation pilots. They know that the employee’s digital experience is where the IT investment is realized. The most fantastical tech is worthless if no one is using it — or using it right.

How do you get the most from your pilot? Put change management in the cockpit.

Here are three things to think about:

Don’t wait to start change management.

Before the pilot, you should have conducted a change impact assessment. This will tell you which stakeholders are affected and how. Select your pilot testers and construct test cases based on those real-life impacts.

Smart teams know that the employee’s digital experience is where the IT investment is realized.

Also, be thoughtful about the messages you’re sending as you test. The impact assessment will tell you what certain user groups will gain and what they will lose. Use the key points of the overall project message — the problem, solution, approach, and results — then customize those messages for your testers. It’s a great opportunity; they will report back to their work teams and set the tone for your go-live.

Test as much as you can.

Don’t just test the tech. Try out your communications and training on the pilot group. As you do, keep the focus on testing assets and assumptions. Don’t let perfection get in the way; a pilot is for gathering information to make things better.

And measure! Collect data on users’ readiness for the new technology and how well they adopted new ways of working. Your exposure is limited in the pilot, but you can learn so much that will inform the rollout.

Create your go-live playbook.

Record your results, tester feedback, and your lessons learned. Assemble the change management tools you tested, like the communications and training assets. Create an updated set, incorporating what you learned, to guide the team for your go-live. Package your roadmap and recommendations for the rollout.

Your digital transformation pilot will test whether your technology is ready.

It’s also the perfect setting to learn what will “fly or die” with your impacted audiences. Don’t take off without change management in your pilot’s cockpit.