6 tricks to avoid over-delivering at launchAug 20, 2023
Project launches can be absolutely crazy times when it’s all hands on deck, there’s more work to do than people, and everyone pulls out all the stocks to get go live over the line. As a Change Manager, you’ll often have been talking about what’s needed to get the project and the people ready for weeks and maybe even months, but there’s nothing like the momentum of a deadline to freak everyone out and having them running around like headless chooks.
There’s been times I’ve been configuring technology devices at 9pm before having to wake at 3am to be onsite for launch, other times I’ve been stocking materials into packages late on a Friday to fly out on Monday, and other times when I’ve been on call to write emergency comms. So how can you make sure it all doesn’t land on your Change plate at the 11th hour?
1. Run a Business Readiness Check
Usually Change Management is the last thing on people’s mind, especially technology teams who are trying to get the system configured and tested and data validated and verified ahead of go live. It can be hard to carve out the time to run a readiness check but I try to book one two weeks out from go live at least a month in advance. I also try to workshop what needs to go on the checklist a month in advance so there’s clarity on any gaps and more commitment to the actual readiness check meeting. If you can’t get key project stakeholders - try to at least have your Project Manager, Sponsor, or Operations Lead attending so that any major risks or dependencies are flushed out and action is committed to. I walkthrough the end-to-end Business Readiness Check tool and process in "Module 5: Measuring Success and Embed" of my Leading Successful Change (LSC) program.
2. Draft emergency comms in advance
Trying to write communications in record speed because stuff has hit the fan is stressful on everyone and especially on you as a Change Manager. Of course you can use artificial intelligence like ChatGPT to speed up the process. Draft (and ideally get approved) a base version of emergency comms where just some extra details like dates and any required actions can be updated if you do end up having to push go live.
3. Get the right resources hired earlier in the project
Look - when it comes to change success, I’m always happy to jump in help and do whatever needs to be done. But it doesn’t mean I enjoy it or that I’m any good at it! To reduce the chance of being pulled in to do random work that sits far outside the scope of Change, advocate earlier in the project for the right resources for launch - this could be permission to enlist change champions, having ops support on hand, having testers or enough techs to set up devices and hardware, etc. Don’t wait until a week from launch - get more people involved for input, feedback and testing and then they become great advocates and extra pairs of hands at go live.
4. Avoid putting dates on any launch materials
Projects are notorious for moving go live dates out (or in rare cases, earlier) which means any printed or digital designed materials may be obsolete by the time launch comes around. Either leave the date off completely, leave a blank space to write it in, or quick-smart make stickers to go over the top if you’re already dated up.
5. Prioritise when it feels overwhelming
If your change launch has a lot of moving parts and you feel like you’re doing too much, you might be doing too much! Check in to see what are must-dos and declutter everything else. Yes, you want multiple touchpoints and support points but keep it simple, give people one call to action or source for support, and focus on quality not quantity.
6. Get clear on your support model
I love helping a project map their support model before launch because it reduces the risk of so many emergency meetings and time when there’s a clear escalation path and warranty rhythms. I walkthrough how to build out a Support Model in "Module 5: Measuring Success and Embed" of my LSC program.
I love launching in both my Change work and my business, and in fact the way I built my Leading Successful Change program was through a launch process. I attended Jeff Walker’s free Launch Masterclass and learnt the secrets to launching, many of which I now use not just in my own business launches but also in my Change Management consulting. I’m a big believer that anything that happening in the public consumer space can totally be mirrored for our internal change campaigns and launches. Jeff’s free masterclass only comes around once a year and is on RIGHT NOW. And this year - it's got a **brand-new** focus on how to bring AI into your product creation and launching.
Register your free spot for Jeff's AI-focused Launch Masterclass via my exclusive link here:
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