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Phased Rollout for Intranets: When It’s the Right Move and How to Get Started

Phased Rollout for Intranets: When It’s the Right Move and How to Get Started

Cara Heimbaugh

3 mins read

Tue, Mar 26, '24  

Implementing a new intranet can feel a bit like renovating your entire house. It's exciting – a chance to create a more streamlined, user-friendly space for everyone. But just like a full-on demolition project wouldn't be the most pleasant way to live, a company-wide "big bang" launch of your intranet might not lead to overwhelm and not lead to success.Enter the phased rollout–for some organizations, it can be a trusted approach for a smoother intranet implementation. 

Think Big, Launch Small: Building Momentum One Use Case at a Time

Imagine this: you unveil your brand new intranet, bursting with features and functionalities. It's impressive, sure, but for employees used to the old system (or maybe no system at all!), it can be overwhelming. A phased rollout lets you introduce features gradually, allowing users to get comfortable with each step before the next one hits.

Think of it like building a Lego masterpiece. You wouldn't try to snap on all the pieces at once. You start with the foundation, then add sections, ensuring everything fits smoothly before moving on.  The same goes for your intranet.  A phased rollout lets you build momentum and excitement, keeping users engaged as they discover the platform's potential.

Iron Out the Kinks Before Everyone Notices

No software rollout is perfect, and even the most meticulously laid plans may have a hiccup or two along the way.  A phased rollout gives you a valuable testing ground. By introducing features to a smaller group first, you can identify any bugs or usability issues before they impact the entire company.

Rolling out a brand new feature only to discover it malfunctions regularly–not ideal for company-wide productivity or adoption. With a phased approach, you can catch these glitches early on, fix them quickly, and ensure a smooth experience for everyone.

Feedback is Your Friend: Turning Users into Champions

One of the biggest advantages of a phased rollout is the opportunity to gather real-time user feedback.  By launching features to a smaller group, you can create a feedback loop.  Employees can try out the new functionality,  tell you what they like (and dislike), and suggest improvements.  This valuable input allows you to refine the intranet as you go, making it more user-friendly and addressing any pain points before a wider launch.

Think of it this way: your initial group acts as a beta testing team. They become champions for the new system, spreading the word about the intranet's benefits and helping you create a platform that truly meets everyone's needs.

Tips for a Successful Phased Roll-Out

Plan Communication

The key to a successful phased rollout hinges on clear and consistent communication. Let employees know what to expect, when to expect it, and why the phased approach is beneficial.  Regular updates about the rollout process, upcoming features, and training opportunities will keep everyone informed and engaged.

Celebrating Wins

Don't underestimate the power of small wins! As you successfully launch each phase of your intranet, take the time to celebrate those achievements.  Acknowledge the hard work of your team and the early adopters who provided valuable feedback.  These celebrations, big or small, will keep everyone motivated and excited about the full potential of the intranet.

Track Everything 

Tracking key metrics throughout your phased rollout is crucial.  This allows you to gauge user adoption, identify areas for improvement, and measure the success of each phase.  By monitoring metrics like login rates, feature usage, and user feedback, you can ensure your intranet is evolving to meet the needs of your organization and maximizing its potential as a valuable communication and collaboration tool.

Although it’s phased, this type of rollout doesn't have to be slow or boring. The beauty of this approach is that it can move at the pace that is best for your organization, which is valuable because launching a complete intranet at once can spook users and their engagement is the lifeblood of a successful intranet project at the start and over time.

A phased roll out is a strategic approach allowing your organization to implement your intranet with confidence.  By building momentum, ironing out kinks, gathering valuable feedback, and communicating effectively, you can ensure a smooth transition and set your intranet up for long-term success.  Remember, a successful intranet launch isn't about a grand opening today, but also about creating a valuable resource that empowers your employees to collaborate, communicate, and thrive tomorrow.