You are almost there, and now it's time prepare and launch the App across the company. The Launch process is comprised of several key milestones and can vary depending on the organization:
- Pre-launch preparations
- Launch announcement
- Company wide launch
Remember that the launch is a means to an end and not the end-goal itself. The launch should create a positive buzz and excitement among employees. It's meant to make them want to be part of this incredible process that is going to improve their lives and the way the organization communicates, allowing them to be more connected to the org.
As the goal of the launch is to get as many employees tuned in and engaged, there are few key steps that can help us get effective traction:
- Logistical preparations and planning
- Getting the employees expecting and tuned
- Getting buy-in and endorsement from key groups and people
- Assigning App ambassadors to make the process hustle free
Logistical preparations and planning
- Add your company user details in preparation for the launch, so when it's time you can invite them in a click. The best way to do this in big organizations is by preparing the CSV file (learn how ) and complementing that with the invitation link in cases where you are missing specific user information.
- Make sure the App is ready to go - do a final walk through of all content, and that all admins made the adjustments needed. Double check to see you have all the relevant smart groups in place and that permissions are set right.
- Plan the content of the first month of the launch - what will you publish when? who is responsible to publish what? think about the user's experience. Similar to the planning you did towards the small scale launch. And publish it to yourself and the other system admins.
- It's highly recommended that all the content for the first week will be already prepared in the App even before the launch, so that you only need to click 'publish' at the right timing based on your planning chart.
- Prepare the email you will send across the org on the day of the launch, for both managers and users.
- Set up a welcome and guidance note /chapter in the App. Make sure it tells users about the purpose of the App what they can find there, and how it will serve them.
- Draft the language for the texts you will be sending the company on Launch. (both for the first invitation and the follow up invitations.)
Getting the employees expecting and tuned
There are various ways for getting the employees expecting and tuned. The best practice include:
- Announcement from a senior person in the organization (more about it later)
- Notifying employees in advance, the most common channels are:
- Dedicated emails notifying about the upcoming App launch, see here an example for an email
- Brochures / flyers around your facilities ,cafeteria or bill boards. (when relevant).
- Through your mid managers, asking them to talk to their teams and make them aware of the upcoming launch.
- Incentivizing employees in creative ways - such as award-wining competitions for early birds, or by making 'App exclusive' content that can only be accessed through the App, like claiming tickets for an interesting event.
- Branding and positioning the App the right way - getting the message across is important, but getting it right is just as essential. Help your organization understand 2 core things about your App:
- What is this App for, what is the goal?
- What can as a user do with it (what's in it for me)?
Getting buy-in and endorsement from key groups and people
To launch the App effectively, you want to get the right endorsement. That includes:
- Senior management endorsement - who is your champion that is going to back it up and help you distribute the message that this initiative is important and meaningful?
- Mid management buy-in - the more you get managers involved, and the more admins you'll have the better: it will increase the App's impact in your org and will dramatically uplift the benefits for both your users and managers. We highly recommend you'll do a briefing for mid managers in your org prior to launch, ideally get them together for a brief 20 mins presentation of what to expect, what is there role and how they can benefit from it.
- Additional key stakeholders - before launching, ask yourself: is there another leading entity in your org that can benefit from having admin access to the App? The more quality content is in the App the greater is the value for the users, and hence the more likely they are to be using it over time. Share the load with additional stakeholders if you can.
Assigning App ambassadors to make the process hustle free
In preparation for the launch, inspire to make it as easy as possible for users to board the App. To do so, we highly recommend assigning internal 'App ambassadors' that will be prepared for basic Q&A, and will know how to help people board the App for the first time.
On the week of the launch - ask them to be in public places like cafeterias or dinning halls during launch times, to provide assistance for people that are making their first steps or have questions.
The Launch announcement
An official launch announcement is a highly effective tool in securing high traction for your App. Here are a few short tips on how to make the most out of your launch announcement:
- Have a senior person making the announcement - the more senior the better, and make sure it's someone that is 'emotionally invested' and believes in the process.
- Choose wisely the timing of the announcement - ideally, build upon an existing company event / milestone. The more people are present during the announcement the better.
- Don't loose momentum - launch the App in proximity to the official announcement ( ideally, no later than a week from the announcement).
- Stick to your launch date - there's a momentum you are building in preparation for it, changing it will come with a price.
Company wide launch
When should you launch?
- Early in the week - Monday / Tuesday, ideally early in the day - approx. 30 mins after people started their working day.
- Avoid launching towards the end of the week or before a holiday, so you can maintain momentum and make sure that as many employees as possible are available during the launch. (and not away or on vacation).
It's time to push the 'Red button'!
- Send the email notifying all employees that the App is about to come and that they should expect the SMS invite.
- Send out the sms invitations to download the App using your dashboard. Use the text format you drafted on the planning phase. (Sometimes organizations launch in phases, if that's the case - make sure you only invite the relevant group before clicking 'send')
- Stick to your content planning- start by sending out the first message welcoming people to the App and keep going from there. Maintain the balance of a solid drum-beat but not too overwhelming.
- Track activations using your dashboard, if needs be 'nudge' relevant team leaders and managers to encourage activations among their teams.
- Send a follow up sms invitation on the second /third day inviting people again to activate the App.
What's now? First, compliment yourself on a big achievement - you just hit a major milestone! Now you can have a look at our tips and guidelines for the first month post launch are coming soon!