In training or implementation people often ask me; “do we really need the pilot?”
The pilot is an excellent way to test your chosen solution and check your root cause hypotheses while minimizing risks and cost.
There are many reasons to pilot including:
- To understand ‘blind spots, we often won’t see certain variations or relationship outcomes in the process and their possible impact on our customer as we base risks and issues on experience.
- To lower the risk of failure and shorten the ‘tail’ of fixes that may be required from variations we can’t see.
- To improve on the planning and implementation of a solution. Greater planning can often mean greater success.
- To confirm expected results and relationships to your project team, sponsors and customers which will help gain valuable buy-in.
- To improve the ability to better predict the savings from a proposed solution, again this helps with buy-in and is a psychological pull for people to use the process and make a success of it.
- Get things right the first time, more of the time, in a launch.
It’s a fantastic way to validate and improve and allows you to judge whether you believe you need to make minor, drastic or even no changes at all. After all, up to this point, most of your hypothesis will still only be a guess, albeit a very educated one.
So make sure you plan in for the effort required to pilot and ensure that all the right people are there when you do it and never forget, communicate communicate communicate. Pre and post your pilot.
This keeps everyone well informed to either address additional opportunities for improvement or help promote desire and engagement for the full-scale implementation.