Enterprise-wide implementation of SaaS (Software as a Service) rarely happens simultaneously at all locations within an organization. In fact, the most successful rollouts begin with pilot programs at a handful of locations. Pilots allow for performance assessment of the SaaS in a live but controlled environment.
Pilot programs are particularly advantageous when the SaaS is central to an ergonomics improvement process and adoption (a.k.a. use) of the system will determine the success of the overall process.
Pilots are standard practice in enterprise SaaS rollouts. While it may add a few weeks to the overall timeline, the benefits far outweigh the small delay. From my experience, pilots produce three key outcomes that support successful implementation:
Validation. Successful pilot programs allow the people charged with rolling out the process and software to see it being used by ‘real’ users which will confirm their roll out plan.
Gap Identification. Successful pilot programs enable the managers of the process to identify gaps or implementation barriers and reveal areas where improvement is most needed, ensuring the SaaS delivers maximum benefit to the organization upon full implementation.
Advocacy. Successful pilot programs produce results which create buy-in from those involved. The confidence gained during the process allows these new advocates to promote their success to others, and ultimately drive stakeholder support across the entire organization.