There may be a lot of business ideas that seem new, scary, and too forward-thinking to implement. You can test out new ideas or techs with the help of pilot projects. You may be wondering how to implement a pilot project.
A pilot project is a limited-scale test for innovations, such as tools, technology, techniques, etc. To implement a pilot project, you must first define the objectives and outcomes you expect. Define how long the pilot study may take and what will be seen as a success. Choose a small testing group and plan onboarding. Additionally, collect feedback and analyze data from the feedback to assess challenges.
Are you interested to know more? Read along!
What is a Pilot Project
A pilot project refers to small-scale tests of diverse aspects, such as new tools, concepts, innovations, or techniques. The pilot project is also known as the pilot study. The goal of pilot studies is not to achieve something specific but to test out the project’s viability.
A pilot project allows you to test out the innovation in a smaller scale and less critical context before you spring it out on a larger scale for your whole company. The small team that tests out the pilot project then provides feedback, which helps you decide if the project is worth spending time, money, or resources on.
How to Implement a Pilot Project
You need to follow a few very simple steps if you want to reap the most accurate results and benefits from your pilot project. Here are a few steps and tips on how to implement a pilot project appropriately:
Step 1: Set Goals & Define Success
Certainly, the pilot project’s goal is to see if it can help your business the way you want it. It can be making work more accessible, bringing more engagement, creating a positive work environment, generating more revenue, and so forth. Be clear about the goal and objectives and what outcome you want to see when the pilot project wraps up.
Be sure of how you want to measure success when the pilot project is finished. Define the criteria the project needs to meet to qualify for full implementation. As your pilot project progresses, keep track of the progress as much as possible so you can measure the value of your desired outcome in the end.
Step 2: Define Pilot Project Running Time
After setting up the objectives, decide how long you want the pilot project to run. Factor in setup time and training time when deciding project run time.
Consider how long it will take your test group to grasp the project and its objectives completely. Make sure you allow enough time for routine use, along with special circumstances and additional features. If possible, test out in different scenarios among divided groups of testers. A thorough pilot program can provide you with detailed information.
Step 3: Choose A Testing Group
Choosing the proper test group is crucial to achieving accurate feedback from the pilot project. If the test group is too small, you won’t receive sufficient/proper feedback. If the test group is too big, you may be overwhelmed. Essentially, the number you choose depends on the number of employees in your company and how many you can spare.
Now, about the qualities of the testers: make sure to have enough diversity in the group. It is essential that you include enthusiastic, motivated, dedicated employees in the program, as they will be the core group. It’s better if they have some background or related knowledge. But, commitment and enthusiasm about the pilot program and its objectives are crucial.
Step 4: Develop On-Boarding Plan
The onboarding plan for the pilot project can be used or at least pave the way when you roll out the program on full-scale. You can get a clearer idea of what to change and what to do.
Provide the core group of testers with as much resource and training as possible to be confident and comfortable with the new project. Doing so will help them adapt to the new techs better. Another plus point is that if your core member is trained correctly, they can help others when the pilot program switches to full-stage.
Step 5: Collect and Analyze Feedback
The main agenda of pilot programs is to test the viability of the latest innovation implement. It’s a trial and error to see what works, how well, and what doesn’t work. So, gather as much information as possible so you can evaluate the pilot project.
Provide the project participants with questionnaires, surveys, etc., and allow open discussions, one-on-ones, self-evaluations, and so forth. Analyze the data collected from the feedback and evaluate them against the measurements of your objectives.
Step 6: Assess Challenges
The feedback and data you collect will give you a better insight into the challenges faced and the challenges that may come with implementing the project fully.
Evaluate whether the challenges can be overcome and what aspects to work on to avoid facing those challenges. You need to ensure that implementing this project fully will be beneficial and outweigh current and future challenges. Moreover, once the challenges are assessed, you can run the pilot program for some additional time after tweaking the program accordingly.
A business is successful because of some calculated moves, but some come from trial and error. Pilot projects help you run those trials and errors, giving you a clearer, rational view of the possible outcome of implementing new things. We hope this article has given you a clear idea of how to implement a pilot project.
Have any more questions? Let us know!