To face new competitors, business agile and leveraging innovative mindset, and the several changes of these recent years, namely in terms of customers’ needs and expectations, multinational companies need to launch and deploy at scale business initiatives in a short time-to-market.
As important as the implementation phase, the rollout phase has to be prepared and managed with pinpoint accuracy. However, multinational companies often face difficulties in deploying fast a new initiative and making it a business success for all markets.
Too often, companies focus on the launch of their initiative, underestimating market adaptation and business animation:
- Initiatives perform below business potential
- Local entities are not engaged in business success, change management is poor and not business-centric
- The rollout cost is not controlled
How to deploy a business initiative at scale in a short time-to-market to allow its digital transformation strategy to reach success?
1. Why deploying fast, before obsolescence strikes, is vital?
What’s worse than failing to deploy that good business idea you had?
You concretized a successful, market-tested business initiative. All you have to do to make it a broad success is spreading the model across your organization, your BUs, your regions… Maybe the appearances of deployment make you confident at first sight, but you realize, as time goes by, that the process seems to be stuck. Time-to-market is degrading, some countries lose interest and give up. The business initiative that was brilliant two years ago is no longer relevant. Deployment has been a failure. Why did it go that way?
Deployment phase is as instrumental as implementation phase
Timing is crucial in making the most of a business initiative. Hence, it is quite obvious that both implementation and deployment can have strong impacts on the initiative relevance.
First reason why deployment can be a deal-breaker: the initiative is often considered as a project of which primary objective is delivery of a solution. In that common case, deployment phase is simply ignored, with the consequences we have seen.
But even when deployment is fully endorsed and included in the roadmap, it often completely lacks of torque which provokes that stalling effect.
Often underestimated, managing deployment phase offers huge benefits:
- Deploy faster at global scale
- Increased business impact in markets
- Accelerate business value generation at scale, leveraging markets learnings & feedbacks
- Reduced deployment costs
- Anchor business change in market teams
How to succeed in deploying a business initiative worldwide in a short time-to-market?
2. A pragmatic approach to successfully deploy business initiatives
High-torque deployment involves both industrialization of core model and commitment of local entities. That is a challenge. Because it requires preparation, from the on-boarding, through emulation and to effective deployment.
Crafting a model for deployment is key as you need gaining momentum from deployment to deployment. With a model listing and organizing every task to complete, you achieve two things. First you relieve local entities from the uncertainty of the path to follow. And secondly you prepare the perfect receptacle to any piece of valuable information and feedbacks to capitalize on.
Say your pilot entity’s experience of deployment has highlighted several missing steps in the process. You can tap that feedback and make every other entity benefit from that input. Every following deployment will not lose time on that matter.
There is a lot of benefits from having an evolutive deployment model:
- Entities have a clear, exhaustive view of what is to be achieved, including workload required: it helps a lot when allocating the right resources, at the right time
- Improvements and best practices are easily tapped and valued as they are instantly and systematically shared
- Emulation through standards and norms is powerful: if the other entity made it in 40 days, why can’t we do the same?
Now, here is the tricky part: industrialize is great, but deployment phase is also a time for listening to local paradigm. Because adapting to local ambition, ecosystem and constraints is the fastest and most efficient way to conjure up commitment.
A lot of large-scale deployments stumble on that step. Reason is often that the central organization at the origin of the business initiative considers it as a one-size-for-all package. With the result of not fitting anyone. While helping entities to deploy through the guidelines of a model, it is also necessary to think locally.
It is not to be considered as a loss of control over business initiative. On the contrary, by taking into consideration the specificities of local entities, you are in a position to make recommendations aligned with your business initiative. On the same time, commitment of entities is reinforced, and that is a key success factor.
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- How to deploy a new business model in a short time-to-market to reach success?22 February 2019
- How to monitor brand positioning and product performance online to reach business success?20 February 2019
Emulation must go on!
Deployment does not stop at “go live”. Just as the implementation phase, deployment is a continuous improvement process. How many successfully deployed initiatives have fallen flat just months after?
Follow-up animation is key, such as:
- Monthly review with each market individually
- Review of the Business KPIs
- Semester seminar with the local Initiative leaders
- Sharing of field experience: Best ideas comes from markets
We know, this is hard to maintain and dedicate resources to that follow-up once deployment is over. High-level management has new priorities, new initiatives, new objectives. That is why any business initiative should have included that after-deployment animation in its forecasted budget.
Because if you fail to do so, that’s half the benefits you will be missing. And you don’t want that, do you?
To make its digital strategy successful and reach its business objectives, deploying initiatives at scale in a short time-to-market is vital for any multinational company.
Often underestimated, the deployment phase is nevertheless crucial. Through our experience, to accelerate the rollout of initiatives, a pragmatic approach combined with digital technology is the way to success:
- Budget this deployment phase from the beginning
- Set an organization with dedicated teams
- Define and respect a roadmap
- Use digital technology, DevOps methods and infrastructures to deploy faster worldwide
- Emulate your initiative after the deployment phase