Market roll-out: deploy fast, before obsolescence strikes

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.

We already discussed about Project mode versus Business Initiative. 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.

 

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 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.

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?