We all appreciate when something goes smoothly — no one likes a bumpy ride! A global rollout of any kind of initiative can be turbulent, but there are things you can do during the approach to make sure it’s a smooth flight with a successful landing. Whether it’s an updated process or a new system, here are some tips to minimize the turbulence during the rollout of your next training program.
1. Prep Your Pre-flight Checklist
A solid and detailed plan of action goes a long way in staying ahead of the curve. Think of it as your pre-flight checklist. The best plans take many elements into consideration, including resources, timeline, budget, and potential risks. And one of the most important pieces in pre-planning is to involve the right people (see step 2).
Related: How to Scope and Manage a Project Budget — Tips from a Master PM
Here are a few questions to consider when setting up your plan to help get down to the important pre-flight details:
- Have you considered all those impacted by the new system or process, including all support partners?
- Where will your detailed plan be housed?
- Who will update it and how often?
2. Choose Your Crew Wisely
It sounds simple, but even the most well-thought-out plan only works if the right people are involved. It doesn’t just take a pilot to get a plane off the ground — it takes a whole crew to ensure a successful takeoff!
The CEO of an airline might be able to tell you whether a new maintenance system is in the budget for the year, but they won’t be able to tell you what requirements should be in place for that system. That’s where the ground crew comes in! Talk to your ground crew — those with a line of sight into the day-to-day operations who will be directly affected by the new process or system.
The same goes for any type of global training initiative. You don’t just need the high-level managers with the checkbook involved in decisions; you need the subject matter experts for the new system or process to understand what will happen and when. Their approval is crucial; these are the people who will have the information you need to ensure an accurate plan and successful implementation. You need their availability and buy in for a smooth rollout.
3. Be Prepared to Course Correct When Needed
Airline crews always have a plan in place for unruly passengers and know how to course correct due to unexpected changes and weather patterns. The pilot knows to expect that the plane may not be on auto-pilot the whole way!
So, ask yourself, “What kind of glitches could we encounter?” It’s likely that common pitfalls related to resources and budget have already been considered, but what else might get in the way of everything going according to plan? Have a huddle with your team and ask what they foresee as potential changes to the flight plan. Then make sure everyone is informed on how to handle the situation effectively and efficiently.
You can expect to run into bumps, so have the team ready to respond.
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4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
If an air traffic controller must tell a pilot to change their flight plan, they also tell them why! The “why” is so important when communicating changes. Tell everyone the who, what, where, when, and why often and REPEAT. This might involve separate communications to separate audiences, so plan, draft, and schedule those communications up front!
Related: How to Work in the “Why” and Provide Meaning to Your Training
Remember to keep other support staff in the loop as well. Those not directly impacted or involved with the new system or process can still have valuable insight or questions.
A good landing begins with a good approach! The success of any global training rollout is largely dependent on your commitment to prepare for it.
The more work you have done on your flight plan, the more efficient the takeoff and landing will be! To get your partners revved up for rollout, you need to provide them with the information they need to know and why it matters.
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