When you think of deployment for a typical project, it involves a plan to roll the application out to the end users and will inevitably include a training approach for getting the end users trained. Deployment is a cornerstone because it is so much more than this. Deployment must be considered right from the start, by designing a solution for the end user. If you fail to capture the appreciation of the end user, you will lose their buy-in and ultimately lose adoption of Anaplan and the new process, effectively negating any ROI for the customer.
Involve end users in the Anaplan implementation project at the onset -- at the latest, during the second sprint. Customers should identify champions who can help promote the Anaplan model when it becomes generally available.
Many times, end users may be used in early ‘sneak-peeks” at the application and the User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Getting early buy-in to the design is always a good idea for a successful deployment. In addition, work with your customer to ensure the most influential people in the user population are involved in the process early on. Encourage the customer to let these influential people own some of the decisions and participate in the design. This is a great way to get early buy-in and these people will then act as advocates to the wider user population once the application is in UAT and during the go live phase.
Deployment, and the run up to deployment, is effectively a sales and PR job. Keep in mind that your customer is selling the application to their end users. Remember that it is almost impossible to over-communicate that a process change and new tool are being implemented.
Work with your customer to involve business subject matter experts (SME’s), who are well respected by the business in the early stages, preferably in the requirements phase. Then, around the middle of Sprint two, once you have the model at about 90% built (model only, no dashboards), start to get them involved in evaluating the solution.
What this means is three-fold:
While this buy-in and evaluation of the solution is happening and tweaks are being made, you need to prepare for how you will introduce the business to the new solution and how people will be trained.
The next section is customer-focused. Work with the customer to make recommendations regarding how to effectively sell the Anaplan solution to the business. Remember that an effective deployment often leads to expands within an organization. A deployment that does not get off the ground leaves the customer wondering why they invested in Anaplan.