When to Make the Big Announcement

We have noticed that there is a lot of overhauling going on in associations: redesigns, AMS, CMS, blogs, usability audits, etc… With all this activity you may ask, “When do we go live?”. Well, we are here to tell you, sooner is better than later. Some people are always going to be nervous, especially the board and the project owners. Everybody’s inclination is to wait until every detail is perfect, every piece of text is in place or every section of the site has been written and reviewed a hundred times. NO! But understand this, we aren’t asking you to release something premature or in an Alpha state. We are trying to tell you things should be in a state where users can operate. This does not mean that every bug in your software has to be ironed out or that every section of the site has to be rolled out simultaneously and in their entirety. The best way to approach this is to push things out in piecemeal fashion. A couple elements that you should be clear on:

  1. Individuals and
  2. Customer collaboration
  3. Working software
  4. Responding to change

Once your site is live, you are forced to find time to correct issues and correct them as quickly (respond to change) as possible. You can also rely on some new, fresh eyes (customers) to give feedback and tell you how things behave. Lastly, collaboration within the organization to assess and add additional information or corrections helps enhance the overall value of the final product (individuals and interactions).

Deliberating over when the right time happens because of fear. Regardless of when a release happens people will talk; sometimes talk is good and sometimes talk is bad. It is up to you whether your framework allows for quick response-leverage this new information. Quick customer response is what differentiates good organizations from great organizations. This whole idea is very difficult to over come, but works because it is designed to help teams adapt to changes. So remember, release in small manageable stages. Good luck!

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