It’s easy to look at major enterprises with large-scale self-service technology projects and feel discouraged if you’re starting small. However, many benefits exist to slowly implementing self-service with a small pilot project that allows your organization to reflect and improve every step of the way. It’s important to start with something manageable and to celebrate successes throughout this process.
Why Pilot Programs Help
A pilot program is a great way to explore the feasibility of a full-scale self-service tech rollout. These are usually smaller, short-term projects that let your organization test your ideas and plans.
With a small-scale project you can find and fix any issues before you scale up to something bigger and more impactful. Ideally, a pilot project is carefully monitored. You should seek feedback from your team and users. You should also identify key performance indicators and metrics that will show you just how successful a pilot project was.
We have collected these examples to show how various organizations avoid the urge to do it all at once.
We will also highlight ways of letting all stakeholders feel the rewards of their success. It’s an important aspect of implementing self-service, as this helps the project and future endeavors gain favor within the organization.
Missouri Department of Conservation Chatbot Pilot
The Missouri Department of Conservation started a chatbot pilot which was ultimately slated to release in summer 2018. It began with one simple channel to keep things easy. They focused on text input rather than voice, given how many people came to the website to search for information.
When users navigated to the site they were greeted with a chatbot window, prompting users with a set of questions. When users provided an answer, it gathered the information needed to ask the next question. The result was users able to access relevant information about hunting and permits from the Department of Conservation database.
That simple project launched a lot more work toward self-service technology on the state level. The state further explored adding chatbots to the Office of Administration, specifically for call centers. They joined about a third of U.S. states who were engaged in AI-based pilot projects in 2019.
The Department of Revenue ultimately established a 24/7 chatbot designed to respond to common questions. Now, if you visit their website, you will meet DORA, an intelligent, self-serve chatbot. The initial pilot project was small and manageable, but paved the way for more of this tech.
Middlebury College Self-Serve Password Reset
Middlebury College trialed using Microsoft’s Self Service Password Reset, offering this service to a select number of users. If they forget their account password, they are sent to a page where they can manage it themselves. They note that this pilot removes reliance on using proprietary PINs and in-house activation pages for password changes.
The pilot is small but allows the organization to trial being more consistent with password resets on other online services. It also provides easy access from a variety of College login pages, and brings greater account security. But, instead of rolling it out to the entire college system, they chose to keep it small to ensure it would work on a larger scale before moving forward.
A critical piece of this trial was allowing people to provide feedback using an online form. This enables the organization to hear from users and adjust any larger project accordingly.
It’s worth celebrating when a pilot project is successful, or even a part of it is successful! The whole point of a pilot project is to reduce the risk of failure and offer the chance to refine the process. If you have made it through a pilot, it’s time to take a moment to look at what you have done and applaud that effort.
Often when something is trialed, the usual cultural and administrative barriers to change are at least temporarily suspended. Now, you need to win over stakeholders permanently. If you remember the KPIs and performance indicators we mentioned earlier, this is an excellent time to reflect on them!
By showing how well your pilot program’s success measured up, you can celebrate the people involved in making that happen. And, you can use that success, backed by real data, to convince stakeholders to take the next step and scale up.We are here to help you design and implement projects of all sizes, using tech with eWorkflow, work from home, and IT service management capabilities. When you choose Workflow Process and Incident Tracking, GroupLink Self-Service Portal, or GroupLink for SafestSchools, you are choosing a platform with excellent ROI.