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How to Create a Buzz Around Your Project With Incremental Rollouts



This article is going to give you some invaluable tips for rolling out projects across large organisations.  We are going to talk about how to effectively introduce a reuse programme across an organisation, however, in reality, it could be applied to almost any project that affects a large majority of employees. 

We are also going to give you a brief step by step guide at the end.

These tips will interest anyone making change in an organisation. However will be especially applicable to our customers in facilities management, sustainability, waste, procurement, building decant and finance. 


Benefits of rolling out a project incrementally


Rolling out a project incrementally across your estate/ estates can reduce risk and increase participation, subsequently making the project a greater success. It also makes introducing projects considerably cheaper. It reduces mistakes and as such, makes rolling out projects quicker. An incremental approach also embeds projects much more meaningfully, which allows them to have a lasting change with limited upset or push back.


We spend a lot of our time in large organisations rolling out reuse programmes or creating the architecture to roll out reuse programmes.  


If you roll out a project or reuse programme all in one go, to everybody in the organisation, if it goes wrong or if there's a problem, it can undermine the whole initiative.

  How to create a buzz around your project

A positive side effect of this incremental rollout is that you create a buzz about the project through word of mouth amongst the staff.  When you have this word of mouth, you're going to get staff coming to you saying "Hey, when are we going to get this next?".

Scarcity does somethign weird to humans.

So, then you create a waiting list, and limit supply of the new service, change of practice, and when you've got a waiting list, something really interesting happens.

There's something psychological about desire in relation to a waiting list that creates this buzz and interest in the programme.


An example of this happening in your life might be if you're on holiday and you're walking down the street, you see a restaurant with a queue outside of it and the restaurant isn't even full. The proprietor of the restaurant knows that a queue creates attraction, it creates a buzz and it creates desirability. You are more likely to go to a restaurant with a queue, even though it’s only half full, over a restaurant that's empty. This is because you think "well, if people are queuing for it, it must be good!" The restaurant proprietor knows this and uses it to their advantage, and you can too.


You can do the same thing with the project, initiative or service that you're introducing. You can create a buzz around it by creating a waiting list. The incremental rollout is creating this waiting list and the desirability.

Because there’s a waiting list and desirability, staff are much more open to it when it arrives and you get better participation. When you receive better participation figures, you will reach your point of success much faster.


Incremental rollout = Keystone habit?


Another benefit of incremental rollout worth discussing is the gateway habit concept. In some organisations, if you're bringing in change that's often hard to swallow you have to consider that staff don't like change, so when you roll something out incrementally, you're giving them a taster of this new system, process or service. When they get that taster, it can be a gateway habit for further change.


For example, with reuse, often we advise that if there’s going to be kickback or pushback against the reuse programme, the customer should do what we call a Stationary Amnesty. Everyone who works in an office can relate to the fact they've got four staplers, three rulers and two hole punches in their desk not being used (edit the quantities where applicable!). You can run a Stationary Amnesty across the organisation and you can use that to introduce furniture reuse or equipment reuse. They’re already familiar with the behaviour and so it’s a much easier invitation.


Minimum Viable Product/ Project

Incremental rollout is also similar to what software developers call ‘the minimum viable product’. This is the introduction of a product or service that solves a problem in the most basic way possible. The customers no longer suffer the problem, but the developer hasn't invested all their time and energy into creating a solution. It's proven the model.


What the minimum viable product solves the problem that the customer's having without all the bells and whistles and extra frills, so the developer puts the minimum time, effort and money into the product and sees how the customer relates to it or what the customer might spend on it. It gives them the evidence to build a better product or ultimately build a version with all those ‘bells and whistles’.

In the reuse scenario this could be rolled out with low risk items like stationery of furniture. It might be the introduction of the program to a select group of staff who you know will be receptive. It might be choosing a certain building or cluster of buildings because they have good logistics.

Those are the benefits of incremental rollouts. Do you have any more? Please comment below. You can download our guide to incremental rollouts right here.

The following guide contains an action plan and top tips on how to roll your programme out incrementally in order to get maximum participation, reduce mistakes and have the maximum impact.


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Daniel O'Connor

Daniel O'Connor

I use my time and experience to contribute to the transition to a regenerative sustainable society for all.


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