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Rollout Strategy Explained

        posted by , May 25, 2013

How you launch matters.

Whether you're launching a product, service or improvement — your rollout strategy can mean the difference between success and failure.

Definition: Rollout Strategy

A rollout strategy is a plan to active change.

So What?

Rollout makes or breaks business changes.

Consider how Facebook rolled out:

  1. At first it rolled out only to Harvard students.
  2. Expanded to other Ivy League schools.
  3. Most universities in the US and Canada.
  4. High school version. The high school version was initially by invitation only.
  5. Rolled out to select companies such as Apple and Microsoft.
  6. General rollout (age 13 and older)

The process of rolling out Facebook took about two years. This patient rollout strategy was part of its success. If you rollout a social network all at once — it's a ghost town.

An effective rollout strategy can give your products social momentum. Your rollout strategy can also be designed to test approaches to avoid big failures.

Types of Rollout Strategy

  • Exclusive Rollout
    Rollout to an exclusive group (e.g. loyal customers).

  • Invitation Rollout
    Invite specific people to be first.

  • Social Rollout
    Start with an invitation rollout. Allow people to invite their friends — let it expand via social circles.

  • Prototype Rollout
    Rollout a test version first to fail fast.

  • Big Bang Rollout
    A major change that's rolled out all at once. This is generally considered a bad idea.

  • 80/20 Rollout
    Based on the Pareto Principle that 80% of value is achieved with 20% of the work. Rollout incomplete products that are most of the way there.

  • Split Testing
    Roll out different versions and test which works best.

  • Pilot Rollout
    Explicitly tell customers that the rollout is a test.

  • General Availability
    Rollout to the public.

  • Global Rollout
    A plan to rollout by region or country.

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