Your final presentation to management is the one shot you have to sell your idea and your credibility, so don't blow it by jumping in too soon. Take your time in the planning phase of this project. The more up-front time you spend , the greater the success of the final solution will be.
Once you launch the initiative, you are going to be in the spotlight and everything you do will be judged. Until that point, however, you will be working in relative obscurity. Use that freedom from scrutiny to refine your ideas, get feedback, and tweak the business case.
When you do go live, you need to shine by performing miraculous changes in small amounts of time. This is not a time to make mistakes, take chances , or move slowly. Target high-priority issues that you know you can succeed with in quick succession. Add a time and money cushion of 10 to 15 percent to your budget and timeline in case your projections are off. This gives you breathing room and makes you look even more impressive when your project comes in early and under budget.
Our big miracle at Rockwell Collins was meeting our Year One goals on Day One. Management was skeptical of our ability to put 30 percent of the company's content online in a year, so they were floored when the learning and development team accomplished it sooner.
Although we didn't publicize our launch for two months, it still looked like a phenomenal success, even more so because our team used that time to get rid of all the bugs . The unofficial project launch was several months early and nearly flawless.
We can't overstress how important these early successes will be. This is the time when people will scrutinize your every move. Many of them will have their own preconceived notions about e-learning and its worth. They will be waiting for you and your technology to screw up, to prove that you aren't capable of leading such a revolutionary change. Before people will completely buy into your message, they need to know you are capable of delivering on it. Don't crumble under that pressure. If you triumph early, you will secure support from management and build confidence among the masses. They will come to trust you, which makes the system successful. This support causes the cultural shift to happen and allows them to change on their own terms and in their own timeframe.