6 strategies to launch mobile successfully

 In Blog, Communication

Somedays just don’t start well. You wake up late, you’re out of coffee, and you find a fragrant present that the dog left on the carpet in the living room. We have all had days that start off like that. It can be hard to recover from that kind of a morning and if you let it, it can spoil the other 14 hours you’re awake that day. Other days are the exact opposite. You hit every light on the way to work, the sun is out and you feel like you could conquer the world. How we start off makes a huge difference in our attitude and often in the outcomes.

Most people have some level of discomfort with change. If you introduce change without carefully thinking through all the steps, it can be like finding that pile on the carpet in the morning. “Oh, wasn’t expecting this here…Now what do I do to fix this mess?”. Introducing new technology into a church is a form of change, but often we don’t take the needed steps to ensure that we are starting well. This can result in resistance to the new ways of doing things, lack of adoption of the new tools, and reduction of the impact we were hoping to see.  Here are a few strategies that will help you start well and implement new technology in ways that are embraced instead of resisted.

What’s the Goal

If you are launching a mobile platform, or any new technology for that matter, what is the purpose? You are investing time, energy and money into the new tools, so you should take the time and clearly define what you are hoping to change, develop or improve. Your goal could be many different things depending on your unique circumstance. Increasing discipleship activities during the week? Reaching millennials who are not currently engaging? Making connection with children’s ministry easier? Grow generosity? You know your goals, the trick is to define them in advance and write them down. This helps add clarity and provides accountability later in the project.

Did We Get There?

Defining a goal alone is not enough. Successful implementation of new technology also means that you need to have clear and objective ways to measure whether or not you reached the goal you are striving for. If you are looking to reach millennials, your measurement could be the weekly attendance to groups such as young professionals Bible study, or participation in specific events. If you are looking at increasing discipleship activities, you could measure the number of sermon podcast streams, or responses to follow-up questions about last week’s sermon. Whatever your goal is, define how you will know if you reached it. Otherwise, you may find yourself evaluating your new technology based on how you feel about it and not how it has actually helped.

Do People Want It?

One key to new technology is building buy-in. To build buy-in people have to understand why it matters to them, how it works, how to access it and what to expect as a result. It may seem like an extra step that takes time, but it is worth the effort to pre-launch the new tool. This means taking the time to cultivate a desire for the new mobile experience. You might have to do some education at this phase. You may also need to generate desire for it. This can be hard because it often involves exposing what things are working well and allowing people to ‘feel the pain’ of that before the solution is available. If registration for events is a multi-step and time consuming process, by acknowledging that, you create desire for a better way. “Guess what?  We now have a new app that makes this super easy!” You want to create positive anticipation for the new mobile experience.

How Do I Use It?

Once you have clear and measurable goals and have developed desire and excitement for the new technology, it’s time to launch. Take the time to build a communication and education campaign so that people know how to download it, use it and what to expect from it. You want people’s first experience with the new tools to be positive, and much of this depends on your roll out plan and communication.

Should I Keep Using It?

Reinforcement is a key factor in sustained change. If the new tools are not reinforced, people will go back to their old patterns. This means that you can’t just roll it out once and let it be. New people are coming all the time, so you need a plan to communicate with them on how to connect. Also, if the content isn’t fresh, then people are not likely to come back time and again. Use content, new features, and special events to help users develop the patterns of using the mobile platform. The more it becomes part of their normal rhythm, the more likely it is to stick.

We’re Good, Right?

Perhaps, but we don’t know. Now you need to take the time to review the goals that you defined and the measurements. Did it accomplish what you were hoping for? What unanticipated impacts have happened? What needs to be refined? What is missing?  Implementing new technology is an ongoing process of refinement accomplished by asking good questions and trying new things.

How have you successfully implemented change in your church?