Host a launch party:

Now, your portal is finally finished!   It’s time to roll it out.  However, in order to drive user adoption (which is the ultimate measure of success), you need to let everyone know that it’s there.    Getting the word out and getting people to actually use it are two, very different tasks.

Get the Word Out:

Gather the masses in whatever way you must.   Usually, a party is a non-offensive way to pull those busy bees away from their desks long enough to hear what you have to say.

You should have your Executive Sponsor queued up to kick off this party.   A Town Hall meeting is usually a great way to gather the masses.  If you have a large company, host a series of Town Hall sessions early in the day (or throughout the week) and host your launch party on a Friday.  (just suggestions, of course) .

Additionally, you should select key (influential) members of your Portal Committee to present the following during the Town Hall Meeting:

  1. Present the main features, functions, an upgrades of the new portal.
  2. Demonstrate navigation of key functional areas within the portal.
  3. Demonstrate a few commonly used features (those that will likely be used most often).
  4. Introduce the rest of the week’s events.

Driving users to the site:

One great way to drive user adoption early, is to have fun with it.  Get creative and come up with some activities that are fun and exciting, while teaching users how to use the portal at the same time.

Here are some suggested examples:

Have a Launch party and make a big deal out of your new portal.  Set the party up on a Friday and rotate teams from across the company through here as the day progresses.  Host a series of events for users to participate in, both at the party location, and from their desks.

If you need some ideas or suggestions on what you can do at your Launch Party, Check out 10 Portal Launch Party Ideas.

These are just some fun (and some useful) ways of letting people know that your portal is launched and ready for production use.  You want to make sure that you THANK THEM for participating in the Information Architecture process and contributing ideas that made (and will continue to make) this project a success.    Furthermore, you should let your users know that the success of the portal is equally due to their hard work and continued feedback (great time to point them to your post-launch feedback survey)

Now, that your portal is launched and the party was a success, it’s time to get your butts back to work!

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