Business Spotlight: Technology Pilots Pros and Cons

although new technology can increase overall  quality and productivity it may be difficult to get everyone on board and properly using the system at first. A pilot program allows you to test the software with a sample group before making the big plunge.

Wondering if a technology pilot program is the best fit for your organization? Outlined below are pilot program pros, cons and tips to succeed.  Over the years I have heard both sides of the aisle on this topic and many of the discussions became heated.  Heated at the client level and heated at the vendor level for so many reasons.  Some vendors will not

Here are some of the Pros to doing a pilot

Pilot programs are a great way to experiment with new programs.  They allow you to get your feet wet especially when you have reservations about making an investment or possibly swapping out a current technology.  Getting behind the wheel to really understand is the system will work for you has its advantages.  It allows you to overlap what you are currently doing to the system while exposing some potential gaps you may find relating to the way you do business.  Working with a vendor who can consult you in the pre-sales phase of the project is critical.  Many companies will not require a time consuming pilot if the vendor invest the proper amount of consulting time on the front to properly educate the prospective client. 


A pilot program may signal a sense of doubt in the technology to employees. Be careful how the project is branded, and proactively communicate to employees the need and benefits of testing.  It could also split team members on the technology they are comfortable with vs the folks who don’t like the current systems.  A very slippery slope but yet again, if the vendor properly consults the client in the early stages piloting generally is not needed.  Time and resources are needed from the clients and this is very intrusive and disruptive.  Frankly speaking, many pilots get abandoned before they even start.

Evaluating Your Options

Before diving into a pilot program, make sure this is the best option for your organization. Ask yourself:

  • Do my employees understand the value of the software we want to implement? If your employees do not, a pilot program is a good way to show what the technology has to offer.
  • Do we have a logical group of employees willing to test the program? For a pilot program to be successful, you must have a dedicated testing group. 
  • How immediate is the need for change and results? A pilot program will add a minimum of three to six months before organization-wide rollout. Consider your timeframe carefully before making a decision. 
  • Is my organization large enough to need a pilot program? If your organization is small, a pilot program may not be needed. At larger organizations, however, they allow a portion of employees to test and analyze instead of everyone at once.
  • Will a pilot program be more beneficial than time-consuming? Overall, you must consider if a pilot program is going to save resources in the long run. Evaluate the effort that will go into testing against the value those tests could create to make sure you are not wasting unnecessary time.

Tips to Succeed

If you have weighed the pros and cons of a pilot program and find it is the right fit for your organization, follow these steps to ensure ultimate success

  • Define your organization and employee’s specific accomplishments and goals.
  • Select individual employees to test the system before implementing the program across the entire organization.
  • Provide an open communication forum


 for employees and participants to provide in-depth feedback.