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Conference room pilot (CRP) is a key project implementation strategy that tests normal business case scenarios in a proposed new system to uncover people, process, and system issues, generate resolutions, and define action steps needed to complete the implementation.

The pilot is normally done after the initial vendor or in-house education using a test database of representative data.

What is it in detail?

A conference room pilot is like a demo practice; set up to allow the prospective customers a hands-on experience before they buy the software.

The various steps of the simulator must be in accordance with the business goals set down by the company and give an exact experience of how the work will proceed when the system is put in place.

CRP is a term used in system procurement, which is an online setup for managing the records like billing orders, payments, approving purchase orders, delivering goods, acquiring invoices, and so on.

It verifies the performance of a system and validates its worth in implementing it for a specific business organization.

How does it work?

Setting up a conference room pilot efficiently is very important because when simulated efficiently a CRP can give rise to system loopholes that need to be addressed before the new system is implemented.

These loopholes can then be pointed out, and customized according to the need before the system is fully implemented. It is very essential to test the pilot before the implementation of the project has taken place or even during the processing.

The users must be very clear about how a system functions and must be the first ones to perform in the demonstration.

Components are objectives in a Conference Room Pilot

  • To determine the preferred design of workflow
  • To identify gaps and loopholes in the steps of the simulation and rectifying them for the most efficient performance between the new and the old software.
  • To estimate the effects of changes on specific departments or individuals.
  • To identify the lack of staff training requirements, if any.
  • To determine the overall standard of the software being tested for, during, or before the implementation.
  • To outline the strengths and weaknesses of the ERP program to be implemented
  • To map the data cleaning, converting, and reconciling process.

What is the importance of CRP?

CRP plays a very important role while implementation of project

  • It allows the member of project teams to do end-to-end process practice and yields feedback
  • It helps the team with reliability to test the system even it is in development
  • It helps to improve the team confidence
  • It gives a chance to employees to get hands-on experience

 Conference room pilot example

We consider software put forward by a digital health provider, being installed in a hospital.  The best way to test whether it holds to the company policies is to build a simulator as close to the live clinical setup as possible, and allow the customers to have a hands-on experience with a free demo.

In a hospital environment, the sets and subsets of components involved in a CRP can be considered as the subset of beds or the subsets of nurses.

It will be an entire digitalization of the hospital components, which can be easily monitored by looking thoroughly over the software being implemented. 

Here a conference room pilot can be implemented for the hospital staff to see whether the software is working in accordance with the needs or not.

3 phases of Conference Room Pilot

  1. Scope CRP: Here you finalize the scope of the project being designed, with a final statement on the requirements of the project.
  • Design CRP:  Here the requirements are being transferred to proof of the design.  A team with technical and functional expertise starts designing a project. A properly designed CRP, in this case, would validate the fact that you understood the key elements of the business scope and were aptly able to transfer them into an efficient design.
  • Build CRP: In this final phase, the team of experts actually starts to build the application. The goal here is to translate the design elements developed so far into a fully functional application. A live demo is essential during this phase, as it helps to identify any issues and allows the total participation of the team members.

Conference room pilot checklist

  • Make out employee attendance: Establish a proper attendance list and custom build the CRP training to improve employee skills and needs of users. So that you can make sure that each employee is meeting the correct pilot.
  • Define and communicate objectives: It is necessary to introduce the objectives before talking to the technical aspects. Clearly define the number of sessions and pilot to be covered in that session and let the employees know about this. Make sure of full attendance in all sessions.
  • Put in real data: Use real data for better understanding in the pilot. It helps the employees to understand that how the implementing software relates to their role.
  • Invite project supporters: While conducting sessions invite project supporters to get their ideas and suggestions.
  • Give time for conversations: Let the employees ask their questions and doubts. If no one is ready to ask questions person who is taking the session need to ask questions. It is good to get feedback.
  • Set the proper timings for the session: Set the convenient time to take sessions, so that the maximum number of participants can attend the session.
  • Review the results: Keep the track of topics discussed during sessions by documentation. After that generate the final report that must include the following things
    • The outcomes of conference room pilot
    • The issues registered
    • The list of software that fulfills your organization requirements

To understand the conference room pilot best practices, a specific CRP should be implemented for every step of the process, to make the entire process clear to every team member during each phase of the project.

A conference room pilot session should be organized during the middle phase of every step, and should not be left for the end of the session.


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