The Significance Of Pilots In A Rapidly Changing Business World

Adam Bryant is the current CEO of AxleHire, an expedited urban last-mile delivery service, providing same and next day delivery experience.

There is a tendency for legacy companies to choose the safest route and stick with what has worked for them in the past. But the path of least resistance may not be the one that is able to meet the challenges in a rapidly changing post-Covid world. Companies are consistently challenged to meet consumers’ wants and needs of not just today but the future as well. First, creating adaptable technology that can easily be reconfigured and scaled is a large part of the solution. In addition, investing in pilot projects can have big payoffs as well.

Challenging The Status Quo

Pilots are an educational tool that allow companies to run small experiments and use the findings to determine large-scale viability, cost and potential payoff. By analyzing the current and future challenges within an industry, a good pilot allows a company to experiment with potential solutions. They can have a significant role in challenging an industry’s current status quo and provide potential positive results that can allow a company to stand out among its competition.

A Startup Within A Company

Pilots act as a way for a company to create a small startup within its organization by choosing a new, unexplored path to determine the potential outcomes. A pilot that is set up for success with the right internal resources and partners is more likely to provide a company with beneficial findings. By involving the entire organization in the process—or even just making employees aware that a pilot is taking place—will lead to much higher success rates. Data received from a pilot can be beneficial to a business regardless of the initial sample size. Even the smallest findings can be a seed to a solution for a long-standing problem and position a company as forward-thinking.


Low-Risk, High-Reward

With the right resources, pilots can be an excellent low-risk, high-reward tool for organizations looking to disrupt an industry. Pilots allow businesses to experiment with a potential solution and continuously adapt it to create a new, scalable option. With the low risks of pilots, a company can be comfortable taking an unconventional approach and challenging a company’s leaders to think bigger in terms of pathways to success.

Prepping For Implementation

When beginning a pilot program, the first step is to define the main objective to remain focused on for the entire duration of the project. Having a hypothesis for what is being tested will allow a business to plan on what the investment need will be and help predict the expected results. Splitting a pilot into phases can mitigate risks and unnecessary expenses. This allows a company to assess each phase one at a time and determine whether it is beneficial to move on from a phase if it is unsuccessful.

Sharing Results

Upon completion of a pilot, a company should share its results both within the organization and to a wider audience to gain feedback from both its employees and supporters. Small-scale results should be utilized and incorporated into thinking about how results can be applied on a larger scale rather than ignored. Finally, these results, and the pilot itself, should be continuously refined based on the current market and new challenges.

How to navigate the challenges and obstacles that are seen in a rapidly changing business world is a significant skill that is necessary for businesses to learn. In taking a chance by investing in pilot projects, a company can see results that can make a huge difference in their industry as well as provide unexpected opportunities that were not previously available.

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