9 pitfalls to scaling innovation from pilot to production

From a lack of a handoff plan to a failure to loop in business users at the right time, innovative projects all too often stall when pushed out into the real world. Here’s how to do it right.

It’s tempting to declare victory with a successful proof of concept, but a working PoC or pilot doesn’t guarantee the innovation can scale.

Just ask veteran IT leader Michael K. Levine.

Levine says he once worked on a new banking system designed for local branches. Tests for functionality, usability and technology went fine in the early part of the initiative, but the new system fizzled as the IT team tried to scale it from the first branches to hundreds more.

“We did performance tests in the lab, and they went well, but the lab is not the real world, and we found it didn’t scale at all. There was a bottleneck somewhere that we had to identify, stop and fix before we could scale it out,” says Levine, a long-time IT executive in the financial industry and author of several books including the recently released People Over Process: Leadership for Agility.

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