How to Implement Your Mass Notification System in Phases


Prep for Success

Implementing a mass notification system can be a big undertaking. With so many different features to take advantage of, it can be difficult to know where to start. And sometimes, if you don’t know where to start, you never do. That can put your organization at a serious disadvantage if you encounter an emergency situation and don’t have the tools in place to properly communicate safety information to your people.

The point of a mass notification solution is to make it easy to share information with a large group of people in the shortest amount of time. But what’s the best way to do that? And how can you make sure you’re implementing the right features that will keep your people out of harm’s way? In this blog post, we’ll outline why implementing your mass notification system in phases can help get the most critical features up and running quickly, without overburdening your team.

Identify Who Owns the Implementation

Your implementation may require involving multiple departments, but without someone leading the charge, your implementation could flounder. Identifying a project leader will help ensure the project stays on track so your organization can begin utilizing the safety features offered by your mass notification system. The project leader should be responsible for the overall strategy of the implementation, including identifying resources, understanding how you want to communicate, and planning for scenarios your organization is likely to encounter. There may be additional areas your organization needs to strategize around, but for the purposes of this blog, these will be the three areas we focus on.

One of the reasons your organization may benefit from a phased implementation is due to a lack of resources. Given the number of options available with a mass notification system, it can be overly taxing to put the setup and configuration on the shoulders of a small team. The project leader can work the team members that will be doing the actual implementation to outline the phases and work that will go into the getting the system up and running. By implementing in phases, they will be able to test as they go. Testing helps ensure everything is working properly and helps you identify issues before adding on additional components.

Discover more best practices for testing

Start with Your Most Critical Needs

Most organizations purchase a mass notification system to solve a problem. That problem is going to vary depending on the industry you are in, the type of facility where the system is being deployed, and what pieces of technology are already in place that help with safety and communication. That being said, the problem that spurred your decision to buy a mass notification system should be addressed during the first phase of your implementation process.

Learn how to build a mass notification ecosystem

Your starting point will help lay a foundation from which you can build out the rest of the features you want to implement. Maybe your most pressing concern is being able to broadcast to desk phones or send desktop notifications. Maybe it’s triggering alerts when an emergency number is dialed, or sending mass SMS text messages. Start with whatever feature set with be most beneficial to enhance your organization’s safety and grow from there.

Address Scenarios in Phases

Of course, it’s not just the practical “I need to be able to do this,” applications that will determine where you start. It’s also the emergency scenarios you need to plan for and respond to. Whether it’s an active shooter, severe weather or some other crisis, your practical needs likely align with an overarching goal related to emergency preparedness. Having a checklist that outlines what scenarios you need to plan for and how will you communicate during those scenarios, will help you understand how to phase your implementation. Gathering input from multiple departments will also help you build a better big picture overview of your needs.

Read more about getting buy-in from multiple departments

Starting and accomplishing your first phase will help you become more familiar with the setup process, and understand what can be easily added onto the system. Your other needs may become more apparent as you begin to implement but commit to tackling one phase at a time. This will help ensure that you are not moving on to the next feature set before the current one is fully operational. It can be tempting to jump around given events that are impacting your organization or what’s happening in the news, but it can be more beneficial to have a few features working well than a number of features that don’t work at all.




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