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Grassroots: A Model for Rapid Alteryx Deployment, Part 2

8 - Asteroid

This is part 2 in a series. Part 1 is here. 


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While you've been building your secret team of Alteryx experts, you've been collecting data and case studies (see step 4) and now it's time to go public. At this stage, you need to connect with an Alteryx representative and work out a trial deal for more licenses.


These deals are usually flexible, so find one that works for you, and get yourself some licenses! Do what you can within your budget, even if it's just a few that last a few months. Alteryx is usually flexible if you need to tear up the old deal and buy a new one - trust me, you will.

Once you've come into licenses that aren't the two-week trials, it's time to advocate and evangelize for Alteryx. This is the first step of your deployment. Rather than a small word-of-mouth recruitment process, you're opening Alteryx to anyone who will listen. You're giving managers the chance to choose to move their whole teams to Alteryx, and you're also giving low-level analysts the chance to automate their work.


The best way to evangelize is with use cases and presentations. Nobody is going to believe you at first - Alteryx sounds far too good to be true. However, with use cases and real people at your company vouching for the tool, you'll find progress. Take your use cases and make a handful of presentations aimed at different audiences within your company, and have your power users give these presentations at staff meetings, weekly standups, company happy hours, etc.


No two companies are the same. You know where you can present your early successes in order to reach the most people without upsetting the political atmosphere. This is important, as you don't want somebody coming in and shutting down your operation for political reasons.


Sit with teams that ask you about Alteryx and gather a few small user teams backed up by your power users. The success of these small pockets of users is essential for the wider deployment at your company. Once again, these teams will have self-selected to join your movement. If teams push back and aren't interested, even if they would have amazing success, don't push them to adopt. They will come when they are ready.


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Once your teams are adopting Alteryx, you need to be sure they have the resources they need to succeed. Supporting your internal user group means providing on-boarding training, making sure they have license coverage they need, and ensuring that they continually improve their skills with Alteryx. We do this in a few ways:


Internal office hours: have your best folks maintain an open-door policy or consistent office hour times where other uses can drop in with questions or ideas. We always recommend a three step process when it comes to getting stuck: Spend 15 minutes trying to figure it out on your own, then 15 minutes Googling the problem and searching the community, then 15 minutes creating a community post asking the question. Never getting blocked is the key.


On-site on-boarding training: Our preferred method of on-boarding new teams is named "Bring Your Own Data" or "BYOD" sessions. In these sessions (I'm making a separate post about this as well) teams bring their data and a list of required manipulations to get to the output, and a Solutions Engineer or internal resource builds the workflow with the person who will be running the workflow as the copilot. After the workflow is done, the builder turns the workflow over to the person who will be using it, who by watching the workflow get built is familiar with it. They also have a reason to learn Alteryx: this workflow can help them, if they can learn to maintain it and fix it. This will lead to full-on independence.


Checkups and grooming for success: the goal is for Alteryx to become a core part of the users' work. To ensure this, we recommend dropping in from time to time and helping keep teams on track. Make sure they are thinking both short and long term solutions while giving them examples and help in realizing the vision. I like to "project manage" workflows for teams, which basically means taking a quick peek at what new users are creating to make sure they're sticking to our style, documentation and tool combination standards. Keeping everyone standardized is an important way to avoid confusion and reinventing the wheel.

Part 3: the survey. Coming soon!