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How to run a successful pilot project

Blog: Monday Project Management Blog

One way to test things out on a small scale before knowing if it will be a viable option is to run a pilot project.

A pilot project enables you to manage the risk of a new idea and identify any issues before you fully commit resources.

But what really is a pilot project, what are the benefits, and how do you successfully run one? This guide covers exactly that.

Read on to find out more or start your first pilot project now.

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What is a pilot project?

A pilot project is designed to test things out on a small scale before knowing if it will be a viable option for a team or business. Businesses use pilot projects for things like testing new software releases, soft launching new products, and trialing new working hours.

Oftentimes, pilot projects will confirm viability and scalability and enable processes and procedures to be tested.

So what are the benefits?

Key benefits of a pilot project

Essentially, pilot projects are a great way to assess the viability of an idea, test the process, and ultimately see if a full-scale project is viable.

Pilot projects help you:

Here’s how to plan one.

How to plan a pilot project

Now that we know what pilot projects are and why they’re so important, it’s time to start planning one.

Below, we’ll take you through a simple four-step process to develop your own.

Step 1: Identify the pilot project

It may sound obvious, but if you want to plan a pilot project, you first need to know what it will cover.

First, start with a brainstorming session to identify pilot project ideas. You can get ideas from:

Once you’ve identified your first pilot project, you’re ready to move to step two.

Step 2: Set objectives

Now that you’ve identified your first pilot, it must have set goals. Because there’s no point in starting a project if you don’t know what you want to achieve with it.

Some examples of pilot project objectives are:

Once you’ve set your objectives, the next step is to identify resources.

Step 3: Identify resources

Unless you’re a one person team, you’ll need to identify resources and assign tasks to organize the pilot project process.

With monday’s timeline calendar, you just need to invite team members to your board. Then, you’ll be able to assign tasks to them.

screenshot of project overview boardGet started

If you’re using a spreadsheet or Google Doc, you can tag users by typing “@” plus their email address into a cell.

Pro tip: Remember to factor in additional days to compensate for any delay when setting deadlines.

Once you’ve done all this, you should have a pretty good idea of how this might map out across a timeline.

Step 4: Develop a timeline 

There’s no right or wrong way to organize your timeline. Just make sure you:

As long as you follow those principles, you have a lot of freedom and flexibility in how you choose to accomplish it.

So how do you ensure everything stays on track?

6 best practices for implementing a pilot project

Below we’ll explore the six most popular best practices used when implementing pilot projects – and why you might want to use each one.

Following these steps will help your projects go ahead like clockwork.

Nail your pilot project on

Better still, lean on a tool like to make the entire process a breeze. You will love how monday embeds flexibility and control into your projects.

Plus, sharing information with your team is quick and easy by adding them to the plan and assigning them tasks. As you move through your pilot project, your whole team will feel guided and at ease.

You can even create a board with our ready-to-go project timeline template – and customize it to your needs.

Get started now or read on to see the most commonly asked questions.

Get started

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a pilot project?

The purpose of a pilot project is to test the feasibility of an idea on a small scale in order to evaluate the potential for a future full scale project.

What is meant by a pilot project?

Pilot projects, also called a ‘feasibility study’ help to identify any issues, evaluate feasibility, resources, time, and cost.

What is a pilot project in project management?

A pilot project is used in project management to reduce the risk of failure by testing the idea in a small controlled setting so that you can further refine your project before you roll it out.

Start your first pilot project

If you are ready to get started, you can start building your board and timeline now to ensure everything stays on schedule.

Or you can use one of monday’s ready-made templates to get up and running quicker.

Looking for more?

Check out our resources and expand your project management skills:

The post How to run a successful pilot project appeared first on Blog.

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