Success Path
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How to Plan a Successful AR Program

Last Updated: September 25, 2019


A successful augmented reality program requires planning, development, and implementation. Below are key elements to take into consideration in each of these phases.


Choose a Compelling Business Case

The first and most important step in planning an AR initiative is to identify the problem AR will solve for your organization.

How to select a business case:

  1. Identify your organization’s most critical challenges. Focus on strategic initiatives and key metrics.
  2. Match those challenges with the capabilities of AR.
  3. Rank those challenges by business impact, depending on your specific business needs.
  4. Choose one high-impact use case and clearly define your desired outcome. For example: reduce scheduled downtime by 25 percent. Having these key metrics identified early will help the implementation phase.


Cultivate the Right Stakeholders

Your AR initiative will benefit tremendously from leadership support: ensure stakeholders communicate the importance of your initiative to their teams. Identify and engage various people across your organization to support your AR initiative. The right stakeholders may vary business to business, but in general, choose both an executive sponsor and a business lead/owner.

The executive sponsor helps drive the vision and success of the project. They also help to secure necessary resources and evangelize the AR vision for additional support. The business lead/owner will be responsible for the goals of the use case, provide operational support, and be the champion of the AR initiative.

Other stakeholders may include internal subject matter experts, technical documentation authors, trainers, research and development teams, frontline workers, or others depending on your use case.

Identify the Right Resources

There are four types of resources you may need:

  1. People: A core AR team that may include both internal employees and external contributors.
  2. Expertise: If there are gaps in the skills of the team, look to training, best practices, and resources through PTC for help.
  3. Technology: Be sure you have the right technology and hardware to get the job done. For example, eyewear devices, AR software, and infrastructure.
  4. Data: Your use case may require CAD (Computer Aided Design) files or IoT (Internet of Things) data. Plan how you will identify and prepare digital assets and validate your CAD data. Remember: data is only as good as its creators, so be sure you leverage your subject matter experts and empower the team.



Start Small, Iterate Quickly

It’s important to take a phased approach to AR experience development and focus on the fastest path to value. Do not waste time on unnecessary features: build only the minimum viable product that solves the problem. There's always room for improvement later.

Once you’ve proven the value of the use case, then start thinking about scaling. Test and iterate consistently with calculated experiments that involve end users.

Generate Quick Wins

Set short-term goals but maintain the long-term vision. By doing so, you will consistently achieve goals and help maintain momentum. Running a manageable pilot program with a few users or limited functionality first increases adoption and smooths future rollouts. When stakeholders and project participants see fast value, your project will maintain overall positive morale.



Quantify Results

In order to demonstrate your progress and quantify results to stakeholders, you must identify key metrics early in the planning phase. It’s important to start measuring the results as soon as possible and keep tracking over time. All too often, project leaders fail to properly establish a baseline before they start implementing AR. As a result, they can't properly demonstrate the return on investment to leaders.

Determine which metrics are important for your project and record them before you implement AR. Then measure against that baseline as your project progresses.

Publicize Successes

Share progress with stakeholders early and often. By publicizing these quick wins, you will boost support for the project and refuel the momentum. Set up regular check-ins for visibility updates and share your results.


Take the time to plan and select the right use case, team, and resources. Remember to iterate quickly, generate short-term wins, and quantify your results. Lastly, don’t be shy about sharing your early successes and rally your team around the project.

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