Any time the company completes the creation of a new product, or a new version of an existing product, it’s time to launch the new offering. Hmm, now exactly how should we go about doing this? There’s nothing in the product development definition that tells us how to do it correctly. All too often the new product just gets “thrown out there” and we all keep our fingers crossed that it will be a success. It turns out that there is a much better way to launch a product that will boost your product’s chances of being a success…
The Wrong Way To Launch A Product
Before we talk about the right way to launch a product, we probably should spend some time talking about what the wrong way is. A lot of this discussion may look very familiar to you.
The first thing that a lot of firms that incorrectly launch products do is to write and release a press release announcing that a new product is now available. The problem with this is that it is often the first time that anyone else at the company knows that a product release has occurred! Clearly doing things this way is not something that you are going to want to add to your product manager resume.
What this means is that there was no group of people responsible for launching the product – it just happened. Nobody in the company is going to be ready to sell it or support it. You can well imagine the confusion that this method of launching a product can cause.
The Right Way To Launch A Product
The first step in correctly launching a product is to realize that it takes a team to launch a product correctly. What this means is that as the product manager you need to take the time to pull together a team that is made up of representatives from each department in the company that will be affected by the launch.
Your next step has to be to create a launch plan. This plan needs to list out all of the deliverables that will be required in order to properly launch the product. The launch team will be responsible for both completing the tasks that are on the launch plan as well as making sure that the status of the launch is properly communicated back into their departments.
In order for a product launch to be successful, you are going to need everyone in the company working with you to make it happen. Everyone has to be on the same page and they all have to be ready to support the product once it goes out the door. Take the time to involve everyone and you’ll discover just how much more successful your product can be!
What All Of This Means For You
How a new product gets launched can have a significant impact on the overall success of that product. There are a number of different ways to do this incorrectly and that can harm your products’ chances of being a success. Knowing how launch a product correctly should be a part of every product manager’s product manager job description.
If you want to launch a product the right way, it’s going to require a team that is made up of representatives from each of the company’s impacted departments. You are going to have to create a product launch plan, map out the details regarding everything that has to be done and then spread that information throughout the company.
The good news here is that the job of properly launching a product does not rest solely on the product managers. It truly does take a team to do this correctly. Take the time to pull your launch team together and the next time that you launch a product your time, energy, and effort will all be worth it!
Question For You: How long do you think that you should spend working on a product launch?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Product managers are responsible for solving the problems of their customers. This is a pretty simple idea to understand. However, when we don’t control the complete solution that our customer is trying to put into place, what level of responsibility does a product manager have? Over at Avon they just did one of these big projects and it has ended in failure. What did the SAP product manager do wrong?