Some companies do product launches every month and some companies launch every day. They have the opportunity to build up experiences, resources and skills to do the launches in an efficient and success way. If you are not one of these companies – how do you staff up to secure the success of your product in the market after all investments has been made in development?
1. Pinpoint somebody to take the launch
To get everything in place at the right time means that somebody needs to follow up and lead the work progress. It could be as a full time or part time responsibility, surely not on top of everything else but as a substantial part of the work.
In many cases this responsibility will be handed over to somebody at product management. This is a reasonable decision as product management typically has the overview and perspective needed to see what needs to be done – both from a product and technical perspective and from a business and commercial perspective.
2. Put together launch teams to share the work effort
Securing the product success in the market is in most cases a team effort or even an all company effort. To ensure success, company readiness needs to be established prior to the launch. To do this means a lot of work involving different parts of the company with marketing material, training programs, service & support, production planning, etc. There are checklists and best practice to be used that can help avoiding some of the mistakes that can be made.
3. Debrief and document experiences gained
If launches are done ones a year or not too often it is hard to build up the necessary experience and methodology in the team– the risk is that some of the experiences and insights gained from the previous launches has been lost on the way. A debrief process after the launch will help you to identify mistakes and analyze lessons learned and to build up the team capability over time.
Document them to build and share your “best practices”. Perhaps bring in external expertise to facilitate the debrief and get some outside perspective?
4. Bring in expert support to staff up
But if driving the launch project comes as an extra effort, the time is often already fully booked with other top priority responsibilities. This is sad to see as some products fail in the market entry after so much effort and resources have been invested in the development of the product. Remember that there is expertise available to offload the team to secure success – do not hesitate to bring on board resources and knowledge that is may be unavailable in the organization!
Too few companies realize the effort that is needed to secure the product success by doing good product launches. It is in many cases handled as an extra burden on top of all other. And an area where the needed experience and skills are not given time to be built up.
Why don't you take five minutes to review how much effort you estimate is needed to deliver a successful product launch. Then decide what resources are needed.