Smooth product launches are simpler than you think

Headshot kontributor Alicia RaeburnAlicia Raeburn
24 April 2024
3 menit baca
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Smooth product launches are simpler than you think
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Summary

When launching a new product, organizations are faced with many challenges. For example, issues like fragmented communication, lack of visibility, and unclear goals are common. Learn strategic solutions to streamline processes and enhance team collaboration for successful product launches.

On paper, product launches seem deceptively simple—you brainstorm a great product, set a game plan and, with a few adjustments, set a successful launch in motion. But anyone who has managed a product launch knows the reality is far more complex.

Unexpected obstacles can pop up, causing delays and budget overruns, and threatening strategic objectives. But with the right strategies and insights, you can effectively solve these challenges and drive consistent, successful launches.

Successful launches start with your customers

See how the team at Asana uses customer feedback to bolster their product development roadmap.

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Successful launches start with your customers

Challenge 1: Fragmented coordination and communication

When launching a product, you need to juggle work between different teams, departments, and oftentimes, external agencies. A mishandled task or missed deadline can throw off your entire workflow, causing delays or unnecessary budget increases.

Beyond just being a massive time suck, this fragmented approach is a context nightmare. Key details get lost across different threads and discussions can be siloed. This leaves the team questioning what was actually agreed upon and having to double check everything.

The solution

Create a centralized, shared workspace to keep all functions and external partners operating from a single source of truth. This ensures there's one canonical place where all launch updates, decisions, notes, and materials are comprehensively documented in real-time. Your shared workspace should include the actual work, all launch communications, deliverables, and any contextual details. 

Whether via a shared drive, internal wiki, work management platform, or a document with running commentary—bring it all together into one centralized hub. That way, discussions and associated tasks happen in the context of the work itself. 

Challenge 2: Lack of visibility into launch progress and performance

Product launches operate on tight timelines with constantly shifting priorities. This makes it especially challenging to track progress and make timely decisions, especially when everything is scattered across different tools and inboxes.

When you're stitching together status updates from various docs, meetings, and Slack threads, you'll inevitably be flying blind. This can cause leaders to make crucial decisions based on anecdotal evidence rather than real data about what's actually happening on the ground.

The solution

The solution is deceptively simple—bring all your launch elements into one unified place for a top-down view of progress and performance. Ideally, you want to create a command center or launch dashboard where you can instantly gauge status across every workstream, milestone, and KPI.

With a powerful work management platform, creating this command center is easy. Look for solutions that enable seamless progress reporting and real-time analytics. A launch-dedicated portfolio houses all the relevant projects, so all related work is tracked collectively. These portfolios have built-in reporting dashboards so you can track accomplishments, risks, and blockers requiring your attention all in space. 

Challenge 3: Maintaining consistent quality from launch to launch

Every new release needs to meet the same high standards customers expect from your brand. But despite having playbooks and best practices, so many launches still suffer from a lack of quality control.

For example, there might be messaging misalignment or a lack of established processes. These quality lapses can create duplicate work, delay customer value realization, and erode brand reputation.

The solution 

To enforce consistency, create reusable templates that document every step, handoff, and deliverable for the entire launch process. Include every detail, no matter how small, to ensure that nothing gets missed. Then, save these templates in an easy to access format. By baking in all your standards and guardrails upfront, you ensure each new launch follows the same reliable path. This helps your team execute consistently for every new launch.

With Asana's launch project template, you can configure all your repeating tasks, timelines, and workflows in one space. Instantly spin up your approved launch framework with just a few clicks.

Challenge 4: Unclear goals and metrics

When product launches don’t have a clearly defined goal, teams can end up treating the launch as just a big checklist of activities to complete. But without quantifiable objectives tied back to bigger business drivers, how can you possibly know if your launch is delivering real value? 

This ambiguity makes it nearly impossible to make strategic decisions and keep everyone aligned on priorities. 

The solution

Take a step back and ground your launch in a framework of SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). Get crystal clear on exactly what success looks like by the numbers.

Maybe it's increasing product trials by 25% over last quarter. Or driving $1 million in new sales pipeline from the target customer segment. Whatever your goal is, spelling it out upfront provides clarity for every partner, stakeholder, and team working on the launch.

From there, you can map those goals to overarching business objectives and benchmark them against past performance. The whole team now has a coordinated set of targets to collectively work toward and measure themselves against. 

Challenge 5: Missed opportunities for improvement

To avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over again, or to build off past successes, it’s crucial to revisit your product launch after it’s gone live. Maybe you totally nailed the messaging and sales kickoff, but the contingency plan for supplier delays was lacking. Or the QA process was flawless this time, but there were way too many people on the project planning side. Whatever the highs and lows, you need an honest retrospective to capture those insights.

The solution

Block off time after every launch to bring the full team together for a formal retrospective session. Use a consistent framework to capture honest feedback on successes, shortcomings, areas for improvement, and concrete action items. Consider answering:

  • Did you hit your targeted benchmarks and metrics? 

  • Where did you exceed expectations or fall short? 

  • Which processes totally broke down and need an overhaul? 

  • What workflow innovations should you double down on?

Get it all out in the open. Then take those learnings and immediately start pressure-testing your processes, templates, and plans for the next go-around. 

Make every launch count

You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t know how to structure an effective launch, it might land flat with your target customers. By identifying—and solving—the common challenges you’re facing in your product launches, you can ensure that each launch leads to greater innovation and success. 

Launch better products faster

Drive more impact from product launches to fuel your organization's growth.

Launch better products faster

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