Issue 1 of our Product Management Journal focuses on Launching

It’s part of a series of Journals that provide articles, insights and best practice to help product managers and product marketers with technology-based products.

Launching, the act of bringing products to market, is a critical point in their life!

Just like a rocket – when products launch they can shoot up into the stars and be a big success or they can also explode just after launching and damage everyone around them.

The journal contains 5 articles to help you have a successful launch.

Go-to-market (checklist)

There is a lot to do when you ‘go-to-market’ i.e. launch a product so we’ve provided a handy checklist.

Unless you are an extremely seasoned product manager (and sometimes even then) it can be hard to remember all the things that you need to do and all the people to talk to. There are usually many different touchpoints across the organization that you need to work with at launch time.

Product Management Touchpoints diagram

Product Management Touchpoints

The good news is that we have been through hundreds of launches and have compiled a Launch Checklist of all the elements we have found useful to consider. This should help you avoid the most common mistakes.

Good timing

When should you launch?

It seems to be as much an art as a science.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the launch date. Do you launch to coincide with specific business cycles or to meet changes in legal requirements? Do you do a pilot first or try and be ready in time for a major trade show?

Even when you know when you want to launch there is also the challenge of hitting that date.

Deciding to delay a launch can be very unpopular with significant implications for financial forecasts and customer commitments. But if things are not ready, shipping something that doesn’t work can be worse than shipping nothing at all.

This article covers dates to choose and avoid for a launch.


Relaunching products diagram

Relaunching products

Relaunching a mature product (also known as ‘extending’) can be really effective. It can generate new incremental revenue and give the product a longer life in the market.

It may also be a golden opportunity to help a team regain their “mojo”.

It’s quite common for groups working on mature products to become jaded. They are, after all, not working on the exciting new stuff. But mature products are where businesses make most of their money – so they need looking after.

The article talks about the golden opportunity of relaunching.

Taking the lead

Launching with a lead, or reference customer can be very powerful.

A common question that will be asked, particularly in the B2B sale cycle, is “Who else is using this?”.

If you can name an industry-leading company and how they benefited from using your product it makes a compelling sales pitch. They also provide a great partner during the refinement of the product.

This article discusses how to get the most from lead customers.

Insight: Post-launch

Imagine setting off in a rowing boat. You made the first shove off the side and launch into the water. Then you look around and see there is no one in the boat to row it. That boat is not going very far!

This is often what launches are like. The team delivers the product, bring it all the way to launch and then immediately gets redeployed onto other projects.

But no matter how well you developed and tested a product it’s only when customers get their hands on it that you truly find out where the issues are. If there is no team available, then those issues will severely hinder the product’s progress.

This insight looks at the hidden challenge of maintaining momentum and the importance of post-launch objectives.

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