Launching a Product: You’re Ready on the Outside but are you Ready on the Inside?

So you are all ready to go… successful beta, check.  Marketing materials ready, check.  Sales team on board, check.  Wait, what’s missing?  Uhoh, billing is not set-up.  Support does not know it is being launched.  No one loaded the SKU.  Admittedly, the operationalizing of a new product or service may not be as sexy as the PR and advertising, but without it your product launch will fail… or at least make your life miserable for a while.

These suggestions may seem like no-brainers, but it is surprising how often they are ignored or forgotten when teams get excited about launching their new baby…

  1. Involve a cross-functional team early in product launch planning, and as much as possible, map out all affected internal processes to make sure nothing is overlooked.
  2. Many new products and services require different tools or systems to support them, or at least modifications to what you already have.  Process mapping is often a good first step to identifying any infrastructure changes needed.
  3. Test that your new product or service can be supported.  Beta testing is great, but there are often infrastructural oversights that can be detected with some operational and support testing as well.
  4. Appreciate the importance of a good project plan and schedule.  Take the time to document all tasks needed in a launch as well as all the interdependencies.  And then communicate, a lot.  Especially with those teams that interface with the customer.

When I managed support organizations, one of my nightmares was having customers start to call in about products or services we knew nothing about.  Or could not troubleshoot.  Or in some cases, even bill for.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Take the time to prepare for your product or service launch, both internally and externally, and everyone will thank you.

I’m passionate about launching products, let’s chat on the best way to operationalize your products and services.

Anne Bakstad
anne@clearworks.net

 

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