Too many people want a shortcut. That shortcut is a template that when filled out gives them the belief that they did the work. For a product launch a template is often the substitute for the hard work of product launch planning.
Find a template. Fill it out. Done.
A quick search of the search term “product launch template” on Google reveals 118,000,000 hits. Over 118 million. Where is the part about how to get the insight and knowledge to fill in the template (the hard work)? Just because you have a blueprint doesn't mean you know how to build a house.
A product launch is not a race to get the product built and update your web site. It’s the thoughtful process of developing a plan to drive business results. The plan has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It has defined objectives. It has a strategy. It has a plan of execution.
Sadly, product launch teams spend too much time worrying about the deliverables and not enough time worrying about business outcomes. A one-size-fits-all launch planning process that produces a set of prescribed deliverables isn't launch planning.
A false assumption is that all product launches are the same. All you have to do is turn the crank. The same way. Every single time. This style of product launch planning is about the efficiency of producing the deliverables, not about growing a business.
An amazing product launch plan has clearly defined launch objectives. Launch objectives define if your product launch was a success or a failure. The launch objectives are the ‘why’.
An amazing product launch plan is anchored in a strategy. A strategy is defined as “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” The aim of a product launch is achieving the launch objectives. Without launch objectives, you can’t develop an effective launch strategy.
An amazing product launch plan has an execution plan. A launch execution plan is the result of knowing your launch objectives and your launch strategy. The strategy provides focus. Focus to find the most efficient path to your launch objectives.
If you're planning a launch and going from meeting to meeting checking off deliverables from a list, STOP. Meet with your core launch team and define your launch objectives before doing anything else.
Why are you launching this product, at this time?
What are the product launch objectives?
What is the strategy to reach the launch objectives?
Who are the potential customers and why do they need the product?
What can get in the way of a successful product launch?
Is your team focused on checking stuff off a list or are they focused on growing your business?