"Will we be ready?" asks the CEO.
It's the one question that strikes fear into product launch planners. That question doesn't mean will the product be ready. It's much more than that.
Your CEO wants to know if your organization will be ready to achieve business results. The question is about outcomes, not about deliverables.
The reality is you will do the best you can with the time and resources available. But is there ever an ideal state of launch readiness?
The BrainKraft Product Launch Framework has a callout to the activity called "Prepare". Think of Prepare as the set of activities to get your organization to a state of launch readiness. But what does "launch readiness" mean? Will you be able to answer "yes" to the CEO's question?
Launch readiness focuses on functional areas like development, marketing, sales, finance, or customer support. Any functional area that isn't ready puts the entire state of readiness in jeopardy. It's the weakest link scenario.
Before you charge down the path of getting everyone ready, it might be a good time to define what "ready" looks like.
Launch Readiness is when a company and its partners are prepared to promote, sell, deliver, and support a product. And at a level of readiness to achieve the defined launch objectives and key results.
You need three things to get to a state of launch readiness. One is your launch objectives and key results. That is the center of gravity. Two is the ideal state of launch readiness. And three is the current state of launch readiness.
An Ideal Launch Readiness State is when a functional area has the preparation and tools they need to support a product launch with confidence.
The difference between the current launch readiness state and the ideal launch readiness state is the launch readiness gap. That gap is what sets in motion the set of activities and deliverables that go into a launch readiness plan. Meaning, a launch readiness plan for your sales team focuses on closing the launch readiness gap, and nothing else.
There is one readiness plan for each functional area.
But what if you can't achieve the ideal readiness state? Maybe you realize you're running out of time. Maybe the resources you need aren't available.
You should always strive to achieve an ideal readiness state and have a fallback position. That position is what's called the acceptable launch readiness state. It's the minimally viable state of readiness that assures you can achieve your launch objectives and key results.
An acceptable launch readiness state acts like a pressure release valve that reduces the overall complexity of product launch readiness preparation. It's the glass you break in an emergency to get the fire extinguisher.
Don't take shortcuts. The Ideal Launch Readiness State is ideal for a reason.
But don't take shortcuts. The ideal launch readiness state is ideal for a reason. You won't have a fallback position if you start launch readiness planning with an acceptable launch readiness state as your target. You will put the success of your launch at risk.
Keep the acceptable launch readiness state in your back pocket and pull it out only when necessary.
Launch Readiness Checklist
Define your launch objectives and key results (OKRs)
Document the Current Readiness State for each functional area using your Launch OKRs
Define the Ideal State of Readiness for each functional area using your Launch OKRs
Identify the Launch Readiness Gaps for each functional area
Rationalize an Acceptable Launch Readiness state
Develop Launch Readiness Plans to close all Launch Readiness Gaps
Monitor launch readiness progress
Break the glass in an emergency when needed
Find more on product launch readiness in Product Launch: The Ultimate Guide.
Photo by Charles Büchler on Unsplash