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Building the Product Launch Checklist
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Building the Product Launch Checklist


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Presented at the inaugural ProductCamp Chicago on June 19th, 2010

Presented at the inaugural ProductCamp Chicago on June 19th, 2010

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. Building the Product Checklist Tim Courtney and Peter Morano
  • 2. Introductions
    • Tim Courtney (@timcourtney)
      • Tireless customer and user experience advocate.
      • Director, Marketing and Brand Strategy at KeyLimeTie
      • Co-Chair SocialDevCamp Chicago
    • Peter Morano (@petermorano)
      • Developing software for 15 years
      • CIO at KeyLimeTie
  • 3. Overview
    • A product’s success has as much to do with the quality of the launch as it does with the quality of the product.
    • Using a checklist increases the likelihood of a successful launch.
  • 4. The Checklist
    • The checklist itself is nothing more than a bulleted list of tactics that have to happen or be in place prior to throwing the switch.
    • It might include:
      • Outreach to influencers
      • Documentation, tutorials
      • Support resources designated (with SLAs)
  • 5. Seriously?
    • Seems so intuitive!
      • In many cases, teams are focused on developing the product, and launch becomes an afterthought.
      • Talented companies and people fall short of executing a great product launch because of the things they overlooked.
  • 6. Mistake 1
    • If you don’t have a product manager, who’s watching the list?
      • Developers like to think project managers will do this.
      • Project managers like to think marketing will do this.
      • No one likes to talk to QA!
      • Business owners want to get the stuff out there to start seeing revenue.
  • 7. Lesson 1
    • Every team member is responsible for seeing that this list is used.
      • Project Managers, Developers, QA, Business Sponsors
  • 8. Mistake 2
    • Not designating a list owner
  • 9. Lesson 2
    • Designate a Product Manager, even if that is not their actual title
      • It’s a role, not necessarily a position.
      • Make someone accountable.
      • Give them authority over the launch schedule.
      • Don’t penalize them for making the right call.
  • 10. Mistake 3
    • Not treating each item on the list like any project requirement.
  • 11. Lesson 3
    • Track checklist items in the same task management system you use for any work item
      • Provide estimates early so stake holders understand the true cost of a launch.
      • Each item should have an assigned resource.
      • Track progress of work items, and throw up flags when something is not done.
  • 12. So What Goes On The List?
    • Depends on the product type and the launch success criteria.
      • No one-size fits all.
      • Use templates as starting points.
  • 13. So What Goes On The List?
      • Planning and Research
        • Competitive Analysis, Minimally Viable Product
      • Technical
        • Product Documentation
      • Operations
        • Adequate inventory levels, Distribution pipeline primed
      • Marketing and Sales
        • Build Influencer Contact List, Media Outreach
      • Support
        • Assign personnel, Define SLAs
  • 14. Discussion
    • Your thoughts and experience.