SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 108
LEARNING
SOLUTIONS
AND YOUR PRODUCT
LAUNCH
Presented by:
Leanne Batchelder – VP of Client Relations
Steven Boller – Marketing Director
WHO WE ARE?
Mom, wife, writer, pop-culture fanatic, die-hard Colts
fan, vice president of client relations at Bottom-Line
Performance.
Musician, strategist, performer, writer, learner
(aren’t we all?), husband, son, game geek, marketing
director at Bottom-Line Performance.
WHY
ARE
YOU
HERE
?
“We are launching a product
and are not sure what type of
training is needed.”
“We know we need product
launch training but do not know
how to create it.”
“Our employees struggle with
basic info: product
knowledge, selling skills,
etc.”
What is a curriculum?
What can a curriculum do?
What do I need to know to develop a curriculum?
Three-part framework… with examples
Turning red flags to green
AGENDA
1
2
3
4
6
Rules for a better launch7
Are you really ready
to launch?
A set of learning
solutions that
support a common
goal, solving a
business problem.
What is a curriculum?
Features and benefits?
Sales skills?
Competitor information?
Technical info?
WHAT CAN A
CURRICULUM
DO
?
A curriculum can…
• Help learners develop skills
around how to sell, use or
install the new product
• Help learners remember key
information about the new
product
• Help learners feel more
confident because they have
the skills and knowledge they
need about the new product.
A curriculum cannot…
• Change the market
environment
• Create buy-in at the field level
if senior management tells a
different story
• Fix a misguided message
• Correct a poorly designed or
executed project
What do I need to know to
develop a curriculum?
New Product
Goal
Audience
Circumstances
Communication
New Product
• What is the vision?
• What does it do? What
does it not do?
• What is the marketplace?
• When is it rolling out?
Goal
• What is the overall goal of
your curriculum?
• What business problem are
you trying to solve?
Audience
• Who are you training?
• What do they know
already?
• Are you giving them the
skills, knowledge or both?
• What are your learning
objectives?
Audience
• What is the frequency,
importance, and
complexity of each skill or
knowledge item?
• How much change will be
required of everyone?
• How competent does each
audience need to be… and
when?
Circumstances
• How does this new product
fit into the big scheme of
things?
• What possible obstacles are
there in selling and using it?
• Is everyone supportive of
the product?
• How are internal systems
aligned around the product?
Communication
• Who knows what so far?
• How is the new product
being positioned?
• What is the strategy and
messaging? How does the
learning fit in?
Questions?
Designing a curriculum
Activity: Design Your Own
Launch Curriculum
Your company is launching a new product at the end of the year.
It’s going to revolutionize the industry… but it will also be complex
to sell.
1. Brainstorm the objectives for your training. What will sales
reps need to know, do, believe or avoid doing?
2. Number your learning objectives… then plot the numbers on
your product launch training worksheet.
Work alone, or with a partner.
Three-Phase Product Launch
Curriculum Model
Our Partner: Roche Diagnostics
Example 1
Training Goals by Audience
Sales Representative Training Goal
– Using their knowledge of markets, the product, and
available resources, sales representatives can
confidently communicate the points of differentiation
that drive the value of the product based on each
customer’s needs.
Marketing Manager and Sales Leader Training Goal
– As the ambassadors of the product, marketing
managers and sales leaders can confidently train and
support local sales and marketing organizations to
achieve the training goal.
Phase 1:
Prelaunch
Phase 2:
Launch Meeting
The Launch Meeting Instructor-led
workshop agenda
Workshop focused on:
• Each step in the sales process, using the racing theme
• Multiple table games to reinforce learning from prework
and build skill in completing sales process
• Case studies based on real customer challenges and
opportunities
The Launch Meeting Instructor-led
workshop materials
Train-the-Trainer workshop:
Create 20 training “champions” across the globe who
co-facilitated workshops for 250
Slide
Icons
Time
Direction
Facilitator Guide
Phase 3:
Post-launch Support
How did we help people store and retrieve information?
Give them performance support tools to use during case study activities
Tools
Results: Launch Example 1
• We heard from many client members about the
enthusiasm the launch generated and the engagements
from the interactive approach.
• The project manager said: “The single most important
decision the launch team made for the entire product
launch was hiring BLP. There was no way the other
vendors could have done what we did to bring the
technology, innovation, online pre work, and instructor-led
pieces together.”
• A Vice President who was wrapping up the launch
meeting pronounced: “I’ve been launching products for
years. These are some of the best materials I’ve ever
seen.”
Results: Launch Example 1
• As the ultimate testimonial from the client, we have heard
from other teams that they want to work with us based on
the positive feedback from this launch …. No better
feedback than that!
• The client is getting ready for another global product
launch, and are using the same structure and
methodology because of its “proven success.”
Questions?
Example 2
Online
Prework
Instructor-led
Training
Online
Performance
Support Tools
Throughout the curriculum, gamified elements and
story-based activities were used to make the
information memorable.
The product launch training will be successful if:
• Launch country representatives, including marketing
managers and sales trainers, can support sales
representatives as they sell the product.
• Sales representatives are capable and confident in
their ability to sell the product successfully to customers
in their market.
Training Goals by Audience
Phase 1:
Prelaunch
The curriculum used a system of badges to show progress through the
online prework. From videos to activities, it introduced learners to all
seven topics in the curriculum and built critical knowledge learners
needed in preparation for the next phase: instructor-led training.
The Curriculum
Phase 2:
Launch Meeting
The Launch Meeting Instructor-led
Training
Workshop Activities:
• DemoFest: Station-based, hands-on demo of components.
• Sales game: a mobile game for exploring features and
benefits.
• Episode Three of Max Murphy
• Skills practice: Three different sales practice opportunities.
• Introduction to Boost Your Knowledge training web app and
other training tools.
Train the Trainer workshop
experiences include:
• In-depth content review.
• Training resource
review, including deep
dive into training web
app.
• Coaching tips and tricks.
• Each Teach: Facilitation
practice using the
training materials.
Train-the-Trainer Workshop
Instructor-led Mobile Sales Game
Phase 3:
Post-launch Support
Results: Launch Example 2
• Sales reps were excited by the training, especially the
smart phone game.
• Project Manager shared this post-pilot: “At this point I want
to say a huge well done and thank you to BLP. I really feel
that this is coming together now and we will have a great
set of launch meetings and lots of well trained and
motivated sales reps!”
• Lead facilitator and product launch subject matter expert
shared: “I would like to echo what was said before: You
guys have done a tremendous job! This is going to be an
outstanding training. To this day I have not seen
something comparable.”
Results: Launch Example 2
• Launch countries invited to the pilot have chosen to use
the materials, translating the global versions with minimal
other customizations.
• Global launch is complete; local launches are underway.
Questions?
Strategies for long-term
retention
Provide frequent, spaced intervals
Provide multiple repetitions
Provide immediate feedback
Use stories
Strategies for long-term
retention
When Remembering Really
Matters: Learning Strategies
for Long-Term Retention
By Sharon Boller
Available by request.
“Turning Red Flags to Green”
Craft the curriculum
based on feedback
We know what we want…
Who else might have a
good point of view?
Teams of information
Have the right players for
the circumstances
People may not be available…
How do we move forward
without them?
New plan
Use flexibility correctly
We need flexibility in dates…
How do you define
flexibility?
Mutual flexibility
Place decisions correctly
Our whole team will decide together…
Who owns the final
decision?
Consolidated decisions
Find the right chunks of
information
We are still working on that info…
What, when?
Chunks of content
Finish it!
I know I said it would be final, but…
How can we stop the
madness?
Highlights and gaps
Questions?
RULES
FOR A
BETTER
LAUNCH
Rules for a Better Pre-Launch
• Separate the “need to know” from the “need to
locate.” Focus on what employees must recall.
• Use knowledge employees already have, then
build on it.
• Allow time for repetition and practice.
• Use stories to help employees learn.
• Put information in context.
Rules for a Better Launch
• Maximize the launch meeting… if you have one.
If not, show senior leadership support.
• Remember that one experience rarely creates
lasting change.
• Emphasize the learning, not just entertainment
and hype.
Rules for a Better Post-Launch
• Make reinforcement part of how you do business.
• Make a plan to fight forgetting.
• Support local leaders.
• Build a support and follow-up system.
Get the full story in our product
launch white paper.
Learning Solutions and Your
Product Launch: The Secret to
Success
Available as a hand-out in the
conference app.
Takeaways?
Your Feedback Is Important To Us
• Please take a moment to complete the workshop
evaluation located in the mobile app. LTEN looks to
your feedback to help improve the program each
year.
1. Open the Mobile App
2. Click on Agenda
3. Select the Session You Are Evaluating
4. Select the Rate and Review Button
•
If you do not want to complete in the mobile app you can
collect a hard copy form at the registration desk.
Q&A
GET IN TOUCH
leanne@bottomlineperformance.com
steve@bottomlineperformance.com
317-861-7281
Bottomlineperformance.com/lten

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wagamamaLab presentation @MIT 20240509 IRODORI
wagamamaLab presentation @MIT 20240509 IRODORIwagamamaLab presentation @MIT 20240509 IRODORI
wagamamaLab presentation @MIT 20240509 IRODORI
 

Learning Solutions and Your Product Launch: How a Curriculum Drives Success (LTEN 2015)

  • 1. LEARNING SOLUTIONS AND YOUR PRODUCT LAUNCH Presented by: Leanne Batchelder – VP of Client Relations Steven Boller – Marketing Director
  • 2. WHO WE ARE? Mom, wife, writer, pop-culture fanatic, die-hard Colts fan, vice president of client relations at Bottom-Line Performance. Musician, strategist, performer, writer, learner (aren’t we all?), husband, son, game geek, marketing director at Bottom-Line Performance.
  • 3. WHY ARE YOU HERE ? “We are launching a product and are not sure what type of training is needed.” “We know we need product launch training but do not know how to create it.” “Our employees struggle with basic info: product knowledge, selling skills, etc.”
  • 4. What is a curriculum? What can a curriculum do? What do I need to know to develop a curriculum? Three-part framework… with examples Turning red flags to green AGENDA 1 2 3 4 6 Rules for a better launch7
  • 5. Are you really ready to launch?
  • 6. A set of learning solutions that support a common goal, solving a business problem. What is a curriculum?
  • 7. Features and benefits? Sales skills? Competitor information? Technical info?
  • 9. A curriculum can… • Help learners develop skills around how to sell, use or install the new product • Help learners remember key information about the new product • Help learners feel more confident because they have the skills and knowledge they need about the new product.
  • 10. A curriculum cannot… • Change the market environment • Create buy-in at the field level if senior management tells a different story • Fix a misguided message • Correct a poorly designed or executed project
  • 11. What do I need to know to develop a curriculum?
  • 13. New Product • What is the vision? • What does it do? What does it not do? • What is the marketplace? • When is it rolling out?
  • 14. Goal • What is the overall goal of your curriculum? • What business problem are you trying to solve?
  • 15. Audience • Who are you training? • What do they know already? • Are you giving them the skills, knowledge or both? • What are your learning objectives?
  • 16. Audience • What is the frequency, importance, and complexity of each skill or knowledge item? • How much change will be required of everyone? • How competent does each audience need to be… and when?
  • 17. Circumstances • How does this new product fit into the big scheme of things? • What possible obstacles are there in selling and using it? • Is everyone supportive of the product? • How are internal systems aligned around the product?
  • 18. Communication • Who knows what so far? • How is the new product being positioned? • What is the strategy and messaging? How does the learning fit in?
  • 21. Activity: Design Your Own Launch Curriculum Your company is launching a new product at the end of the year. It’s going to revolutionize the industry… but it will also be complex to sell. 1. Brainstorm the objectives for your training. What will sales reps need to know, do, believe or avoid doing? 2. Number your learning objectives… then plot the numbers on your product launch training worksheet. Work alone, or with a partner.
  • 23. Our Partner: Roche Diagnostics
  • 25. Training Goals by Audience Sales Representative Training Goal – Using their knowledge of markets, the product, and available resources, sales representatives can confidently communicate the points of differentiation that drive the value of the product based on each customer’s needs. Marketing Manager and Sales Leader Training Goal – As the ambassadors of the product, marketing managers and sales leaders can confidently train and support local sales and marketing organizations to achieve the training goal.
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  • 43. The Launch Meeting Instructor-led workshop agenda Workshop focused on: • Each step in the sales process, using the racing theme • Multiple table games to reinforce learning from prework and build skill in completing sales process • Case studies based on real customer challenges and opportunities
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  • 45. The Launch Meeting Instructor-led workshop materials
  • 46. Train-the-Trainer workshop: Create 20 training “champions” across the globe who co-facilitated workshops for 250
  • 49. How did we help people store and retrieve information? Give them performance support tools to use during case study activities
  • 50. Tools
  • 51. Results: Launch Example 1 • We heard from many client members about the enthusiasm the launch generated and the engagements from the interactive approach. • The project manager said: “The single most important decision the launch team made for the entire product launch was hiring BLP. There was no way the other vendors could have done what we did to bring the technology, innovation, online pre work, and instructor-led pieces together.” • A Vice President who was wrapping up the launch meeting pronounced: “I’ve been launching products for years. These are some of the best materials I’ve ever seen.”
  • 52. Results: Launch Example 1 • As the ultimate testimonial from the client, we have heard from other teams that they want to work with us based on the positive feedback from this launch …. No better feedback than that! • The client is getting ready for another global product launch, and are using the same structure and methodology because of its “proven success.”
  • 54. Example 2 Online Prework Instructor-led Training Online Performance Support Tools Throughout the curriculum, gamified elements and story-based activities were used to make the information memorable.
  • 55. The product launch training will be successful if: • Launch country representatives, including marketing managers and sales trainers, can support sales representatives as they sell the product. • Sales representatives are capable and confident in their ability to sell the product successfully to customers in their market. Training Goals by Audience
  • 57. The curriculum used a system of badges to show progress through the online prework. From videos to activities, it introduced learners to all seven topics in the curriculum and built critical knowledge learners needed in preparation for the next phase: instructor-led training. The Curriculum
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  • 64. The Launch Meeting Instructor-led Training Workshop Activities: • DemoFest: Station-based, hands-on demo of components. • Sales game: a mobile game for exploring features and benefits. • Episode Three of Max Murphy • Skills practice: Three different sales practice opportunities. • Introduction to Boost Your Knowledge training web app and other training tools.
  • 65. Train the Trainer workshop experiences include: • In-depth content review. • Training resource review, including deep dive into training web app. • Coaching tips and tricks. • Each Teach: Facilitation practice using the training materials. Train-the-Trainer Workshop
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  • 69. Results: Launch Example 2 • Sales reps were excited by the training, especially the smart phone game. • Project Manager shared this post-pilot: “At this point I want to say a huge well done and thank you to BLP. I really feel that this is coming together now and we will have a great set of launch meetings and lots of well trained and motivated sales reps!” • Lead facilitator and product launch subject matter expert shared: “I would like to echo what was said before: You guys have done a tremendous job! This is going to be an outstanding training. To this day I have not seen something comparable.”
  • 70. Results: Launch Example 2 • Launch countries invited to the pilot have chosen to use the materials, translating the global versions with minimal other customizations. • Global launch is complete; local launches are underway.
  • 72. Strategies for long-term retention Provide frequent, spaced intervals Provide multiple repetitions Provide immediate feedback Use stories
  • 73. Strategies for long-term retention When Remembering Really Matters: Learning Strategies for Long-Term Retention By Sharon Boller Available by request.
  • 74. “Turning Red Flags to Green”
  • 76. We know what we want…
  • 77. Who else might have a good point of view?
  • 79. Have the right players for the circumstances
  • 80. People may not be available…
  • 81. How do we move forward without them?
  • 84. We need flexibility in dates…
  • 85. How do you define flexibility?
  • 88. Our whole team will decide together…
  • 89. Who owns the final decision?
  • 91. Find the right chunks of information
  • 92. We are still working on that info…
  • 96. I know I said it would be final, but…
  • 97. How can we stop the madness?
  • 101. Rules for a Better Pre-Launch • Separate the “need to know” from the “need to locate.” Focus on what employees must recall. • Use knowledge employees already have, then build on it. • Allow time for repetition and practice. • Use stories to help employees learn. • Put information in context.
  • 102. Rules for a Better Launch • Maximize the launch meeting… if you have one. If not, show senior leadership support. • Remember that one experience rarely creates lasting change. • Emphasize the learning, not just entertainment and hype.
  • 103. Rules for a Better Post-Launch • Make reinforcement part of how you do business. • Make a plan to fight forgetting. • Support local leaders. • Build a support and follow-up system.
  • 104. Get the full story in our product launch white paper. Learning Solutions and Your Product Launch: The Secret to Success Available as a hand-out in the conference app.
  • 106. Your Feedback Is Important To Us • Please take a moment to complete the workshop evaluation located in the mobile app. LTEN looks to your feedback to help improve the program each year. 1. Open the Mobile App 2. Click on Agenda 3. Select the Session You Are Evaluating 4. Select the Rate and Review Button • If you do not want to complete in the mobile app you can collect a hard copy form at the registration desk.
  • 107. Q&A

Editor's Notes

  1. You have a new product to bring to market. Your company has spent time, money, and hours making it the right solution to a marketplace problem. Your R&D team has put in copious energy creating, testing, tweaking, and testing again—and it is almost ready. Your marketing team knows who the optimum customers are and has a sense for what the message should be. The communi- cations folks are hard at work creating buzz in the industry. Your field team is aware it is coming, and wants to learn more and try it out—and they may be starting to chat with customers about it, too, or may even have been part of the testing process. Most new product launch advice focuses on the product and the message, which is right: a bad product or the wrong message is the fastest road to product launch failure. That said, one of the hidden success factors of a product launch is your salesforce, and by extension your customers: do they have the right skills and knowledge to make your launch successful? Think carefully about what you want to do. Most sales reps don’t receive training on new products – they rely on marketing col- lateral and PowerPoints to learn. However, the right training, put together in a way that helps learners remember and use the infor- mation on the job, can make a significant im- pact on the success of your launch. This is an intimidating step: you are mov-ing from a highly controlled communication process, and a relatively small team, to your whole sales force – and trainers, and technical support, and ultimately your distributors and customers – talking about the product, using the product, making judgments about the product. Will they do it right? How can you make sure they do?
  2. Learning solutions are traditionally instruc- tor-led training or eLearning courses. For many, “launch training” is a one-time meet- ing that, while often quite impressive, is not enough to change behavior and provide learners with the skills and knowledge they need to be able to remember and use when they are actually back on the job. Keep in mind that a curriculum is, by definition, a set of learning solutions. Curricula can reach beyond these traditional solutions to include job aids, reference materials (paper, electronic, or app-based), flash cards, re- minder emails, staff meeting reinforcement tools, and many other options. (Perhaps zoom in on the different icons or show the different solution types on-screen. Learning is complete only when the learner is executing on the job successfully.
  3. Getting back to our definition of a curriculum, for a product launch, the business problem we are solving is typically that sales representatives (or other audiences) do not have the knowledge and/or skills to successfully sell and support the new product. From a knowledge perspective, their existing product and market knowledge may or may not be applicable to the new product. Sometimes, they have to un- learn what they already know and re-learn a new approach. They also may have to learn about new markets; new customers or customer segments; new product features or functions; or new ways of doing business, both for themselves and for customers. As far as skills, while they may have exist-ing sales skills, they may have to learn to sell a new way. They might have hands-on tech- nical skills to learn, so they can demonstrate the product, set it up, troubleshoot it, or an- swer questions about how it works. Finally, they may have new business skills to learn: if the product requires the customer to work a new way, the sales representative may have to walk them through that process and help the customer understand and exe- cute the changes that need to be made. So, at the most fundamental level, the goal of the product launch training curriculum is that sales representatives and others have and can use the skills and knowledge needed to successfully launch the product.
  4. You will need to gather, create, or decide the following to create the most robust curriculum
  5. • What is the vision for this product? What • is the compelling story for customers and What is the marketplace? Who are the customers? for internal audiences—what sets it apart? • What does it do? What does it not do? • When is it rolling out?
  6. Who are you training? Sales, technical folk, distributors, customers, all of the above? What do they know already? Are you giving them skills, knowledge, both? What are your learning objectives: what do they need to be able to know, do, or believe for you to achieve the goal you set above?
  7. What is the frequency, importance, and complexity of each skill or knowledge item? What common mistakes do you need to prevent? • How much change will be required of everyone for this launch to be successful? • How competent does each audience need to be when?
  8. How does this new product fit into the big scheme of things? One of many that roll out every six weeks, or a company savior that has been a focus for years? What possible obstacles are there in selling and using the new product? What is being done to overcome them? • Is everyone supportive of the new product? Why or why not? • How are internal systems aligned around the product? Will that help or hinder? Are system changes needed to make the product successful?
  9. Who knows what so far? How is the new product being positioned—internally, with customers, against competitors? • What is the strategy, what is the messaging and how does the learning component fit in?
  10. Every launch curriculum is different, and has different needs based on what learn- ers currently know, what the product is, etc. For some companies, the launch training be- gins years before the launch meeting, as the audience needs to learn a variety of foun- dational information before they even get to the new product information. In other cases, the launch training happens in a compact window right before the product launches in the market. Many companies define a launch with the internal launch meeting: an event several weeks or months before the external launch that gets sales representatives and oth- ers ready for the external launch.
  11. Prelaunch training establishes fundamental facts, processes and knowledge. Take learn- ing facts out of the launch meeting itself – it is not the best use of the face-to-face en- vironment. This phase should also focus on facts that learners need to know, not look up – if they can look it up, teach them the skill of looking it up, and give them the right tools to do so quickly. Don’t waste your time hav- ing them memorize things that don’t have to be memorized.
  12. Spend this time on face to face interaction: practice, feedback, talking, doing. If your learners need to assemble equipment, for in- stance, have them learn about it in prelaunch – and practice as much as possible – but the real assembly often is best performed in per- son, where real-time coaches can provide feedback. The same is true for many steps in the sales process – learn about features and benefits in the pre-launch training, but prac- tice putting them together and talking with customers about them during the launch meeting itself. Meetings are also a great place to break into groups, plan customer in- teractions (including managing objections), practice, debrief and practice again.
  13. Spend this time on face to face interaction: practice, feedback, talking, doing. If your learners need to assemble equipment, for in- stance, have them learn about it in prelaunch – and practice as much as possible – but the real assembly often is best performed in per- son, where real-time coaches can provide feedback. The same is true for many steps in the sales process – learn about features and benefits in the pre-launch training, but prac- tice putting them together and talking with customers about them during the launch meeting itself. Meetings are also a great place to break into groups, plan customer in- teractions (including managing objections), practice, debrief and practice again.
  14. Explain: All facilitator instructions in the PowerPoint, so only one document to manage. (click) Slide: as it appears on screen; if there are any animations for builds, they will be noted in the directions below. (click) directions: bold words tell you the actions to take; some statements are scripted out, while others are general directions for you to interpret. If it is an activity or game, there are usually additional suggestions and recommendations for you to set it up correctly. (click) icons: visuals that help you identify things you need to do while facilitating; on this page, a note to you as the facilitator; a reference to a page in the participant guide; and a question to ask. (click) time: this section helps keep you on track. It shows the time of the activity; the time for this slide; how many slides there are all together; and the key point.
  15. Post-launch meeting reinforcement Arguably, this is the most forgotten and most critical part of the entire launch process. The learning doesn’t end until the learner is using the knowledge/skills on the job. If you are able to leave the launch meeting and start selling the next day, great! More often, there will be a space of time before the knowledge and skills will be used, and the post-launch reinforcement is critical to making sure they don’t forget. This is a great time to provide further application and practice opportuni- ties – new scenarios or actual customers. Even after the product is being sold and used, there is often a more advanced level of knowledge or skill needed that couldn’t be taught in the launch meeting because of time, availability, and brain capacity -- now is the time for that training, too. And think about just-in-time reference, and training for people who start after the launch meeting, and…
  16. Postlaunch: send out scenarios for which they have to use the reference materials; gather stories about on-the-job use and share; update and share changes as prod- uct and customer information evolve.
  17. If you want to get the best return on your training investment, your learners need to be able to retrieve what they learned on the job, when it is time to use it. The following four strategies inhibit forgetting and enhance re- membering ... and they are ideally suited for a product launch curriculum. The first two are critical; the other two enhance the first ones. 1. Provide frequent, spaced intervals of learning instead of unrepeated waves. In other words, don’t just have a launch meeting and assume they will remember everything. The three phases of launch training are ideal vehicles for providing spaced intervals. 1. Provide multiple repetitions. Early repeti- tions help recall (for instance, during the prelaunch training, address the same in- formation more than once in slightly dif- ferent ways). Later repetitions should al- low for greater elaboration (for instance, using the features and benefits learned in pre-launch training in a sales call setting). 3. Provide immediate feedback for mis- takes, and make sure learners get it right before moving forward. Give learners a chance to do it right, so when they re- member they are remembering the right way to do it. This should show up in the design for every element of the training. 4. Use stories to drive the learning experi- ence. Many stories characterize a product launch: tell the story of a customer with a problem, and how the new product solved it. Just remember that the story is what you want them to remember – sto- ries about the trials and tribulations of developing the product are not what you want them to take away!
  18. So you have an initial plan for what this curriculum needs to include and how it is going to work. You are on a timeline: you have to get the process going and keep it moving to meet the launch tar- gets. But ... you have never created a curricu- lum for a new product launch before. What do you need to look out for as you actually develop it? While different industries and differ- ent products have fundamentally different launch strategies, there are certain common- alities amongst all of them. Not every prod- uct launch has all of these challenges, but it is rare that a launch would have none of them. We call these challenges red flags – they won’t break a product launch, but they might seriously sabotage it if they aren’t addressed. We have come up with a set of “yellow flag” questions to ask that will turn those red flags into green flags. Keep in mind that all of these red flags are related to the curriculum, learning plans, and meeting the launch deadline. Much bigger red flags ... the product doesn’t work, there is no marketing message ... supersede these!
  19. Why is this a red flag? We want a launch with a vision, right? Absolutely! If this means we have a vision of the future state, then this is a green flag all the way – bring on the vision! In some cases, this is a red flag because it indicates one of two situations: A member of the launch team expects the curriculum to work miracles: after a 20-minute launch meeting, the staff will be able to rattle off all features and ben- efits of the product with no mistakes. OR the curriculum will make the marketing message work, even though it doesn’t address customers’ key needs. What you want has to align with what a curriculum can do. 2. A member of the launch team–often one who has been part of a launch before – has a crystal clear vision of what the final deliverables should be: 3 video discs three hours long each. While this solution may have worked in the past, it may not be the best way to train in these circumstances (and a 3-hour video course is brutal!). What is right for this launch, this time?
  20. Why is this a red flag? We want a launch with a vision, right? Absolutely! If this means we have a vision of the future state, then this is a green flag all the way – bring on the vision! In some cases, this is a red flag because it indicates one of two situations: A member of the launch team expects the curriculum to work miracles: after a 20-minute launch meeting, the staff will be able to rattle off all features and ben- efits of the product with no mistakes. OR the curriculum will make the marketing message work, even though it doesn’t address customers’ key needs. What you want has to align with what a curriculum can do. 2. A member of the launch team–often one who has been part of a launch before – has a crystal clear vision of what the final deliverables should be: 3 video discs three hours long each. While this solution may have worked in the past, it may not be the best way to train in these circumstances (and a 3-hour video course is brutal!). What is right for this launch, this time?
  21. In each of these cases, the issue often lies with the fact that a single point of view is driving the decision. The solution is to bring in other viewpoints, particularly customers or front-line employees who will have to im- plement the decision. We ask them about past experience, their ideal approach, and their reactions to the proposed solution – and bring our own experience to the conver- sation as well.
  22. Based on the feedback, we create a more inclusive solution that includes the original elements – as much as possible – if they are truly the right solution. Even better, because we have broad input, we also have broader buy-in, which is critical to long-term success.
  23. In many product launches, the people with the best information support twenty or thirty different communication and launch efforts in addition to their actual job. This can make response times lag. When it takes a month to get a call back on a question, it is hard to keep the curriculum moving. The most com- mon overload tends to be the most critical players: the key subject matter expert (SME) and the key decision maker.
  24. In many product launches, the people with the best information support twenty or thirty different communication and launch efforts in addition to their actual job. This can make response times lag. When it takes a month to get a call back on a question, it is hard to keep the curriculum moving. The most com- mon overload tends to be the most critical players: the key subject matter expert (SME) and the key decision maker.
  25. Often, there is another SME who can pro- vide 80% of the information ... we just rely on the main SME for that last, critical 20%. For the decision maker, we find out what deci- sions others can make, and how we can plan ahead to engage the key decision maker at the most important points only.
  26. The most important point in making Plan B work is setting expectations and getting buy-in from the SME and decision maker up front. We need to clearly define what this de- crease in involvement means: less time, cer- tainly, but it also means they have to adhere to the decisions their replacements made. If they cannot do so, either their time has to free up or the project has to slow: no reason to delegate decisions if they are not support- ed.
  27. Flexibility may mean a variety of things: Deadlines are just suggestions – thorough review may take longer. We can’t make people participate so we can’t guarantee they will meet deadlines. Things are changing so rapidly we don’t know what will be possible.
  28. Who is being flexible? What is being flexible? For some people, “flexibility” means that one member of the team is allowed to miss deadlines, but all others have to stay on track. For others, it means a give and take as the product launch progresses and more becomes known. We recommend the second approach.
  29. Flexibility works two ways: yes, client, be late for the deadline, but that means you get fewer deliverables, or the deliverables are late, or other projects get pushed back Mutual flexibility means that we are all fo- cused on the deadline, but delay in one place means we move things around to keep ev- erything on track ... it does not mean that we automatically shorten all remaining dead- lines. For instance, if a reviewer is late, we don’t automatically keep the final deadline the same. We look at the factors surrounding the project: can the final deadline move too? Can we proceed with most of the deliverable, and make a few changes to a section when the reviewer is ready? Can we move something else forward as this part moves back? How do we keep things moving based on what we have?
  30. New product teams are often brought to- gether for a short time. As a result, there may be low trust ... and everyone may need to have a hand in every decision to believe that their point of view is represented. In ad- dition, product launch decisions can be big decisions! For many teams, getting buy-in from all players feels critical to long-term success. This can add months to the timeline – is it worth it?
  31. Think critically about the decision process ... are there certain decisions that certain team members own? Is there a final decision mak- er who should just make some choices? Can a sub-team make the hard decisions and just get feedback/approval from the whole team? Can the team set foundational guidelines about decisions so everyone can let go of some decision points?
  32. So you get a single decision rather than 20 pieces of feedback that you them need to sort and judge. In the end, rather than every team member touching every decision, the team members only touch the decisions they need to touch. If it truly is a group decision, can the group discuss and come to a decision based on previous agreements? Ideally, the decision should reflect everyone who needs to be part of the decision ... in the most efficient way possible.
  33. Information is not always available at the beginning, or middle, or sometimes even almost the end of the project With a new product launch, new information becomes available almost daily. That said, we can’t wait until the week before launch, and cobble everything together ... we have to keep things moving.
  34. Find out if there is a hierarchy to the information … any sequencing … Can we identify the “core” nugget of informa- tion that will then inform the various learning solutions we are developing? Is there a hier- archy of information ... is there a part that is stable first that we can prioritize?
  35. Plan to develop based on what you can have when .. Break the curriculum into projects or even pieces of projects that can be done in an order based on when content is available Revisit the plan and order the development process based on what information is avail- able when. Break the curriculum into proj- ects – or pieces of projects – based on what is available and keep things moving.
  36. The ultimate new product launch problem: change, and change, and change again. As the disparate groups of team members come together, decisions get made and remade ... decisions that may have far-reaching conse- quences way beyond the training.
  37. This yellow flag uses every strategy we have discussed so far: how can we reprior- itize work? Can someone else help? What tradeoffs can we make? What flexibility can we build in? What is Plan C and D and E?
  38. This type of change often has a waterfall ef- fect ... changing a small fact in one solution can have a compounding effect on other parts of the curriculum. We have to do what we can, not try to do what we really can’t do, and mark the last little pieces that are out- standing so we can go back for them later, but keep moving now.
  39. There are as many ways to learn about a new product as there are new products! Consider the following decision points:
  40. Christine and Jim