Launch is not part of the development process
I recently posted a question on Linkedin Answers as a way to get perceptions on whether launch was planned (formally or informally) or a second thought. There were a number of interesting responses that ultimately proved my hypothesis that many (if not most) software companies completely blow it when it comes to product launch planning and execution.
There are a couple of reasons I believe this to be true. First, and particularly for early stage companies, the experience of planning and managing an effective product launch does not exist. This results in guesswork and the outcome is often disappointment. Second, companies don’t make someone accountable for the success of a product launch. Or worse, they make someone accountable that has absolutely no business being involved with the launch. Third, a standardized, practical approach to launch has not been available.
The takeaway from this exercise is a belief I’ve held for many years - Product Launch is not part of the development process. You can develop a product without a launch but you can’t launch without a product. PDMA by example refers to launch as part of the new product development lifecycle. That’s not the whole picture though. Existing products are re-launched everyday. Product Launch planning and management is a distinct discipline from development that incorporates a blend of strategic planning with tactical execution.
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