The successful launch of a product requires a product roadmap. This is a plan that takes you where you want to go and allows you to stick the landing after a rigorous design and development process. But getting there takes thorough planning and a decent amount of innovation.
Your product roadmap guides you from the earliest design iterations to the release of a product. Within this road mapping process, there are keys to a successful launch sprinkled throughout every stage, all leading you to your ultimate goal. With your plan laid out, you can take many of the risks out of product release.
Nail the final phase of your product roadmap by understanding the process and preparation involved in a product launch. With these tips, you can stick the landing on a winning release.
Everything leads up to this
First, understand the implications of the larger product roadmap.
A product roadmap is the overview of your design and development efforts. Typically assembled by project managers (PMs), these resources contain important elements all in the context of a helpful visual. They can take many forms, but a detailed set of visual swimlanes is the most common.
Within this visual, you should include development-specific components that illustrate the process. These can include
… and anything else that might assist stakeholders in understanding and optimizing product development.
There are many ways to layout and organize a product roadmap. By segmenting yours into releases, you can ensure the steps are present to maximize the success of a launch. Roadmap organization should also support each stakeholder and end-user group so that the goals are kept front and center.
By nature of the roadmap, it should offer you a comprehensive visual of each phase of the process, leading up to the final launch stage. Organize yours into focused, goal-based time frames that lead you closer to the outcomes you desire with each step.
Roadmapping the launch phase
With a roadmap consisting of timelines and goals being necessary to have a successful launch, you now need to explore this final phase in more detail.
This means focusing your releases on user input and problem resolution. You want to paint a larger picture of your ultimate objectives, helping you to prioritize real-world value from a product. That’s where themes come in. High-level themes address problems and the metrics to analyze them, enabling you to further segment the final stages of your roadmap into effective releases.
For example, marketplace conditions can affect product development and reception. You may need to radically innovate to protect proprietary knowledge and value, for instance. By prioritizing this as a goal, you can develop it as a specific theme for a release or initiative. From here, your roadmap should support design with clear objectives and key results (OKRs).
Your OKRs are the metrics you’ll use to track success. These are necessary to build directly into your roadmap, as they will make all the difference in the final stages. You can set OKRs to be assessed quarterly or at closer intervals, but the important part is using these metrics and feedback data to reiterate.
For example, your objective might be to create an accessible and appealing product. Your key result might be a measurable adoption rate of 25% for a test audience. Roadmap initiatives should then be based on assembling product features capable of meeting these goals and testing them for success.
A gated approach to trialing is a great option for nailing a launch. That’s because it enables you to test functionality and user experience thoroughly before finalizing anything. In turn, you can gather valuable data on various pain points that will influence your OKRs. From product practicality to the relevance of your goals themselves, overcoming these product development problems is key to a successful launch.
With your launch phases organized around testing and evaluating these goals, it’s time to further prepare for a successful launch.
Preparing for a successful launch
A product launch can take many forms depending on the approach you take. For instance, you may choose to go with a soft launch featuring a lengthy period of beta testing and user feedback. Alternatively, you could undergo thoroughly trialling quietly to ensure a bigger, flashier launch. The final stages of your product roadmap might fall anywhere in between, but it can be successful as long as you’re considering the important elements.
Just as media influences investment performance through emotional data and herd mentality, it can also affect the launch of your product. This makes it important to keep a pulse on your target market and be ready to innovate. Updating your roadmap to accommodate revelations from every initiative.
From here, take the proper steps to address shifts in the market as you align your messaging and outreach. Preparing a product launch successfully requires that you consider elements like
- A streamlined onboarding process
- Targeted messaging
- Analytics aligned with your sales funnel
- Automated lifecycle emails
- Distribution methods
Integrate each of these elements into final stage initiatives, thoroughly detailed in your product roadmap. Each of these should include trialing processes, OKRs, and broad timeframes for achieving your goals. By consistently aligning these elements with real-world problems and user needs, you can develop a product that truly sticks the landing.
Stick the landing and keep on running
Once you’ve reached the final phase of your product roadmap, your priority is to optimize for success wherever possible. User testing and trialing are invaluable elements of this process. You’ll want to design your testing strategies to generate OKR-aligned data in a timeframe that works for your team.
But even after you launch, the process doesn’t really end. You can constantly improve with new initiatives and gathered data. A system for consistent user feedback helps you develop a longer-term roadmap that keeps you running with a lucrative product. From here, you can improve upon said product for the duration of its lifecycle and win greater sales as a result.
Explore the role a product roadmap plays in nailing a launch. By employing these tips and strategies in the final stages, you can maximize the potential of the development process and stick the landing on achieving your goals. Once you’ve landed, the sky is the limit on future improvements.