In this video, learn how to identify the key players needed for the best product launch team and how to follow the rules for engagement to lead the team toward launch day.
- Building a successful launch team, requires bringing the right people to the table, creating opportunities for collaboration, and working toward product launch goals. In this video, I'll explain how to build your product team, and I'll give you guidelines for leading them along the way. Start by bringing the right people together. A product launch team is made up of people from across the company, representing all areas of the organization related to the product launch. This cross-functional team will pull members from product management, development, customer support, sales, accounting, legal, marketing, and other areas as needed to support your launch. To recruit these team members, speak with their manager and ask if this person can join the product team. It's not a good idea to approach the individual straight away, because it may undermine the manager's authority. Then set up a one on one with the potential team member to talk about the product launch, and how the person can contribute. Be ready to share the vision and explain why this is an exciting opportunity. But be honest about the work required, you don't want anyone to join that isn't ready to help. Finally, as you start to put your team together, the last step is to ask team members, who are we missing? Talk through the different goals you're trying to reach. Do you have the key players that can help achieve the goals? If not, continue recruiting until you've assembled the best team for your product launch. Now what makes leading this launch team a challenge is that these people don't typically work together, and won't report directly to you. Instead, they'll have other direct reports and other obligations within your company. They may even hold a more senior role than you. The best way to lead this team is through setting ground rules early on, living by example, and asking all team members to adhere to the rules as well. When I create and lead a product launch team, I have four rules for engagement. First, we are made up of decision makers. The representatives of a functional area like communications, should be capable of making decisions on behalf of their area. So if someone comes representing the communications team, he should have the ability to make a final decision on something like the date to publish a press release. This first rule will empower the team to move quickly, as is required in a product launch. Second rule, team members are active participant, not observers. A digital marketing team member will roll up her sleeves and do the work to set up a marketing campaign, create different messages to test, and track performance to report back to the team. On the product launch team, everyone has a responsibility to the team, and actively works towards meeting the launch goals. Third, status meetings will follow meeting etiquette. They'll be held frequently, have a set agenda, start on time, and be used for updating the team on activities. Problem solving issues and non-status related conversations that come up will be tabled and saved for other meetings. Fourth, your goals are your roadmaps. Goals will be set and clearly defined. This will allow team members to understand what they're working toward, and create buy in on the goal set. So for example, if a goal is to sell a certain number of products the first week of launch, the marketing team member will work toward reaching an audience to help make that happen. Or the sales team member, will work toward closing that number of sales. Everyone on the team needs to understand what the goals are, and believe in them for the launch. These rules of engagement will ground you and your team, focusing on the task at hand. It's your job to convene the right people, and keep engagement productive and focused. A great product launch will create heroes. This comes from a launch team that's made up of the right high-quality, motivated people who will communicate well and believe in the product. So who are the superheros you'll invite to your product launch team?
- Writing a customer problem statement
- Targeting the right audience
- Setting goals and metrics
- Identifying stakeholders
- Building your product launch team
- Creating a product launch checklist
- Balancing speed and quality
- Connecting with your market via social media
- Marketing your product with influencers
- Holding a product retrospective