Just Launched! — A Better Way to Plan Your Next Product Launch
July 20, 2017

Just Launched! — A Better Way to Plan Your Next Product Launch

by Jessica Groff

What is the hardest part of being a product manager? If you ask 100 product managers, they might just give you 100 different answers. But there is one common challenge we hear from customers — major product launches. Not a big surprise, really. Delivering a new customer experience is hard. And delivering it by a specified date is even harder. The number of details you need to keep track of can seem impossible.

Product launches are only successful when teams stay in sync on top-level goals, while simultaneously managing every aspect of a new customer experience. 

But when successfully coordinated, great launches excite customers, motivate the team, and can even lead to thought leadership in the market. We want to help make product launches easier for product and project managers — which is why we just launched release templates with preset To-dos.

Release templates were already a great way to establish a repeatable framework of phases and milestones for your product launches. Templates keep the team organized and focused on what needs to get done every time.

But beyond the high-level phases and milestones, there are usually dozens of individual tasks that need to be completed for a launch. With preset To-dos in your release templates, you can now indicate who is responsible for each of those key tasks.

As the engineering and UX teams design and implement the new features, the product team needs to make sure the other parts of the launch plan are in motion. You can ensure that the marketing team is on track, the sales team is trained on the new functionality, and your support team is updating the documentation.

Here are a few ways release templates with To-dos can improve your product launches:

Unify planning The releases roadmap visualizes the release plans for your product. On this powerful roadmap, you can move releases around and create dependencies between phases. Best of all, you can collaborate with cross-functional teams — such as design, marketing, sales, and support — to ensure that you keep pace and launch on target.

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As you plot and pull the bars to lengthen or shorten them, the date range will appear beside each phase.

Collaborate with marketing Product Owners can create or edit release templates by navigating to Release Settings Product Release Phases and Milestones. Now, when you add or edit a phase in your template, you can create To-dos and pre-set the assignee if it is always handled by the same person. In the marketing phase, for example, you can track positioning that you need to complete along with the announcements the marketing team owns to make sure the launch goes off without a hitch.

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Product Owners can create release templates. Both Product Owners and Contributors can create releases using existing templates.

Train the sales team Before a new product launch, it is important to create and deliver training so that the sales team is confident explaining the value and showcasing new features to customers. Release templates with To-dos ensure everyone knows when training will occur and who is responsible for what.

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Each phase on the releases roadmap can be selected to open the drawer view. Here you can see the phase details, record links, and keep tabs on To-dos.

Prepare support Be certain that your customers have all the information needed to help guide them. Notifications are emailed to assignees when a To-do date is assigned and when it’s due or late. The release creator receives a notification when the To-do is completed.

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To-dos can be assigned to anyone in Aha! — including Viewers and Reviewers.

Product launches require real planning and meaningful effort. To be great, the launch depends on all teams working together efficiently.

Using release templates with pre-set To-dos, you can easily bring consistency to your planning process. The team will be organized and focused on what needs to get done, customers will appreciate a well-thought-out launch, and you might just be a little less stressed.

Sign up for a free Aha! trial — be happy Release templates with To-dos are available to all Aha! customers. If you are not already an Aha! customer, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Aha! now to see why over 100,000 users trust Aha! to set product strategy, create visual roadmaps, and prioritize releases and features.

Jessica Groff

Jessica Groff

Jessica was a product marketing manager at Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software.

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