How do you manage the unusual or unexpected during a product rollout?
Cynthia Hardy Young, CEO & Founder of Pivot Global Partners, sat down with Maribeth Kuzmeski to discuss her experience with product launches.
In this post you will read about why you must identify your niche and be prepared to make adjustments, as well as how to create rollout teams that are flexible and responsive to customer needs in order to be successful.
Example: A Product Rollout That Needed More Customer Focused Design
A new product was soon to be launched. A review with the launch team suggested they considered everything to be on track. No one that recognized that, in reality, there were some challenges.
There needed to be a much closer fit with customer needs and a deeper assessment of market competitiveness. The team needed to fully appreciate customers’ prioritized needs and build that into the product design. There was an overemphasis on internal skills. The product was built around what the team was capable of creating and what it thought was a “good” product, rather than what customers wanted.
The learning…customer centricity is vital to successful product development.
Understanding Your Niche and Anticipating Adjustments
If you have not identified gaps in the market or what the competition is already providing, it will be extremely difficult to launch a successful product. The solution to a successful launch is a fine calibration between all these factors. You need to understand the capabilities of your own team, and the product must satisfy the needs of your customers.
It is important that this calibration continue after launch. You must be ready to make adjustments, communicating internally why these are taking place and ensuring everyone understands customers’ needs and what the product must accomplish.
Any launch team must be ready to tackle unanticipated shifts in the product rollout. The way to do this is to recognize the possibility that changes will be required and to foster a culture that allows, and actively encourages, red flags to be raised.
Ultimately, when you have issues you must also have solutions. So, as a team leader, you must create an environment where issues can be identified early to give your team the opportunity to make the critical adjustments that can be the difference between a successful or an unsuccessful launch.
The Three Elements of a Successful Product Launch:
1) Have voices on your team that will speak up and identify any potential issues and nimbly problem solve
2) Ensure you are always closely aligned with clients/customers so your design is optimal.
3) Be receptive to both qualitative and quantitative inputs that will inform your decision-making.
A recording of this conversation can be accessed here: