Checklists, Product Management

The Ultimate Product Launch Checklist

By Stratrix Staff Writer

Boston, MA | Updated 30 Mar, 2021

The ultimate product launch checklist is, as the name suggests, a cross-functional and comprehensive list of elements that a team needs to complete before launching a product -successfully.

Launching a product is a complex and multi-dimensional endeavor, and it is critical to plan thoughtfully and execute flawlessly.  The ultimate product launch checklist by Stratrix is a handy deliverable that will help you in planning and checking off items as the team completes them.

While a product manager and their teams are the coordinators and conductors of this orchestra, as in a triumphant symphony, there are several other teams – marketing, sales, channel, advertising, PR; et al. is vital constituents, stakeholders and participants in launching a product.

What is a Product Launch?

A product launch is all the activities that take place for the successful release of a product into the marketplace.  The product launch checklist excludes the ideation and product development phases of the product management life cycle. It includes activities and tasks that are a part of a product release plan.

A product launch is the introduction (or reintroduction or expansion) of a new or existing product.  The start itself may be a big bang, a test in a specific market, or a roll out to a particular sector.  One may launch a product in various states of being – MVP, alpha, beta, selective roll-out, and general availability.  The level of difficulty of a product launch as an MVP to determine product/market fit is comparably lower than each subsequent state of the product, with general availability being the most complex endeavor of all.

In the same vein, the checklist for launching a product will be thinner for an MVP launch – even if equally essential and will become more complicated for a full-fledged launch.

The Ultimate Product Launch Checklist:

The checklist for a product launch includes several phases and multiple organizational teams to come together.  The following product launch checklist template is a starting point, and you may customize the list to create a more personalized product launch checklist for your firm.

Product Team: The nerve center of all product launch activities and the coordinators of the product launch checklist.

  • Product brief
  • Features and functions
  • Release notes
  • Marketing Brief
  • Creative Brief
  • Sales Brief
  • Launch Project Plan
  • Product Catalog
  • Pricing Sheet
  • RACI Assignment (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed)

Marketing Team: The product launch activities that are in the realm of marketing.

  • Market research
  • Customer Analytics
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Product Positioning
  • Unique Sales Proposition
  • Messaging Hooks
  • Buyer Personas
  • Journey Maps
  • Communications Strategy
  • Product Collateral (brochures, ads, logos, images, sales collateral, FAQs)
  • Launch Announcement (multiple channels)
  • Product section on the company Website (including potentially building a microsite)
  • Press Relations and Media outreach
  • Analyst Relations
  • Influencer Relations
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Paid Advertising Campaigns (digital and general)
  • Social Media Strategy and Execution Plan

Sales Team: The activities a sales team needs to complete for a successful product launch.

  • Sales Forecast
  • Account-based Planning
  • Field force recruitment and onboarding (if necessary)
  • Product/service-specific Training
  • Talking Points, FAQs, and Common Objections and Potential Answers
  • Customer Outreach Strategy
  • Sales collateral (sales deck, datasheets, flyers, email copy)
  • Distribution channel management and collateral

Operations Team: The middle office and back-office functions that are essential to a successful product launch.

  • Product entry into ERP and other Transactional Systems
  • Key Performance Indicators and Scorecards
  • Fee and Billing
  • Operations Associate Training
  • Process updates
  • Activity monitoring
  • Fulfillment
  • Analytics

Customer Servicing and Product Support Teams: Supporting the launch with prospect and customer handholding.

  • Call Center Agent Training
  • Support Manuals and Internal Documentation
  • Customer instruction manuals and collateral
  • Self-help tutorials and videos
  • Case management system and process set up
  • Ticket assignment and escalation planning
  • Warranty and Out of Warranty Support

IT Team: Technology enabling the product launch.

  • Infrastructure capacity
  • Cybersecurity
  • Environment testing
  • Identity, Access Management, and Provisioning
  • PQRS (Performance, Quality, Reliability, and Scalability)

Legal, Risk, and Compliance Team: Ensuring regulatory and legal compliance and management of risk.

  • Regulatory filings
  • Governance framework
  • Internal Policies
  • Legal Review
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Internal Audit
  • Risk Management Framework
  • Policies and Procedures

As a product manager or product owner, do you create a checklist for launching products? If so, what items do you include and exclude? Does the product team manage the product launch checklist, or is it handed-over to a project manager?

What items are we missing here in this product launch checklist? Please share.