What is Launch Excellence?
Launch excellence is a broad phenomenon used to describe a situation wherein an organization achieves its predetermined objectives after product launch. Ideally, every company and organization must set to achieve launch excellence in every single phase of its product launches.
Launch excellence is meant to be an objective term. As a company or organization, you should be able to tell definitively when a launch has met enough of its targets to be classified as a success. Failure to do so makes launch excellence a lot harder to define, which can be quite detrimental to a company's growth.
Before we go deeper into the factors involved in defining launch excellence, below is a quick examination of the challenges involved in doing so in the first place.
The Challenge of Defining Launch Excellence
Defining launch excellence can be a quite challenging task under certain conditions. As mentioned above, launch excellence is a phenomenon that should be verifiable with quantifiable metric.
Achieving launch excellence has an incredible array of benefits and value to add to your company. Sadly, you won't be able to enjoy most of these benefits if you don't know how to define your launch excellence in the first place.
Below are a handful of key factors to have in mind to help you clearly define your launch excellence, and enjoy its numerous benefits.
How to Define Launch Excellence
Step 1: Setting Broad Predetermined Objectives
In the more rigid, more objective definition of launch excellence, a project has to be completely well aligned; every step of its launch must be executed to perfection; and its eventual outcomes have to match all of its clearly defined goals before we can refer to it as an example of launch excellence.
So in short, before your launch can be excellent, you must have set up a few metrics to determine its excellence.
So how do you set up your predetermined objectives? Well first thing you want to do is carry out significant research and obtain market insights. From here, after having uncovered the most critical customer need that you want your product to fulfill, you can then proceed to set rigid metrics to determine its success.
Step 2: Breaking Down Objectives into Stages
Having broad predetermined objectives is great. But to really define launch excellence, it is more advisable to break down these objectives into stages.
Generally, launch periods are divided into “pre-launch”, “during launch”, and “post launch”. Pre-launch metrics are different from the metrics to look out for during launch, and post-launch.
All of these are quite important in determining launch excellence.
Step 3: Setting Duration of Evaluation
The next step is to set a duration during which you analyze these metrics and confirm whether or not you were able to achieve launch excellence. Of course, there is no rigid law regarding how long this should be.
Different product categories may require different amounts of time to evaluate their success. That said, most companies and organizations typically choose a 6 - 12 month period to evaluate and determine launch excellence.
Step 4: Performance Tracking
Once the objectives and durations are set, the next step is to begin tracking these metrics when the period of evaluation begins. Performance tracking not only lets you know how your product launch is going at the present moment, it also gives you an idea of its future potential.
Achieving Launch Excellence
Now that we've taken a look at the steps involved in determining launch excellence, it is worth pointing out a few key elements that can help you achieve it faster.
The first element, as expected, is preparation.
● Pre-launch Preparation
The very first aspects of pre-launch preparation are targeted messaging and building relationships. Targeting messaging deals with configuring the right approach to getting your product across to the target audience - getting the message across in the best way possible.
Relationship building helps establish strong connection and understanding between the key stakeholders and leaders involved in the launch.
● Coordination Between Key Functional Areas
Coordination is key to a successful launch, and usually plays a huge role in achieving launch excellence. Regardless of the scale, most projects contain more than one moving part.
It is imperative that all parts are aligned and on the same page. This is why coordination is critical.
● Fine-tune Launch Plan and Budget
A successful launch is all about planning. This is why once planning is done, it pays to revisit the plan, fine-tune it, and tweak as much as possible. This is also the area where efficient budget allocation comes in.
● Streamlining Processes
Team allocation and optimization of human resources help streamline your launch the way nothing else can. Proper team allocation involves assigning the right people to the right role under the right leader.
Proper allocation leads to proper optimization.
● Launch Date
The launch date is important, but a successful launch usually has most of its elements set up in the days/months before. Launch date is simply for making confirmations and ensuring that everything is aligned as they ought to be.
Benefits of Launch Excellence
The joy of imminent success will always be one of the most satisfying parts of achieving launch excellence.
There is nothing like the feeling that arises from knowing that you spent a great deal of time putting a project together, coming up with an actionable plan to execute precisely, and seeing wonderful results in real-time.
Launch excellence is not just about achieving short-term goals. True launch excellence achieves success in all the metrics you set for the moment, but also sets you up for future success thanks to its ability to be repeated.
For this reason, everything you do towards achieving a great launch should not only take into consideration the imminent result, but also future repeatability.
Every project aspires to achieve launch excellence, but not every project ends up experiencing it. Understanding what the term means in the first place puts you in the best place to optimize and streamline your project structure to ensure that you achieve launch excellence not just for the short-term, but over and over for as long as it is required.