Tips for an Effective Product Launch
Setting the foundation for a sound product launch requires doing relevant work in the short-term while also being poised to respond to whatever unpredictability might arise down the road.
“To be successful, teams have to hope for the best but plan extensively for the worst,” said Jason Chaves, director of systems engineering at defense tech company Epirus.
According to Chaves, a well thought-out roadmap acting as an essential guiding force is key, as well as having a blueprint to respond to the unexpected. Additionally, he singled out collaboration and thorough communications as efforts that help cement the necessary alignment between relevant stakeholders.
Chaves said that he’s discovered, “it’s almost impossible to have a seamless product launch without some hiccups along the way.” But that doesn’t mean that professionals can’t try. Below, Chaves shared how the team at the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company strives for smooth launches.
What’s an early step during product development that sets your team up for a smooth launch?
There is a constant focus on staying as agile and nimble as possible in everything we do as an engineering team. In the early stages of product development, it’s critical to have a thorough roadmap to drive the entire process and ensure we have adequate contingency plans to handle unforeseen challenges.
For smaller companies like ours, where the success of every member of the team plays into our overall success, close collaboration and communication between product leads and the adjacent team is also essential. Our team dreams big with our technology and we execute without ego, two aspects that are integral to the success of any product development process and eventual launch.
How do you balance the desire to build the “perfect” product with the need to hit deadlines?
Cross-team communication is something we put a lot of emphasis on. Our engineering team stays in close contact with our business development team to ensure our workstreams and immediate priorities align. This alignment allows us to innovate while also producing products as fast as possible for customers. There can be hurdles when balancing internal and external priorities but constant communication and clear expectation-setting have helped drive Epirus’ success.
Cross-team communication is something we put a lot of emphasis on.”
How does your team prepare for the unknown and ensure unexpected issues don’t derail the success of a product launch?
Throughout my engineering career, I found that it’s almost impossible to have a seamless product launch without some hiccups along the way. To be successful, teams have to hope for the best but plan extensively for the worst.
Our team takes every measure to handle externalities on the fly and avoid derailing our roadmap. I think the culture at Epirus plays a huge part in our ability to think on our feet and quickly put out fires that may crop up throughout a product development process.