“We’ve made it a priority to have quarterly updates to make sure that the executive team is included every step of the way.”
Sara Lawhead has seen, time and time again, that including stakeholders in your process early and often makes a positive difference when planning and executing a product launch. “My advice is to focus on inclusion, inclusion, inclusion—early and often,” she says. “We live in this little bubble of developing the product and think that everyone knows everything about it, but our executive team may only hear snippets about it here and there. We’ve made it a priority to have quarterly updates to make sure that the executive team is included every step of the way. That way, we don’t have setbacks late in the process like we used to, when they might have had different ideas about what the project was or what we were trying to accomplish.”
Open and consistent communication will keep your product launch on track, particularly if your product changes. “Keep the lines of communication open. Let your stakeholders know what you’re doing, who’s doing it, and why you’re doing it,” Lawhead says. In doing so, you can better manage expectations and make sure that your stakeholders maintain an accurate understanding throughout the project. “This is challenging because as you go through the different stages, the product may change or the features and benefits may be updated based on consumer feedback or field testing,” she says. If you communicate effectively, everyone will still be on the same page, even if the product shifts.