PM’s guide to Product launch checklist

How to create a Product launch checklist?

A product manager is responsible for not only building the product but also shipping, monitoring & iterating. As part of shipping the product, the product manager is responsible for tracking dependencies, highlighting risks and communicating with stakeholders to keep everyone on the same page to manage expectations.

Many companies and product managers still use Excel or Word documents to track dependencies. Since these files are local on the laptop, other stakeholders aren’t aware of the progress, causing them to call for unnecessary status update meetings or shoot dozens of emails asking for an update. To ensure all stakeholders are on the same page, PMs could use online tools such as Asana, Trello or similar paid tools that cost a bomb or simply use included tools such as Google Docs or Google Sheets. Advantages of using Google Docs or Sheets is that you could easily tag the task owner, stakeholders can comment on a task for more clarification and everyone can see a single version of the document.

As a product manager, I have used this Product Launch Checklist and have found it simple, free and effective. You may feel free to copy and modify to suit your startup product launch requirements.

If you find it useful, shoutout and let me know.

I found this free Google doc – Product launch checklist template useful. Check it out. #ProductManagement

If you find elements missing, please shoutout and let me know so we all can learn from it.

Few missing elements in this product launch checklist doc are: … #ProductManagement

How to build a good product launch checklist?

  1. Start with the release date and work backwards until current date.
  2. Identify critical tasks within Product, Design, Engineering, QA, Support, Ops, Marketing, PR, Creative etc. This cross-functional team document ensures all stakeholders are aware of the live-progress and can contribute to unblocking and help close open items.
  3. After consultation with the stakeholders, assign an ETA date and task owner for each task. Tag owners using “@name” so that they are notified via gmail.
  4. Tag execs using Google docs comments to ensure visibility of open items. This helps avoid last minute surprises.

Advantages of using a product launch checklist

  • Visibility: A 15-mins daily/bi-weekly/weekly heartbeat ensures everyone is on the same page.
  • Expectation management: Since stakeholders are aware, expectation management for the product manager is easier.
  • Saves time: Since a regular heartbeat meeting ensures everyone gets the same update, there’s no further need to send update emails & slack messages.
  • Unblocking: Leads and managers can intervene and unblock valuable resources where required.