When you are a product manager, one of the biggest challenges that you will face is determining whether your software is ready to be released or not. There are constant changes and tweaks that can be made at any moment, yet a prolonged development period could result in a lack of interest while a rushed project could be a mangled nightmare that nobody wants to deal with. Product managers have to find the delicate balance to determine what the minimum expectations of the customer are while also striving to add an extra “wow” factor to really impress people. Development teams will be more concerned with a smooth launch, testing the product ad nauseam.
Most of the time, you’ll have to wait for the teams to give your the green light that you can start pushing to software, but there are many other aspects that you also need to focus on. Some of the key points that you want to keep in mind are:
No matter where you are in the development phase, your teams need to be aware of the quality that they are delivering to the customers. You need to make sure that you deliver on what you promise, even if the speed of the software is slower because of it. 17% of consumers would still recommend a brand that given them an effective solution, even if it is slow. Don’t let your Quality Assurance team sit there and twiddle their thumbs, give them a reason to test your product to gauge whether or not it meets the expectations of everyone on the team. Only when you feel ready for a launch should you move forward with it.
Be sure that your software has all of the necessary parts before you release it. Don’t just hope to update the missing areas later on down the road, add everything in the software the first time around. Some of the most important pieces of content that you want to have include the contact information, version of the software, product name, terms and conditions, user guide, and copyright and license information. This data will help customers determine if they have the most current version of your software so that they are not using an older version with more issues.
Even if your software runs as smooth as it possibly can, it won’t mean a thing if it’s not appropriate for the market that you are targeting. Make sure that your product meets all of the specifications and expectations of the market. Test your product to make sure that it’s usable and then use those metrics to gauge overall usability. Usefulness items can be used to predict around 36% of actual reported usage. Testing for usage prevents you from finding out later on down the road that some things could have been changed to make your launch smoother.
Ease of Use
Lastly, you need to make sure that your software is easy to use and master. Most people are not technologically savvy, which means that you’ll have to do more work on your end to make things more streamlined. There are a number of different tolls out there that you can use to help educate your users, and you should take advantage of them. Some of the most common methods consists of creating FAQs, making how-to videos, or writing everything down in a handy guide. A new type of guidance tools, known as WalkMe, has further eliminated the need for support because it overlaps the current browser for easy use. Regardless of what you choose, you need to give your customers the information and tools that they need to succeed so that they have fun with the new software, not regret using it.
If you keep these 4 key points in mind, you’ll be able to have a much smoother and successful launch for your product, no matter how stressful the development process is.