Planning for Product Release

As the product manager for an investment software organization, I am
always amazed at the amount of work that is necessary to effectively
release a product into the marketplace. From the inception of the
idea to the complete release, it is can be a daunting task. The
simplest method to plan and implement a product release is to lay out
exactly what needs to happen, organize a reasonable time schedule,
set goals, and gather the resources that you will need to achieve the
release on time, and under budget.

In the software world, and in online product development, time is the
most critical factor. Every day the amount of technology available
on the internet increases by 0.3%. For those selling products
online, this means that not only must you continually update your
technology, but you must plan to keep your product compatible with
the latest innovations. In order to plan for a product release, you
must take the resources you currently have, and plan carefully.

If you are developing the product from an idea, the you will need to
allocate your development and marketing resources appropriately. For
small businesses and individuals with little staff, it is almost
exclusively a decision on where to appropriately spend your time. In
order to develop a product from an idea into a viable business, break
your schedule and time line down into a few stages and plan resources

1. Product Development: Every product starts from an idea. The
challenge is to make the idea a reality. Perform market research.
Find out what products currently compete with this product. Find out
where your markets lie and what your biggest customer base will be.
Overall, make sure you understand your target customer. Who they
are, how they make decisions, where they shop, why they buy, etc.
From there, devote your time and resources making your product suit
the tastes, need, and desires of your customers. During the
development state, most of your resources will go toward creating the

2. Market Development: It is most important to understand your
market before embarking on the development of your product. If you
customers are not fully understood, you may develop a product that
few people want, or create a resource that isn’t profitable. This
should be determined at the initial stages of the project. After
your market is understood, focus resources on creating a product to
suit the market. However, be sure that you continually update your
understanding of your market. When nearing completion of the
development phase of the project, start allocating resources into
development of the market tools. If this is an online product, then
creation of an effective web site is necessary. Develop the sales
tools necessary to sell the product, and create a step by step plan
on how you will sell this product to your customers.