5 Project Datasets to Inform Your New Product Launch

New product launches are often fast-moving projects, but teams may occasionally encounter circumstances that make them ask if it’s prudent to put a product rollout on hold—sometimes just for a few weeks or months, sometimes for an undetermined amount of time. But how can your groups know when it’s time to pause a new product versus when it’s better to maintain the schedule? We put together five project datasets to inform your new product launch decision making.

1 – Supply chain constraints and alternatives

It’s important to maintain ongoing awareness of your supply chain’s health as your project evolves. Production schedules, material pricing, and supply availability are all highly dynamic. Monitoring data on supply chain constraints and other risks will provide valuable insight to help you understand if new trends are likely to affect your project’s timing or if you can pivot your new product launch to stay on track by leveraging alternative manufacturers, products, or fulfillment channels.

2 – Task sequences and opportunities to restructure or compress key activities

New product rollouts could hit a manufacturing snag or bump into a tough-to-troubleshoot software bug. When problems appear, your priority should be to review your resource allocation and task assignment data to see if it’s possible to resequence tasks to accommodate the unexpected issue without changing your target completion date. This data can also be used to defend your decision if you opt instead to adjust the rollout schedule and give the team adequate time to deliver the quality your customers expect.

3 – Financial performance expectations and revenue forecasts

If deteriorating market conditions are making your team rethink your product launch timeline, you need to know what the current financial goals are for the project before you can develop a strategy to either wait or to continue moving ahead. Whether your project is expected to increase revenue, save money, or create the ability to capture new income streams, you want to understand what the project was designed to achieve and how each element might be affected by trends in the marketplace. With this data analysis complete, you can make the best strategic decisions for your business.

4 – Customer profiles and preferences

Most customers make buying decisions based on a wide variety of factors, including near-term expenses, total cost of ownership, business needs, user expectations, and existing capability gaps. Because the marketplace is constantly changing, it’s important to keep your customer base in mind as your product launch date approaches. Shifting economic pressures, new competitive offerings, workforce challenges, and other considerations could make your upcoming product rollout less attractive to your ideal customer segments. As competing products or declining revenue projects are announced, your team should look back to your customer data to understand how or if those elements might influence their purchase journey.

5 – Competitive data

Even companies operating in very niche industries have at least a few competitors they must monitor. At any time, those rivals could announce a product that solves a long-standing or painful problem for buyers, possibly eroding your prospect base or hampering your ability to upsell and cross sell existing customers. When that happens, your organization’s competitive data will help you estimate how much effect this new competitive challenge is likely to have on revenue, if your pricing model should change to maintain parity with the latest offerings, and where opportunities still exist to position your new product for success. Your project team can then choose to maintain your target completion date for the launch or delay the initiative to take advantage of more favorable conditions.

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