The product launch process insures that all requirements have been addressed before a new product is put into production and launched.


Kenneth Crow
DRM Associates

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The following serves as a checklist for product launch activities:

  • A product launch plan has been prepared covering all activities to be performed by Engineering, Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales, Product Support, and Field Service.
  • Functional departments understand their responsibilities for launch activities.
  • Functional departments have commited the necessary resources to support launch activities.
  • The launch activities are on track to be completed as currently planned.
  • A Production Readiness Review, Product Launch Review or related gate review confirms that all preparations have been completed and the product is ready to launch.
  • Product performance has been evaluated through testing and qualification and the product meets its defined requirements.
  • The product and the production process have been qualified or validated and all regulatory approvals and/or certifications have been obtained.
  • All product design documentation has been completed and approved.
  • The product documentation is under configuration control.
  • Technical data sheets have been prepared.
  • User documentation, operating manuals and maintenance instructions have been completed.
  • Engineering personnel stand ready to address any issues that arise.
  • Required manufacturing process documentation or outputs (e.g., work instructions, CNC programs, manning plans, etc. are complete.
  • New tooling and equipment has been qualified/validated
  • Production processes have been proven/qualified/validated using either pilot production lines or actual production lines.
  • Production workers have been trained or training is planned to support initiation of production.
  • The product and demand forecast data has been established in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and ERP is used to plan and manage the supply chain and production.
  • All suppliers have been selected and qualified.
  • Needed materials and parts are on-order or in stock.
  • Adequate capacity and personnel exist to support planned production.
  • The distribution pipeline is filled with the appropriate level of product.
Marketing and Sales
  • Market receptivity has been evaluated by key customer feedback, focus groups, test markets, or beta tests prior to launch.
  • If the product is being used by beta customers, testimonials or case studies have been prepared.
  • A promotion and advertising plan has been developed.
  • Advertising copy has been developed and media contracts and arrangements have been made.
  • Promotional materials and sales literature have been developed, ordered, and are ready to distribute.
  • Sales and distribution channels have been identified and established.
  • Sales personnel have been trained.
  • Sales personnel have the needed sales literature, sales support material and product samples.
  • Product pricing has been established and approved.
  • Final packaging has been designed, approved and ordered.
  • The sales forecast has been updated based on the latest forecast of market demand.
  • The website has been updated.
  • Press releases have been prepared and are ready to distrbute.
  • Industry analysts or other influential personnel have been briefed as planned.
  • A product release and/or general availability has been announced.
Product Support
  • Necessary support resources are hired and in place.
  • Service and support personnel have been trained or a phased training program is underway.
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ's) have been identified and responses prepared.
  • Troubleshooting guides, installation guides, and service manuals have been prepared.
  • Spare part requirements have been planned.