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The peril of the delayed product launch


First: why is a product launch important?

We won’t spend much time on this question because you already know the answer. Much of the enthusiasm and reviews and feedback and good stuff for a product happens near its launch when it’s still newer and exciting to end-users.

If you mess up a launch, the product may never gain traction in a market or among certain users. We don’t think you should rush product launches, either -- if you need more time for them to be successful, then more time should be built into the product plan, the sprint schedule, and the overall calendar. But if you have to delay launches, that usually means marketing campaigns are delayed, sales approaches are delayed, logistical shipments of products are delayed, and more. It can become very costly. Hopefully, none of you have experienced multiple delayed product launches, but if you have, you know it’s not fun -- and usually, some people involved in the delay will end up getting fired. 

The sad reality, though, as Harvard Business Review noted in 2011, is that most product launches fail. That doesn’t always mean they are delayed; sometimes they launch on time but still fail. But in a lot of cases, they are delayed and then, when launched, they fail. Similarly, Gartner has found that 45% of tech product launches are delayed by at least one month. And in certain industries, like electronics and even energy, product launches that miss by 9-12 months (a very long time) can cost the product 50% of expected revenue.

Clearly we need a path to avoid this.

But would outsourcing be that path?

This is actually an interesting question. Some organizations worry: if I add a nearshoring or software development outsourcing partner, won’t that add too much complexity? And then, won’t the launch get delayed because the project now has too many cooks, chefs, and moving parts?

That can happen, but it typically doesn’t, especially if you use a Team Extension Modell. (We do.) In that model, we fold our team into your team in terms of sprints, calendars, DevOps, timelines, meetings, culture, and more. We become an extension of you, not extra people you need to manage. This keeps projects on the right timeline. 

Now, the flip side of all this is … let’s say you want to do a specific development project, but you don’t have the expertise internally to do it. What are you going to do in order to hit a launch that your senior leaders want?

You have a few options. You could go search the free market and hire people with the expertise you need, but that’s (a) time-consuming and (b) costly, and there’s no guarantee you will get people with true expertise. (As sad as it is, people still do lie about their qualifications because they want to get jobs.) Or … you could outsource to a team that has the expertise, has done similar projects, knows the industry or vertical, etc. It’s more value for the cost, and much less time-consuming to find what you need. 

You might think that new team members (the outsourced partner) mean complexity which means delayed product launch, but what if new team members mean expertise, which means on-time product launch? 

Shift your thinking, and consult our checklist that can help you choose outsourcing partner:

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