Few professional experiences rival the excitement and relief of wrapping up a major project. Your project team has come together to make something great. You’re almost done…now you have to show it off.
The process of developing new products and commercializing them goes like this:
- Company leaders discover a need.
- Project managers organize a team to address the need.
- The team develops a product, service, or system to meet the need.
- The team decides how to deliver the solution.
- Someone on the project team explains how the solution works.
Many projects falter on the last step—explaining how the solution works (how it meets the identified need). Explaining your team’s solution effectively can often mean the difference between project success and failure.
Consumers who don’t understand a product’s value or a service’s benefits will not purchase it, use it, or recommend it. Internal systems that aren’t explained well will cause confusion and inefficiency, which hinders productivity for everyone involved. You must develop effective means to explain your project team’s solution. This requires an integrated, multifaceted messaging approach.
Use Consistent Messaging Across Multiple Channels
The last step in rolling out a product depends on effective messaging. A new product or feature is big news to you, your teammates, and your CEO. That said, for those outside the project team, you must communicate why you created the product, what problem it solves, and how it will help someone do something better. Explaining your team’s solution effectively can often mean the difference between project success and failure. Consumers who don’t understand a product’s operation or a service’s benefits will not purchase it, use it, or recommend it. Internal systems that aren’t explained well encounter employee confusion, mistrust, and inefficiency.
Messaging must be cohesive across numerous channels, both internal and external. Consider centralizing the team’s collective knowledge into a single knowledge base. Employees from numerous departments can access that single repository of information to get the information they need to craft compelling content. You must develop effective means to explain your project team’s solution. This requires an integrated, multifaceted approach.
Focus on Your Target Audience
When you try to sell a product to a huge, undefined audience, you end up talking to no one at all. Address your target audience directly and personally. Adapt your messaging to fit your audience, using the tone and words they would. Understanding a product is key to adopting and appreciating it, so you must communicate its value with clarity and authenticity.
In the race to implement what’s new, it can become easy to ignore or forget past messaging. This breaks down a brand’s cohesiveness. Instead, maintain a rich, usable archive of past projects to help ensure your latest messaging makes sense amidst the rest of your messaging ecosystem.
Remove Barriers between Creatives and SMEs
Successful product development relies on the support of subject matter experts (SMEs). SMEs fill specialized roles, such as engineers, department heads, and software developers. They provide added authenticity and depth to the creative team’s content but rarely create messaging themselves.
Whenever possible, simplify communication between SMEs and the creatives responsible for rolling out the project. Set realistic project management deadlines that consider everyone’s busy schedules. This will help balance everyone’s time and priorities.
Conduct a Project Review
A project review is the process of analyzing the successes, failures, and challenges of the project to identify opportunities for improvement. This is done by calculating the project’s performance in terms of cost, quality, and schedule. Collect feedback from the team on how they think the project went. Use these insights as a learning opportunity to improve on future projects.
Don’t forget to celebrate the team’s accomplishments! Acknowledging their hard work helps increase engagement and morale. Celebrating accomplishments will also make future challenges feel all the more worthwhile because team members know the value of their work.
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