Managing a Product Launch Plan with Spreadsheet.com

Managing a Product Launch Plan with Spreadsheet.com

Launching a new product is often a long process and always requires careful planning. Without it, product launches can easily be delayed and seriously impact a company’s bottom line. The key to a successful product launch is effective product management strategy that keeps teams on track and projects on schedule.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at Spreadsheet.com’s Product Launch Plan with Issues & Risks template and review how key Spreadsheet.com features like Gantt views, Automations, Related rows, and more can be used together to create an all-in-one product launch management solution. Take a look at our product launch plan workbook and follow along, or create a copy for yourself to experiment.

Creating a Launch Schedule with Gantt and Calendar Views

Schedules are a key component of any product management project. Creating a task list with dates and task status information is a great start, but adding interactive timelines and calendar layouts can bolster your product management strategy and give you more ways to keep your project on track. Spreadsheet.com makes it easy to turn simple task lists into interactive timelines with Gantt views and Calendar views.

Use Row Hierarchies to give structure to your task list

Before we convert our task list into a Gantt timeline, we’ll give it some structure by creating row hierarchies, or parent-child relationships between rows. With row hierarchies, we can break categories of tasks down into individual action items.

Tasks worksheet with tasks organized into row hierarchies

Here, “Launch Event Plan” is a child row of “Launch Schedule”, which itself is a child row of the “Product Plan”. With Project Management enabled, parent rows automatically aggregate information like start and end dates from the child rows underneath them.

Turn your task list into a timeline with a Gantt view

By adding a Gantt view to our workbook, we can transform our basic task list into an interactive timeline. When you add a Gantt view to your workbook, Spreadsheet.com will enable Project Management settings and add additional timeline-specific columns – like start and end dates, durations, and more – to your worksheet.

The information in these Project Management columns is used to create your Gantt view. In Gantt views, your task list lives side-by-side with a Gantt chart so you can easily see a visual overview of your product launch plan. The Gantt view in our workbook is color coded by Column F - Status, a Select column.

Tasks worksheet with a Gantt chart side-by-side with the task list

Gantt views in Spreadsheet.com can automatically calculate and display a project’s critical path, as well as show task dependencies directly on the timeline. Gantt views are dynamic and will automatically update to reflect changes made to the worksheet’s primary view.

Layout your launch schedule on a Calendar view

Now that we’ve added a Gantt view to our workbook, it’s easy to also add a Calendar view. Like Gantt views, Calendar views let you quickly reference a visual overview of your product launch plan.

Tasks laid out on a Calendar view

With the Month view, we can see a high-level overview of our project timeline. Or, we can use the Week view to drill down further and see how our launch plan is progressing day by day. Changes to calendar events can be made directly in the Calendar view, or in the primary Sheet view. Like all views, changes made in one view are reflected across the rest of the workbook’s views.

Notify your team of upcoming milestones with Automations

By adding an automation to our workbook, we can automatically notify our team of upcoming tasks and milestones via Slack. In our automation, the When a Date arrives trigger and Send Slack message action work in tandem to notify our team about upcoming milestones.

Automation configured to notify team members via Slack the day before a new task begins

Our trigger can be configured to trigger our action on, before, or after a specific date listed in a Date or Date & time column. Here, our trigger will occur one day before the date in Column B - Start Date. Once our automation is triggered, the action will send a notification to the #allhands Slack channel. The notification is customized with information taken directly from the Tasks worksheet.

Automation notification populated with data taken directly from the Tasks worksheet

We could add another action block that notifies team members via email, or we could change the existing action to send a notification through another service like Microsoft Teams.

Tracking Issues and Risks with Related rows

Related rows, one of Spreadsheet.com’s data types, let you link rows in multiple worksheets so that your sheets can work like tables in a relational database where editing one changes the data in another.

For our Product Launch Plan with Issues & Risks workbook, Related rows connect our Tasks and Issues & Risks worksheets so that the two can share information with one another.

Use Related rows to link Tasks with Issues & Risks

Our Product Launch Plan workbook has two worksheets – Tasks and Issues & Risks. The data in these two sheets have relationships; some tasks have issues or risks associated with them, and some issues and risks apply to certain tasks. With Related rows, we can create links between the two sheets to represent these relationships.

Issues & Risks worksheet connected to the Tasks worksheet with Related rows

Column N - Issues & Risks in our Tasks worksheet and Column D - Tasks in our Issues & Risks worksheet are connected by a Related row with a 2-way link. With a 2-way link, the relationship between records is reflected in both sheets. The Tasks worksheet shows the issue or risk associated with each task, and the Issues & Risks worksheet shows all tasks associated with each item.

Ready to get started? Browse Spreadsheet.com’s Template Gallery to find ready-to-use product development templates, as well as templates for project management, sales, finance, and more.

Sign up — it's free