Working Backwards: A New Version Of Amazon’s “Press Release” Approach To Plan Customer-Centric Projects – The Digital Project Manager

One of the many legacies of Steve Jobs was his annual product launch keynotes. It was (and still is, to a certain extent) at these events where Apple would showcase its latest innovations designed to make customers more successful and revolutionize communication, computing, and creativity.

These keynotes were the culmination of years of work and preparation. They were intended as the last step in the launch of a product that had been secretly developed and was now being revealed for the first time. Apple’s hope was that this would be enough to send products flying off the shelf. And, in most cases, it worked.

However, the majority of us don’t work at Apple.

Our companies don’t hold flashy keynotes to launch new products. At best we might publish a press release. And, perhaps most importantly, our products don’t naturally fly off the shelves just because we launched them.

In fact, launching fully built, production-ready products and services is a huge risk for our organizations. What if no one buys them? Worse, what if no one even tries them? The impact from such a failure would often be significant for the company.

But what if we could reduce the risk of these launches early, at the very beginning of a new project?

What if we could reduce the risk of failure by first thinking through the challenges we might face, the ways we might overcome them, the customer needs we need to satisfy, how we might satisfy them and what success might look like if we accomplish all of that?

Well, we can.

We can do that by drawing inspiration from another tech giant, Amazon. One technique popularized by the retail giant is The Future Press Release.

What Is “The Future Press Release” Technique?

Designed for customer-facing “product” teams — teams that create a product or service to be consumed by either B2C or B2B customers regardless of whether it’s a digital or physical product or service this technique is a valuable exercise that forces teams to consider the value of the thing you’re making for your intended audience BEFORE you start working on it. With this technique, the product teams focus on working backwards to write the successful story of their product before they start working on it.

1 2 3 4 5 6