Optimal Product Process™ 3.0 Phase Seven: Retire

This post describes the seventh phase in the Optimal Product Process: Retire. Download the entire Optimal Product Process E-Book 3.0: CLICK HERE

“A poorly executed end-of-life and product retirement can cost companies millions and significantly damage the company’s brand”

As the product ages it may be revised, with a new version as a replacement, or it might be intentionally discontinued or sold on an ongoing basis without much effort being put into it. Either way, at some point the product will be retired. For some products this isn’t much of an issue. The inventory can be sold off, or the product can be removed from a website or price list.

For other products, such as Enterprise software or products being sold in the financial, government or medical fields, end-of-life can be a critical factor that must be planned for and dealt with effectively. And even in the consumer space this can be critical. Consider what would happen to Apple if they did the wrong thing with retiring a product when coming out with a new version. They might end up with billions of dollars of useless inventory and losses as well as a loss of reputation and customer loyalty.

Resource Tip: What is a Product End of Life (EOL) Plan?

Overview of the Retire Phase

Key Tasks

Product Manager: investigate fully the impact of retiring a product on all parts of the business: sales, operations and service are primary departments to check with.

Key Deliverables

An executed end-of-life plan.

Core Skills

Customer and product analysis, strategic planning.

Decision at The Gate

There is often no gate at the end of retire. If you are diligent, review and document what went well and what didn’t go so well.

End-of-Life Date Terminology

Download The Optimal Product Process E-Book 3.0

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This book describes the seven phases of the Optimal Product Process: Conceive, Plan, Develop, Qualify, Launch, Maximize and Retire. It also covers the roles, responsibilities, tasks and documents associated with each phase. The Optimal Product Process is built on the worldwide-standard Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) seven-phase framework. The seven-phase framework defines the Product Lifecycle’s seven phases and corresponding tasks that every product or service encounters from conceive to end-of-life.

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