On-AMZN: Business Insider wrote an article about how the Amazon AWS group uses the “Future Press Release” to articulate the definition and the path to launching a great service or feature. The Future Presss Release is a great approach to define clear and lofty goals, requirements and objectives and build broad understanding from the start of a program or enterprise change. Imagine that your organization is beginning to undertake a critical enterprise or competitive endeavor. It could be to launch a new product, undergo a transformation, or enter a new market. Writing a future press release is a great technique. But there are rules to make these effective:
Rule 1: Must be stated at a future point in time where success has been achieved and realized. Press releases at “launch” are good, but a better one is sometime after launch, where true success can be discussed.
Rule 2: Discuss why it was important, often time to customers (or other key stakeholders). Discuss the accomplishments first in terms of why it is important to customers. How did the customer experience improve? Why do customer care? Then discuss other reasons why it was important and key goals.
Rule 3: Set an audacious and clear goal: Articulate a clear measurable results including financial, operating, market share
Rule 4: Outline the principles used that led to success. This is the trickiest, and more important. Outline the hard things accomplished, the important decisions, the design principles that led to success. Discuss the issues that had to be addressed to have success
The future press release is a type of forcing function. Once reviewed and approved, teams have a difficult time backing out of the commitments made. A leader can refer to many parts of the press release and use it to remind and hold teams accountable. It paints a clear vision to galvanize understanding and commitment. Write your press release today!
Why Amazon forces its developers to write press releases
By Jillian D’Onfro
Before Amazon developers write a single line of code, they have to write the hypothetical product’s press release and FAQ announcement.
Amazon uses this “working backwards” approach because it forces the team to get the most difficult discussions out of the way early, Jassy says. They need to fully understand what the product’s value proposition will be and how it will be pitched to customers. If the team can’t come up with a compelling press release, the product probably isn’t worth making.
It also helps with more rapid iteration and keeps the team on track, Jassy explained