If you take one thing away from this AMA, it’s that you need a source of truth for your launch activities. Please don’t run a launch without one, I’m begging you.
Unsurprisingly, at Airtable we use Airtable to do this. I’d recommend it, it’s worked well for us. But I won’t give you too much of a sales pitch on why since that's likely not what you're looking for. What I will say, is you need a place where you can list out every activity, the owner, the status, due date, approval activity, and assets in one place. That way you can have a view of where things stand at any given point in time and spot problems or missed deadlines. Hiccups, delays, and mistakes happen in every launch, you can't get in front of every single one of them, but you can make a system that makes those problems easier to spot, so you can fix them. We use our Airtable base asynchronously to keep an eye on progress and also bring it up during check-in meetings to see how work is progressing.
Cross functionally, I’d recommend a frequent cadence of check-in meetings that map out the main activities for each involved function. My product and CSM counterparts don’t need to see every line item of social copy or email hero image that the marketing team is tracking in our Airtable base, so our updates for the group are on the highest priority activities and anything we're working on that impacts other teams. Those check-in meetings might start once a month at the beginning of a launch process but get weekly or twice weekly as you get closer to launch. Our meetings included representatives from PMM, campaign management, creative, product management, product operations, engineering leadership, sales, CSM, support, and internal comms.
A few weeks before launch, you should create a “run of show” plan in partnership with product and engineering. This maps out exactly when things are going live, who is on the hook, and key dependencies between the two. For example, in our recent launch, we needed our website to deploy before we could push our feature live in product because we had links in our product experience that took users to our web content, and didn’t want to ship a product with broken links. We might have missed this step without creating that run of show. The side benefit of making that is that it’s really fun to cross each checkmark off of your run of show plan when you complete them on the day of launch.