CPO vs Head of Product: Whats the Difference? 2023

They play a crucial role in influencing a product organization’s culture and strategic direction. Renga works at the intersection of product and marketing at Anushka Ventures. He advises multiple early stage startups, backed by his experience building product and design orgs at Deloitte Digital and Nike. He also teaches product and design topics at multiple institutions like Pluralsight. When not working, you can find him writing and composing bad cover versions of Disney songs. Add the ability to help them overcome roadblocks and impediments in building the product, and you’ll have shown clear evidence of your ability to step up to the director role.

head of product

In this article, I share my recommendations to help you get ready for the new job and be off to a great start. Becoming a head of product is a career aspiration for many product managers and product owners. However, if your company creates apps or software, you may need more extensive experience in these areas. You need to be able to work with the engineers to identify and solve problems and ensure that the product delivers a positive user experience.

Head of Product Career Path & How To Become One

A product manager may take on responsibility for a specific product or feature (e.g. the news feed for a social media site). In larger companies, there are a few standard roles in the management structure. From the Chief Product Officer, to Head of Product and VP of Product, these roles have their own defined responsibilities. An organization that places a priority on cultivating a product excellence mindset – a customer-focused framework for developing an impactful product – should have a CPO.

Along with others, it’s my job to think about the future, help the company gain a taste for it, and understand what we’re building to in the longer term. It is our job to set the tone, create a fertile environment and keep it healthy. This individual’s main aim is to improve product experience in this fast-paced changing world by offering new creative ideas to achieve maximum customer satisfaction.

Developing Skills

By ensuring that everyone understands the problems and opportunities we need to tackle, I empower our teams to devise and deliver effective and creative solutions. It’s also part of my role to inspire everyone to think bigger and bolder than they are necessarily comfortable with and help to remove the sense of fear when taking risks is what’s required. I help guide the direction by providing suggestions of what the destination might look like and how we might know when we get there. I make sure that that the road is clear, help people understand where on the journey we are and support the team when a change in direction is required.

head of product

So, for a finished product that will wow the recruiter, make use of our writing guide and head of product CV example below. The VP of Product is slightly below the Head of Product, though in some teams these titles may be used interchangeably. Often, the VP of Product and Head of Product are two terms that are used for the same role. In teams with both, however, the Head of Product sits slightly higher on the ladder. As Marty Cagan and Ben Horowitz had remarked on the topic, the Director of Product role is the essential non-C level role in a company.

Required Qualifications of the Head of Product Management

Through how we organise the teams and set their missions, I help provide a high-level prioritisation and focus. I work to ensure the teams feel a strong sense of ownership over their own mission and goals and also have support from the CEO and other stakeholders about how they go about achieving them. A head of product typically has a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field.

  • For instance, you might show the individuals how they can make effective strategic product decisions, create an actionable product roadmap, and effectively use the right KPIs.
  • It’s my job to help find and highlight the opportunities and problems and explain the reasons why we might do things in simple terms that make sense to all.
  • You’ll rarely see one of these roles in a small organization, but they’re common and have different duties in a big organization.
  • He’d often return to the office to find that the CTO had gone in a direction with which he completely disagreed.
  • However, less experienced candidates can provide a more thorough list of qualifications, including A-Levels and GCSEs.

This can include senior product managers and even junior products managers. Often the head of product is responsible for hiring, training, and maintaining a relationship with product managers. This helps ensure strong team development and promotes a positive work environment. Excellent communications skills can’t be overemphasized for heads of product. This position will frequently find itself in a position where they need to actively listen, communicate priorities, and resolve conflicts. A head of product will need to develop stronger partnerships with engineering, sales, operations, and marketing teams to ensure success.

Should I Be a Product Manager? Try the PM Careers Quiz

They aim to do market research and analysis to understand better and develop a product for its market. They may delegate some of the more hands-on, daily workings of the product management team, such as processes, personnel and cross-department cooperation, to a leadership position lower down the ladder. A senior product manager may also begin to mentor younger team members, and grow into more of a leadership role, alongside the hands-on work of building and shipping products. This person is usually new to product management, and comes in with the goal of learning the ropes, while also assisting with day-to-day tasks of the product managers above them. It’s important for a product manager to evaluate their current situation and assess where they may need to improve to move forward in product management. This could involve taking on larger projects in your current role or networking with industry experts to learn about the latest trends.

head of product

The format and structure of your CV is important because it will determine how easy it is for recruiters and employers to read your CV. The Head of Product will work closely with both the CPO and VP of Product, with the Head of Product and VP generally taking on slightly different scope with their day-to-day tasks. If you chose the people path, you might be contemplating the Director of Product role. If you want easy recruiting from a global pool of skilled candidates, we’re here to help.

Product Vision

Their job is to craft a coherent long-term product strategy, which matches that of the entire company. CareerFoundry is an online school for people looking to switch to a rewarding career in tech. Select a program, get paired with an expert mentor and tutor, and become a job-ready designer, developer, or analyst from scratch, or your money back.

Demonstrating these qualities would help your leadership evaluate and recognize your ability to excel at your role as a Product Director. Eventually, your role becomes more of being able to support and unblock the productivity of these PMs, and less about driving the actual product. Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from https://wizardsdev.com/en/vacancy/head-of-product/ top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates. My own role is primarily about communication and coordination, and providing direction and focus. However, before making any business decision, you
should consult a professional who can advise you based on your
individual situation.