Who is controlling your products? This is an easy question! Customers are! But are they? And should they? The answer is: Yes! Building great products is all about what the customer needs. Customers are the actual users of your products, as such they are the ones who derive value from the solutions.
Ideally, your customers should love your products. But who is responsible for ensuring that this “love-affair” will take place? That person is the “Product Manager“.
The Product Manager – or as we at NEXTAGE Advisory Services prefer to call the position: The Chief Product Officer (CPO) – has the ultimate responsibility for understanding the needs of the customer, whether that represents current or prospective situations. This understanding will be obtained from various intelligence and feedback streams from the field and from the company’s internal processes.
Having this ultimate responsibility, the CPO sits on a very important organizational role. A role not to be confused with or compared to a CTO (Chief Technology Officer). The CPO is responsible for the strategy, roadmap and the feature definition for a product or product line. Additionally and equally important for the wholeness of the work are tasks like forecasting and P&L (profit and loss), that also should fall under the responsibilities.
Who in your company is managing your products?
No other executive in a company is truly chartered with knowing the customer needs and product features as deeply as a CPO. Without this dedicated function, customers could end up with a product which is essentially equipped with all kinds of features, but truly not for the real need and purpose.
All too often, what happens in companies without this CPO-function and thus crucial customer understanding and deep product knowledge, is that their R&D and Engineering departments just crank out feature enhancements and added complexities to a product, in order to make customers happy. Such activity is usually based on input from the sales department and sadly; without the vital product management intermediary. A direct customer -to- developer pipeline can result in an endless chain of random additions. A very costly exercise and on top of that it entails loss of customers satisfaction.
Put simply, the role of a CPO is to balance strategies and tactical enhancements for the company’s long-term success. So, I repeat the question: who in your company is managing your products?
How to reclaim control of your products
If you have recognized the need of a better control of your product strategy and product management, NEXTAGE Advisory Services can help you and knows exactly how to go forward.
NEXTAGE Advisory Services, with our vast experience of Products and a long experience of leadership in several industries, will help your company to define your product strategy, implement it and successfully execute it. We speed up the actions and know how to motivate an organization to work towards common goals.
Our client-product-based approach differentiates NEXTAGE Advisory Services from other actors on the market. We believe that your product and your visions around it are what makes your company truly unique. We can promise you a greater understanding of innovation and its financial impact on your business today and in the future. This is the key for staying ahead of your competition on the market and to increase your profitability.
Senior Advisor at NEXTAGE Advisory Services & MD at Geneswiss Consultancy