Who is Chief Product Officer. Everything you need to know.

What is all the hype about CPO. What does a CPO do. What is their job role. How to choose a CPO. Everything you need to know.


Every company who owns a product wants to make money. The biggest thing that matters right now, is customer satisfaction, which is a result of constantly knowing what the customer wants in your product, and what they think about your product.

In a matter of just two years, the number of job roles for jobs related to improving customer satisfaction and the focus on the customer-facing product teams have increased exponentially. As of April 2020, there are over 1000 job posts related to the product management, and are almost specific to Chief Product Officer.

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The reason for this steep rise in the CPO role is purely because of the need and the pressure to have "Product Leaders" lead the teams instead of only Product Managers. Typically, the role of a CPO is to direct the team to build the right features or improvements that users would pay for. Today, this role has a direct impact on the revenue of the company, making the role of CPO all the more important. Let's learn more about this new role some more.

Everything you need to know about CPO


Who is a Chief Product Officer #

Chief Product Officer is a data driven leader in a company who makes important strategic decisions to achieve the company's goal with product roadmap. The main role of a CPO is to set the strategy, set the vision and to measure the KPIs of the product to satisfy the customers and business goals. This role has a direct impact on the revenue or the company.


What is the role & responsibility of a CPO #

The role of the Chief Product Officer is pretty focused when compared to other C-suite leadership roles.

  • Develop Product Strategy
  • Gather customer feedback
  • Leader Product Development team
  • Work with CTO & Design team to direct product stability
  • Measure and take decisions based on KPIs
  • Hiring & firing people from product development team
  • Measure and update roadmap based on results

What impact can a CPO have in the company #

Customer Satisfaction and Revenue are the two biggest business areas in which a Chief Product Officer has the maximum impact on. This is because of the importance of the job role where major strategic decisions are made that either makes or breaks a product.


How to upskill someone to be a CPO #

Chief Product Officer is a brand new role in the industry. No one comes with prior experience working as a CPO for over a decade. Though there are assumptions of someone knowing how to be a CPO, it is still a role that is being tested under different environments.

The best people who seem to fit in the CPO roles are:

  • the ones who managed the product in the company;
  • the ones who have leadership skills;
  • the ones who are technical enough to know what technology is best for the product;
  • the ones who can differentiate between good and bad design;
  • the one who are good in communicating critical problems with the customers;
  • the ones who give a damn about their product;
  • the ones who know to use analytical tools and feedback management tools;

What is the difference between CPO and CTO #

But wait, the Chief Product Officer's (CPO) job description, roles and responsibilities are way too similar to that of a Chief Technology Officer (CTO). How is a CPO different from that of a CTO in the company? Where do they draw the line between their job roles? Can both CPO and CTO co-exist? We've got some answers.

Though the difference between these two roles are not written in stone right now, the goal of both CTO and CPO remains the same. Which is to make sure the product meets the customer intention and the business goals.

The CPO defines why a feature exists, why the roadmap looks the way it is, and all these based on the data they collect from maybe a feature upvote tool, where customers vote for what features they would pay for.

While the role of the CTO is to make sure the product's features works the way it is meant to work, technically. They take care of the reliability of the product features, the response time and everything technical.


What is Data Driven Leadership (DDL) #

Unlike other C-level leaders in the company, the main focus and thinking process of the Chief Product Officer is geared towards a Data Driven Leadership. Data driven leadership is the way in which important decisions are made in a company based on the data that are available at their disposal. Not based on gut, experience or anything else, btu purely based on data. It doesn't stop just with making decisions based on the data, but the results are also measured at every step of the product journey.

Here is a very nice article from HBR about Data Driven Leadership and its impact it has on the company. Read here.

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Hellonext is a product feedback management software that enables teams to collect, organize and update feedback from their customers. Build by and for Product Managers, Product Owners & Chief Product Officers, Hellonext is the go-to platform to know what feature to build next that users would pay for. Get a free trial of Hellonext today →