Chief Product Officer (CPO): Discover the role of CPOs and why they are essential.
Valentin Huang 06/14/2023 Glossary
2 Minutes

If you are a product manager, you might have wondered what it takes to become a chief product officer (CPO). A CPO is a senior executive who leads the entire product organization and sets the strategic product direction. 

But how do you become a CPO? What skills and competencies do you need to succeed in this role? And what are the challenges and opportunities that a CPO faces in today’s dynamic and competitive market?

Who is a Chief Product Officer?

The Chief Product Officer (CPO) is a qualified and experienced person who identifies the need for the product, visualizes it, executes the entire creation process and successfully launches it to the market with the help of the entire team. The CPO makes all key decisions regarding the product and reports directly to the CEO of the company. The CPO must be highly skilled and possess interpersonal skills such as communication, management, persuasion, etc. to lead the team effectively.


Importance of Chief Product Officer

Digital transformation has completely changed the course of business execution. Especially, in the post-pandemic world, many trends and traditions have become obsolete and others are emerging. People have adapted to the post-pandemic world and have invented a new set of patterns of interacting with people and companies. Earlier, people used to visit markets in person to buy a product, and salespeople used to tell the features and benefits of the product on the spot. Now the whole mechanism of buying products has been transformed. People prefer to shop online and have a multitude of options. This set of guidelines has made the role of a salesperson less essential and has created a space for an expert and highly qualified person who knows how to present a product in the market and persuade customers to buy it among the many other options available. This changing world shows how important a Chief Product Officer can be for any company today. 

Difference between CPO, CTO, and Other Product Officers:

The Chief Product Officer (CPO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and other product officers such as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Product Management Director and Head of Product Analysis have the same ultimate goal i.e., the successful launch of the product. What differentiates them is their approach to achieving the goal. The CPO deals with the "why" of the product while the CTO deals with the "how". After launching the product on the market, the CPO collects customer's product feedback on the product to improve its features, while the CTO relies on the CPO’s data to improve the technical side. 

Key Objectives of Chief Product Officer:

The Chief Product Officer (CPO) makes all key product-related decisions and oversees the entire team. In making these decisions, he or she must be clear about their objectives. Some of the CPO's objectives are listed below:

  1. Product vision
  2. Successful product launch
  3. Leading the team
  4. Identifying potential product shortcomings
  5. Product management
  6. Marketing the product
  7. Research work to update the product in a timely manner

CPOs can take advantage of online tools available on the market to meet their objectives. One of them is Harvestr. It allows CPOs to collect the customer's feedback and insights and make product-related decisions accordingly. 

How Can One Become a Chief Product Officer?

To become a CPO you must have at least a bachelor's degree in a technical field such as Information Technology, Engineering, Business Administration, etc. Most companies require post-graduate or doctoral degrees for a candidate to be eligible. In terms of experience, this is an executive level position, so companies require a minimum of ten years of experience. In addition, interpersonal skills must be honed to be suitable for the position.


Concluding remarks

The scope of the Chief Product Officer has increased dramatically. One must have the necessary skills and qualifications to be right for the job. In an otherwise shrinking job market, the chances of getting a job are maximized if you have the right skills. To learn more about the Product Manager and improve your virtual performance, visit Harvestr.



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