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How to be a more strategic Chief Product Officer CPO

As a Chief Product Officer (CPO), you play a critical role in shaping your company's success. Not only are you responsible for delivering revenue growth, but you also need to lead sustainability and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements to protect the company's reputation. 

Being strategic as a product leader means making decisions, managing risk and taking actions that align with the overall goals and vision of the organisation and support its long-term success.

Being strategic involves understanding the market, regulatory requirements, competition, customer needs, and industry trends, and using this knowledge to drive product development,  go-to-market plans, lifecycle assessments and product exists. A strategic product leader prioritises initiatives for revenue growth and compliance, allocates resources, and makes trade-offs based on the potential impact on the company's success.

Here are some tips to help you be a more strategic CPO who can balance financial and non-financial priorities.

  1. Develop a clear vision for the product across complete lifecycle: Define your product vision, goals, and objectives. This will help you make informed decisions that align with the company's overall strategy and priorities.
  2. Conduct market research: Stay up-to-date on industry trends, customer needs, regulatory trends and competitor offerings. This external view and information will help you make informed decisions about product development and lifecycle positioning.
  3. Collaborate with key stakeholders: Work closely with cross-functional teams, including sales, marketing, risk, legal and engineering, to ensure that everyone is aligned on product strategy, product health and lifecycle stage.
  4. Consider sustainability: When developing new products, consider their impact on the environment and ensure they meet sustainability standards. Product-level sustainability statements will help protect the company's reputation and meet growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products. Ensure your product managers are conducting annual product reviews that monitor sustainability and social impacts.
  5. Stay compliant: Stay up-to-date on industry regulations and ensure that your products meet all relevant standards. Setting an annual product governance calendar that includes the regulatory requirements at the design stage and consistently monitoring post-launch will help protect the company's reputation and avoid costly penalties for non-compliance.
  6. Embrace innovation: Encourage a culture of innovation within your team and embrace experimentation and new technologies that can help improve product development and increase efficiency. Encourage an inclusive culture but also support friction to challenge assumptions.
  7. Monitor and Measure success: Regularly monitor and measure your product's success and make data-driven decisions. Consistent monitoring and conducting annual product reviews will help you identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about future product development and emerging risk in your portfolio.

So my quick run-down on being a strategic CPO is that it requires balancing the financial and non-financial priorities of the company. By developing a clear vision, conducting market research, collaborating with key stakeholders, considering sustainability, staying compliant, embracing innovation, and measuring success, you can help drive revenue growth and protect the company's reputation.

Download our Product Monitoring & Reviews Playbook to learn how to effectively conduct product monitoring and governance reviews utilising automation and artificial intelligence to win back time so you can focus on growth. 


 About Leica Ison and Skyjed

‍Leica Ison has held leadership roles in product for over two decades and in her executive career has launched more than 55 product to market.  She is the founder of Skyjed a product lifecycle and governance platform. Skyjed’s Ai-powered end-to-end product platform bring together every data point across the entire product portfolio into a single source of product truth.  Skyjed was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in London and offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. For more information visit Skyjed