Senior Product Managers really provide the glue between Product Leads / Group Product Managers (see below), more senior stakeholders in the business and more junior members of the product organization. Whatever you do, give yourself the time you need to get ready for the career move. There is no point in rushing into a head of product position and quickly finding yourself out of your depth in the new role. I might put the bar quite high, but recommend at least three to five years’ experience before becoming a head of product and being able to successfully lead a product management team.

head of product responsibilities

A Director of Product is expected to be able to communicate not just to individual stakeholders and PM contributors, but to their counterparts in design, engineering, data, and business operations. In effect, you are now streamlining the process of building these products with these PMs and ensuring that each PM stays aligned to drive the overall product portfolio through its key objectives. To be a successful head of product, you must have the ability to think strategically. You need to think through each step of the product life cycle, from the initial design to how to eventually launch and distribute the product. The following hard and soft skills will help the head of product meet their job requirements successfully.

The Combined Effort of Product Management and Product Operations

They may be expected to prioritize tasks and collaborate with team members at different levels. It’s an entry-level role usually filled by graduates with some experience or those with a beneficial background in other industries. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Hear about his latest product management work including new articles, videos, podcast episodes, and more.

A Product Lead is one of the more senior roles that still has a hand in the actual development and technical responsibilities for a product. Product Leads are key members of cross-functional product development teams and they will be responsible for interacting and coordinating between departments. They need to work closely with Senior Product Managers and Product Owners to keep the product on target throughout the development process.

Technical skills

However, you can sow the seeds by showing evidence that you can run a tightly-run ship across multiple products within your org. In that case, you might build a comprehensive repertoire for your leadership to become confident about your abilities in a Product Director role. Think of the Head of Product role as the Product Director, defined across a discrete set of product business areas.

  • These are strong skills to learn that will help in the role of a head of product.
  • Someone in their earlier stages of the position that is from somewhere between 1-4 years of experience may earn up to an average of 125,142 dollars annually.
  • This individual is also responsible for managing the product development team.
  • The next step up from Junior Product Manager, a Product Manager will take more responsibility and enjoy greater independence in their day-to-day tasks.

An ideal candidate will seamlessly manage multiple tasks such as drawing actionable insights from quantitative and qualitative data, day-to-day operations, and communicating with multidisciplinary teams. Candidates are required to have management experience and a strong product portfolio. It involves transitioning from managing a product to managing a group of product managers. While the role is still heavily involved with the entire product suite, the head of product is responsible for empowering product managers in their positions.

Senior Product Manager

A PPM will be highly experienced with solid track records of successful execution, oversight, and ownership of various product management processes. The Product Lead role isn’t unlike the Senior Product Manager or VP, except they’re focused more on the hands-on aspect of development rather than intensive management. Product Leads may come from more of technical background and bring remarkable knowledge of a product and its audience to the company. Senior Product Managers collaborate with marketing teams to ensure the most accurate, compelling, and exciting message is conveyed in preparation for the launch (and beyond).

head of product responsibilities

They drive product development and are responsible for their products’ successes and failures. Understanding technical tools and engineering is necessary to ensure that a head of product knows what kind of problems or solutions a certain team can solve. Data analysis is also an important skill set since many employers want testing, data, and user research to drive decision-making. They look out for their team and ensure that they are on track to meet their goals.

Head Of Product Job Description Example

This step up is also a move further away from the day-to-day running of a product. You will be expected to manage a portfolio of products or product groups and define a high level product vision and strategy that looks across the entire product set. There may be multiple Directors / Heads of Product positioned in a product organization.

Becoming a head of product and managing a group of product people is a significant career step. In this article, I share my recommendations to help you get ready for the new job and be off to a great start. As you may have predicted, the role of the Head of Product Management is inherently cross-functional. This position requires that a person closely work with the engineering, design, marketing, sales, and other departments.

They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of their organization’s product offerings, including research and development, design, marketing, sales, etc. Instead of learning all about one user persona, you’ll look for opportunities to share information across the entire team. And you’ll also be responsible for helping your product managers succeed—both at your company and throughout their careers. A head of product will have several years of experience working in a product management team. Most people who obtain this position will have worked as a product manager and have experience managing teams.

They work closely with cross-functional teams such as engineering, design, sales, and marketing to ensure that products are aligned with the company’s overall business goals and meet customer needs. For example, you might decide that as an intermediate step, you aim to manage a larger product and use this opportunity to develop your leadership skills and understanding of product roles. You might also decide to carry out some self-study and read articles and books on (product) leadership or attend a product leadership workshop. As you might have noticed, the list above includes strategic and tactical product management skills. Both are necessary in my experience to effectively support the members of a product management team, understand the challenges they are struggling with, and offer helpful feedback and guidance.

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