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CPO – Backbone to a Great Product

This is the first part of our blog series where we discuss the different roles that make up a Product team.

A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat.

The CPO is a term that has been seen floating around in the Tech Product industry for some time now. We would like to get you acquainted with who they are, what they do, and how relevant they are.

Who is a CPO?

The CPO or the Chief Product Officer is someone who leads a team of pioneers to bring to reality a germ of an idea for a product to fruition. Basically, a CPO and his/her team take an idea, add the right ingredients, and employ different techniques to bring out a great product. 

The CPO, apart from getting the product delivered on time, has to deal with the numerous strategic decisions related to it. He/She has to be prepared to make compromises like adding new features or even killing some to pivot the product to a new direction. All these decisions, some of them difficult, have to be taken by the CPO.

So, what a CPO needs to have is a clear idea of the direction the product has to take. The strategic direction that has to be taken include,

  • Product Vision
  • Product Innovation
  • Product Design
  • Product Development
  • Product Management
  • Product Marketing
What does a CPO do?

The primary goal for any CPO is to lead his/her product management team(s) in creating and delivering products that can provide value to both the customer and the business as a whole. Chief Product Officers achieve this by aligning the needs and goals of both the product and the company.

CPOs communicate across different teams within the product development spectrum. They can speak the different languages that exist within a company. They usually start off with the Engineering-ish spoken by the Engineers then switch it to the Designer talk to hang out with the designers and then break it all down to the marketing team in Marketeer-ese. 

CPOs are known to use this constant switching between these varied languages to move a product from its ideation and conception through development and finally set a course for its release and distribution.

This is how Eligere’s chief honcho Rantej Singh summed the role of a CPO in his blog post.


Why do you need a CPO?

Chief Product Officers are assets that most organizations ignore to appreciate. We can start talking about how they help companies connect to their customers by first evaluating their needs and then directing the team towards building products that will generate high demand.

They are the ones who present product proposals to investors and other stakeholders and convince them to come on board. CPOs bring in the investor crowd by recommending product development strategies that increase revenue in the long run.


CPOs, CTOs, & CMOs….aren’t they the same people?

This is a common misconception that most people have. 

A CPO is the one who takes and makes all important decisions for a product while a CTO checks into the product development process and a CMO markets the product to reach the right customer.

We will be discussing what you need to know before you become a successful CPO in our subsequent blogs. Read more to find out.

Hanfas Backer
Hanfas Backer