They also allow the team to ”break out” of their highly demanding daily routine. As a product leader, you should put a significant amount of time and energy into this aspect of your job. Product managers advocate for their products with executives and other stakeholders.

They communicate their product’s strategy to relevant teams such as development and sales. As with any bigger career step, it’s helpful to develop a realistic outlook of when you will be ready to apply for a head of product position. Then identify and prioritise any bigger shortcomings that you need to address, and determine the right learning and development measures.

What is a head of product?

Generally speaking, this position will take on more responsibility, and begin to work more on setting processes and strategies, rather than implementing the day-to-day task of executing those strategies. A product manager may take on responsibility for a specific product or feature (e.g. the news feed for a social media site). They look out for their team and ensure that they are on track to meet their goals. This could involve collaborating with team members, removing roadblocks, or participating in meetings with stakeholders. According to, the salary of a head of product differs according to an individual’s experience. 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.

He advises multiple early stage startups, backed by his experience building product and design orgs at Deloitte Digital and Nike. He also teaches product and design topics at multiple institutions like Pluralsight. When not working, you can find him writing and composing bad cover versions of Disney songs. Think of the Head of Product role as the Product Director, defined across a discrete set of product business areas. The Head of Product role might also be responsible for researching and prioritizing which new products to pursue, and to manage new product or portfolio development.

Tips for Stocking the Product Backlog

The main responsibility of a Head of Product will be to guide improvement within the teams they work with. They should be making sure that everyone working under them is a strong player. Managing products is very different from managing people, and knowing who has the skills to move up in your organization can be a big challenge.

So, we’ll start by reminding you that moving up on the company org chart isn’t always the right strategy for everyone. To get a sense of what’s best for your career, let’s discuss these roles and how they differ. By seamlessly transitioning from an individual contributor PM role to a more people-focused one with greater responsibilities. In this article will explain what a typical director of product role looks like and what it takes to prepare yourself for becoming one. Nurture your inner tech pro with personalized guidance from not one, but two industry experts.

Product Alignment

Additionally, being an effective leader requires you to cultivate a genuine caring attitude for the people you want to lead, whether you like them or not. It means that you’ll have to deal with people issues on a regular basis, help and support the individuals who are on your team, constructively address problems and offer advice. The Head of Product Management also works very closely with the engineering department, design, sales, marketing, and other departments to deliver the business’s product into the market. The role of Head of Product Management demands that the individual in its occupation be a highly analytical individual who is able to work quite effectively in a matrix environment. The position also requires that the occupier be adept at synthesizing various technologies and capabilities into the business’s products in such a way that the consumers will love.

head of product role

But first, they will need to develop a strong product portfolio, build a robust skillset, and learn how to effectively manage a team. A head of product will talk with cross-functional teams to ensure they understand the product vision, expectations for their role, and are meeting goals. This role involves effective communication and aligning the entire company on the product strategy.

The Head of Product Role in a Nutshell

Those who take up the have the ability to significantly change the direction of product management at a company and shape its Product Culture. 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. 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.

head of product role

According to a Payscale report, the typical base salary for a Director of Product role in the United States is $173,473. Then, you’ll have an excellent foundation for building a case for yourself to rise to the Director of Product role. To do that, you need to know how each product fits well within the product portfolio and then define critical outcomes to help each PM understand their product’s role within the business. 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.

It’s not necessary to have an advanced degree but having an MBA or other graduate degree may make a product person a more competitive candidate. As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop, it will be used to automate tasks that are too complex for humans to handle. This trend will have a significant impact on the job market, as many jobs that are currently done by humans will be taken over by AI. Find out what a head of product does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a head of product. A successful head of product must be comfortable dealing with a bit of uncertainty.

  • While the role is still mostly focused on the product rather than management, it is still a leadership role.
  • It’s not necessary to have an advanced degree but having an MBA or other graduate degree may make a product person a more competitive candidate.
  • For example, a Director of Product role would have a significant part of their day devoted to being able to drive product strategy decisions across the teams and continuously optimize the process to navigate product development roadblocks.
  • But just because a Junior Product Manager is product management on a smaller scale doesn’t mean it’s easy to work.

Specialised Marketing Assessments readily available as pre-made products for franchises and specific industries. Product managers figure out what to do, and product operations figure out how to do… Product managers often find themselves distracted by requests and demands from many sources.