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What, exactly, is a Product Head? (Or Head of Product!)

Product Head. Head of Product. Product Manager. Product Guru. Product what? These terms are so confusing. And each job position requires a separate blog entry. Contrary to popular belief, a product manager is not the same as a product head (or head of product). We all know what a product manager does. But what does a Product Head do? Or for that matter, what does a Head of Product do? And how do these positions differ from a Product Manager?

For our purposes, we will consider a Product Head to be the same as Head of Product. But let’s now get down to the nitty-gritty.

Key Responsibilities

A Product Head is more than a symbolic head of state. He or she is the vision bearer for the organization. But the job entails oh so much more. Here is what one has to do. (Bear in mind that depending on the nature of the business, responsibilities may vary slightly.)

  • Product Vision Leader. As mentioned, the Head of Product is the vision bearer for the organization. He or she has to develop new product ideas and see them through implementation. The Product Head should also do extensive market research and ensure that the ideas have a significant impact. And oh, they should not be afraid to say “No. This idea won’t work” to the CEO
  • Work with cross functional teams. Like in any position of great responsibility, the ability to work across teams is essential. As you can imagine, the product head should be engaged with marketing teams, tech teams, customer facing teams, financial teams; basically any team that would help in strategic planning and product implementation!
  • Product Improvement. Although this might be a slight overlap with what a product manager does, it nonetheless is an important responsibility. The product head strives to improve upon existing products and features based on market research.

In addition to these key responsibilities, the product head needs to have a broad range of skills. Some can only be acquired through experience, so most product heads are wizened!

Let’s look at some of the skills required.

Skills Needed

  • People Management Skills. As Head of Product, the ability to lead people is a must! After all, you might have great product vision, but if you don’t have the necessary people skills to pull it off, it will all go in vain
  • Problem-solving. Almost goes without saying. But superior analytical and problem-solving skills is a MUST!
  • Entrepreneurial mindset. Think like an entrepreneur! You have to be self-motivated with a strong sense of ownership in order to be an effective Product Head

So now you’ve learned (perhaps more than you wanted to know!) about what a Product Head does. And some of the skills required. Or if you are in the field already, this brief post gives you a review. If you want to showcase your amazing product vision in a niche domain, you could do no better than to head on over to this page, register, and solve the challenge that’s thrown at you. Go on. Become the Product Head for an amazing, fast growing company!

Comments

2 Comments

Deepak Jain

Written very well. But, you may add further content to help novice and experienced professionals.
Thumbs up!

Rohit Gupta

Thanks for the feedback Deepak. We will be sure to include a follow up blog to help explain the concept.


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About Author

Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.