Product Directors - What Do They Do? | Hannington Tame
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Product Directors – a Quick Guide for the Uninitiated

You think you need a slightly more up-to-date IT department; someone has said you need to employ a CTO alongside your CIO; your competitors are beginning to sell themselves on their digital credentials; suppliers approach you with a dizzying array of technical solutions: what to do?

The Gordian knot of legacy IT systems and (maybe even more important) legacy HR structures can be sliced away by the new/old job of a Product Director.  Unlike weird new job titles like Chief Digital Officer, the role of Product has been present in almost all sectors in one guise or another for decades.  In the digital / tech world, Product has developed to sit at the intersection of the customer, tech teams and commercial insight.  In other words, they use a full range of old and new methodologies from consumer surveys to big data to understand what the customer wants, have enough technical expertise to know what is feasible in what timeframe and understand the business or commercial imperatives.  Think of them almost as a Digital COO or as the glue which aligns customer focused activity and makes it happen.  They should share a digital culture in their outlook; data and emotionally driven, able to spot the weaknesses in the chain-link system that is a customer journey; test and learn in real life not theorise on power-point; influence the entire organisation from boardroom to shop-floor and have a passion for the latest tech developments tempered by a realistic appreciation of the business’s needs.  Want one?  Give us a call.

James Minter

James Minter is a partner at Hannington Tame, the digital CEO and C-Suite headhunting specialist.


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