Director of Product Management

A Director of Product Management is responsible for a business’s product planning and execution all through the lifecycle of the business.

This is inclusive of gathering and prioritizing requirements for the product, defining the vision for the product, and collaborating with other directors from the engineering, marketing, sales, and operations departments in order to ensure that the financial and consumer satisfaction goals are met.

In addition to this, the Director of Product Development also ensures that that the company’s overall strategy and goals are supported by those of the product; that the product goals and strategy do not deviate from that of the business.

Objectives and Responsibilities of the Director of Product Management

Supervisory Role: First and foremost, the position is a position of leadership and in this capacity the Director of Product Management oversees and is answerable to the Chief Product Officer and stakeholders for all activities of the product management department. The Director of Product Development oversees and ensures that the functions of the Junior Product Manager, Product Manager, Senior Product Manager, and Head of Product Management are efficiently and effectively executed.

Collaboration: The role of Director of Product Development is also one of a cross-functional nature and as such, the Director is expected to liaise with other Product Line Directors. These are Directors of the engineering, marketing, sales, and design departments. The reason for this collaboration is to place the executive management in a position to translate the product needs into requirements and to drive consensus within the product departments, which ultimately promotes the achievement of the product goals. Collaboration leads to clear and efficient product road mapping, product planning, prioritization, and an overall agile product development process.

Product Proposals: The Junior Product Managers are tasked with the analysis of information and formulations of product solutions and strategies that are presented and refined further up the line. The Director receives numerous Product Proposals from his junior managers through the Head of Product Management. He is then expected to evaluate these proposals prior to authorizing the effect of any solutions and strategies for the business’s product.

Stakeholders: The Director is answerable not only directly to the Chief Product Officer but to the stakeholders of the business. The Director is tasked with keeping the stakeholders up to date on product process and progress.

Vision Creation: As the leader of the product department, it is the Director’s responsibility to build an understanding and cultivate in the departments’ members the product’s vision, the business case, as well as compiling the product planning material necessary for driving product initiatives further with clarity and consensus.

Product Line lifecycle: The Director of Product Development, alongside other product Directors, is also responsible for developing, defining, and overseeing the product’s roadmap and managing it as required for the purpose of meeting deliverables for the business. At this capacity, the Director of Product Development also incorporates the existing development backlog and makes priorities as determined by the business, consumer, and market needs.

Consumer Relations: The Director of Product Management does not simply rely on the input and feedback of the junior product managers when it comes to consumer relations. A Director of Product Management is also responsible for engaging extensively with consumers in order to gain first hand insight on the consumers’ and market feedback on the business’s product. This first hand information coupled with consumer and market information relayed to him by the junior product managers  breeds a clearer understanding of the current and future market direction, needs, and potential receptivity.

Product/Market Strategy: The Director of Product Management also works intimately with the marketing department to develop marketing strategies, lead generation strategies, and sales strategies. The Director also partners up with the sales department to build on product unit sales implementation as well as support strategies.

Research and Analyses: The Director of Product Development is also tasked with conducting relevant product research; establishing competitive intelligence and various market analyses that supplement and compliments analyses already conducted by junior product managers. The Director of Product Development in this capacity is responsible conducting consumer and market research that further aids the business in understanding current and future product needs.

Product Evangelism:  Like the Head of Product Management, the Director is tasked with representing the business and promoting the product by advocating for its value and benefits at executive briefings, marketing events, online consumer platforms, and so forth.

Other Duties: The Director of Product Management also performs other duties as required by the Chief Product Officer or the Employer.

Required Qualifications of the Director of Product Management

Education: The Director of Product Management has to have a master’s Degree in Product Leadership, Business Administration, Marketing, Finance, Economics, or an equivalent in work experience.

Experience and Track Record: A suitable candidate will have 10-15 years experience in performance of functions as a Head of Product Management. He will also have a proven track record in product planning, defining and launching successful products, unifying product portfolios, and working with SaaS product lines. Also, candidates will need to show that they have had experience in thought leadership in order to be better positioned to drive and inspire such a large and important department.

As a bonus, a suitable candidate for the position will have had some experience in financial services.

Communication Skills: The Director of Product Development will also possess excellent communication skills. These are necessary because the position is one of a cross-functional nature that demands constant interactions and deliberations with other departmental directors. In addition to this, the Director of Product Management will constantly make presentations to the Chief Product officer and stakeholders as well as representing the business and the product in external functions. All these roles require that the individual occupying the position; have superior communication skills both in verbal and in written form.

Analytical Skills: As mentioned in the functions, the Director of Product Management is responsible evaluation and authorization of proposed solutions and strategies from junior managers. As such, candidates will need to have a superior ability to synthesize diverse and complex information and data and design refined strategies, solutions, workflows, and procedures that are presentable to the Chief Product Officer and stakeholders.

Leadership: As the Director of the Product Management department, all junior managers look up to you for leadership and direction. As such, the director must have excellent leadership qualities and have the ability to influence and inspire the junior managers in applying various approaches or strategies for the product. In addition to this, the director also acts as a mentor for junior managers, offering guidance in the performance of their functions and readying them for the assumption of the director’s position in his absence or retirement.

People Skills: Due to the high level of interactions that is demanded by this position, candidates must have excellent people skills and not just leadership skills. People skills enable the creation of long-lasting working relationships with consumers and well as facilitation of smooth collaboration and performance of functions internally.

Ms Office: The Director of Product Management must be proficient in Ms Word and the Ms Excel analytical tools. He must also demonstrate expertise in the use of PowerPoint in order to create engaging content for presentations made to the Chief Product Officer, the stakeholders, as well as external partners.

Work Ethic: The Director must be an individual who performs and completes tasks in a timely fashion; adheres to work place procedures, policies and ethics; is a creative thinker who can develop product solutions on short notice; and who displays calmness and composure in the face of immense workload and pressure.

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