It’s safe to say digital product leaders have never been in higher demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook predicted that by the end of the decade, the software development field will grow by 22%. Product executives are critical players in the execution, promotion, and success of software and application development.
Finding the right digital product leader is essential to moving a business forward in today’s competitive landscape. But how do you measure success and identify a quality candidate?
Looking for someone with the most experience alone may not be the best way to go about it. Instead, consider looking for candidates who exhibit certain traits of highly effective digital product leaders.
In this blog post, we’ll cover 10 traits that can enable potential digital product leaders to reach their full potential and help give your business a competitive edge. Let’s dive in!
10 Traits of Highly Effective Digital Product Leaders
Early Adopter of Technology
By being an early adopter, product leaders will be at the front edge of product development and can proactively anticipate potential innovations based on emerging trends. It also allows product leaders to identify new opportunities in the market that may not have yet been taken advantage of. Additionally, it’s important to stay ahead of competitors in terms of product offerings; being able to access new technologies provides product leaders with a strategic advantage over their competition while allowing them to keep up with changing environments.
Fluent in Engineer – Speak
As product leaders, having the ability to collaborate closely with engineers is crucial for success. Since product leaders typically manage product vision and product strategy, they need engineering resources to bring those visions and strategies to life. Being able to work effectively with engineers helps product teams identify new solutions, create product features that meet customer needs, and gain an understanding of technical constraints to drive product decisions. In addition, by having close ties with engineering teams, product leaders can help ensure successful launches. Working together allows product leaders to understand how their ideas and goals fit into the framework of a technical project timeline and execution plans for development teams.
Having the ability to think strategically gives product leaders an edge in terms of achieving success. Strategic thinking helps them consider all aspects of product development such as customer preference, product features and market trends, providing an overall perspective that is necessary for product-based businesses. Additionally, having the capacity for strategic thinking enables product leaders to think ahead and identify potential problems before they arise, allowing them to plan and address any issues from a proactive rather than reactive approach.
Project Manager Masters
Project management skills are essential to a digital product leader’s success. It is important for them to be able to effectively prioritize their team’s tasks, allocate resources wisely, and ensure that the product development process runs smoothly. Being able to properly manage projects also means product leaders can establish deadlines and set measurable goals that they and their teams can strive towards in an efficient manner.
UX skills are essential in understanding the product development process, creating an intuitive product design, and anticipating user behavior. By cultivating their UX skillset product leaders can ensure their product is the best version it can be. For example, product leaders must be able to keep users top-of-mind while taking data-driven approaches from extracting customer insights to developing feature iterations. Through leveraging UX principles, product leaders can create products that consider user needs and truly add value to existing markets and customers.
Curiosity is an essential tool for product leaders to create better products and experiences for users. By fostering a culture of curiosity, they can make informed decisions about product development and user experience design that are more accurate and informed. Researching trends, asking questions, and gathering feedback from users helps product leaders stay current with industry changes as well as user preferences. Additionally, a curious product leader has the ability to use creative problem-solving challenges to discover new opportunities or reevaluate existing ones which can ultimately result in more successful product designs.
Being a persuasive communicator is an essential skill for product leaders as they are often responsible for motivating and inspiring teams. A product leader must be able to speak with conviction, confidence, and clarity in order to persuade team members that their product vision and goals are worthwhile, exciting, and realistic. Furthermore, product leaders must engage others in the mission of the product by being clear about how it will benefit them, how it solves customer problems, and most importantly why it matters. Without these persuasive communication skills product leaders may find themselves unable to unite a team or influence decisions effectively, putting the product’s success at risk.
Execute on a Deadline
Staying on schedule is essential for product success. Deadlines give product leaders an opportunity to plan out product development systematically, tracking progress along the way to help ensure that product deliverables are met on time and within budget. Not only does a deadline-oriented approach keep product development organized, but it also enables product leaders to quickly identify any underlying issues that may arise and take preventative measures. As deadlines are reached and product releases become more frequent, product leaders can develop a deeper understanding of the appropriate pacing needed in the product lifecycle stage and ultimately build better products.
Building products is a complex and challenging task that requires strong collaboration with various teams within the organization. Building and nurturing relationships with key stakeholders is essential to understand their needs and to ensure product success. This means staying up to date on product progress and sharing clear and concise product updates as much as possible. It also involves finding creative ways to engage and build meaningful connections with stakeholders, such as group meetings, face-to-face meetings, user surveys, and focus groups.
In the constantly shifting tech landscape, product leaders need to anticipate changes in customer expectations and requirements, be ready to take new opportunities, and collaborate with stakeholders. This means product leaders need to be agile in their approach while also balancing out risk management techniques. Adaptability allows product leaders to move fast under pressure while minimizing disruption and leveraging rapid response strategies. It’s an essential skill for product leaders who want to stay ahead of the curve and deliver exceptional outcomes despite fast-paced work environments.
Hire a Digital Product Leader
Effective digital product leadership is not a single skill, but a combination of traits and qualities that must be specifically tailored to each situation. It requires continuous learning, adaptation, and trial and error as new challenges present themselves. Making the correct decisions requires critical evaluation of all options and an informed basis for conclusions.
If you’re looking to find the right fit in a digital product leader to meet your organization’s unique needs, Talentfoot has a deep network of candidates who can take on this challenge. Contact us today to get started on finding the perfect candidate for your business objectives.