As we face down an unstable economic climate and recession, businesses worldwide need to act quickly to weather the storm. In particular, enterprises need to prevent their key players from being held back by the common challenges that will only be exacerbated by these financial pressures. 

In this series, we’re taking a look, department by department, at those pain points and challenges, and see how the CloudSense solution can help.

Challenges faced by Chief Product Officers

  • Difficulty bringing out new products at speed
  • Lack of information and analysis before planning
  • Poor prioritization and changing priorities during sprints
  • Forecasting delivery and timelines
  • Aligning teams and getting buy-in
  • Overwhelming product backlog
  • Managing multiple stakeholders

Chief Product Officers have found that their product teams lack adequate knowledge of customer needs. Organizations need to provide solutions to customer problems, even while new problems arise; without the right information, product features can end up being built but not used, and customer’s needs are not fulfilled. 

Situations of misalignment are common in every organization: 64% of leaders say that product strategies are not well-formulated within their companies. Different roles and viewpoints pull teams in different directions, and team members end up focusing too much on one specific goal, while losing sight of the bigger picture, creating conflicts. 

Successful agile development relies on clear prioritization at every stage. Chief Product Officers need to define their priorities early on, and consult with stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

Not only do they need to understand priorities, but understanding alignment challenges goes a long way in bringing a team together. Aligned and prioritized goals help boost revenue 19% faster and unlock 38% more sales. In doing so, product teams learn how to anticipate and address obstacles in discussions

Forecasting is an essential part of a product officer. Forecasting delivery and timelines is a tough task to take, with multiple factors, both in and out of one’s control, to consider.  It’s difficult to design agile schedules that allow teams to adapt to new information and meet goals at speed. 

With so many moving parts involved, product roadmaps can easily get derailed when deadlines aren’t met. The need to create agile schedules that allow for teams to adapt to new information is a challenge that several product managers face. 

On average, 45% of product launches are delayed, of which 20% fail to meet their internal targets, and product teams have been shown to be misusing over 40% of their resources; there are clearly several factors that contribute to slow time-to-market. 

McKinsey found that organizations prefer going over budget by 50% than being half a year late on releasing a product - indicating the negative taste a slow time-to-market has.

Developing a strong product roadmap helps outline a release plan that includes analysis, design, development and testing. Additionally, to avoid falling behind on product backlogs, a product roadmap acts as an anchor, ensuring teams develop products strategically


Product pain points blog


Collaboration also plays a key role in mitigating challenges product teams face. According to Deloitte, 39% of company employees report a lack of collaboration between departments. Creating open dialogues between teams and departments improves collaboration, with a survey showing that 78% of product managers who viewed improving collaboration experienced low product failure rates. 

As a CPO, taking a proactive approach in communicating delays or changes is important for cross-team alignment. Setting delivery dates for key milestones creates an environment in which teams can set and meet targets. Additionally, planning breaks a roadmap into actionable steps, avoiding a slow process and driving team accountability. In doing so, product teams ensure that projects are pushed forward. 


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