One of the most daunting yet exciting initiatives a business can undertake is a digital transformation leveraging product management principles.
We've had the pleasure of being engaged by several organizations to recruit product talent to lead digital transformation initiatives. Recruiting on behalf of a client for such a hire requires a consultative approach across the stakeholders and hiring leaders, given the disruption the product talent will likely introduce to the business and its processes.
Our experience recruiting highly targeted product management skills and experiences across a broad cross-section of the industry has positioned our Product Practice as the go-to partner for these types of searches.
Often referred to as a disruptor to disruptors, our product practice is capable of anticipating how a product hire is likely to disrupt a traditional or legacy business and what that means to the hiring process.
Here are three ways product management is likely to disrupt a traditional business and what to look for when hiring this type of product management talent:
Product management emphasizes understanding and meeting customer needs and desires. It encourages businesses to shift their focus from internal operations and processes to the external market and customer experience. This customer-centric approach challenges traditional business practices that may focus on internal efficiency and existing products or services rather than constantly adapting to changing customer preferences.
What to look for: Product management candidates with experience functioning as the Voice of the Customer (VoC). These candidates often have outstanding communication skills and are insatiably curious. In addition to curiosity, they also rank high in empathy, which is evident when they engage with non-technical product users.
Agile and Iterative Development
Product management embraces agile methodologies and iterative development. This philosophy encourages businesses to release minimum viable products (MVPs) early, gather customer feedback, iterate, and improve rapidly. This iterative process can disrupt traditional companies that follow a more linear and rigid approach to product development, where new products or features are only released after extensive planning and development cycles.
What to look for: Product Management candidates with experience working on subscription (SaaS) products. Product Managers who work with SaaS solutions have the advantage of conducting frequent updates and releases, allowing them to gather feedback promptly and efficiently. By contrast, Product Managers who have only worked on on-premise / or server software are more likely to be experienced in product management processes that are longer and more aligned to a legacy style of business. Businesses initiating a digital transformation will likely want to pivot away from this style of work and work experience.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Product management heavily relies on data analysis and metrics to inform decision-making processes. It encourages businesses to collect and analyze data related to user behaviour, market trends, and product performance. This data-driven approach challenges traditional decision-making methods that may be based on intuition, personal opinions, or hierarchical authority. By leveraging data, Product Managers can make more informed decisions and prioritize initiatives based on objective evidence.
What to look for: Product Management candidates who have experience working with large data sets or who collaborate with Data Scientists. Typically these Product Managers are considered senior-level talent on a product team and are the champion of data insights fed into the other parts of the organization, whether UX, Customer Success, or Sales. Data-centric Product Managers are a complex persona of candidates, with some working in highly technical teams that leverage AI or Machine Learning or API integration layers that gather data from multiple sources to enable predictability.
One example of a recent 'disruption' search we completed was for Bayshore Healthcare - a leader in providing care for the aging population through assisted living. They launched an Innovation Lab and required a Senior Product Manager to champion their transformation to a digital product-led business.
When it comes to hiring product professionals to champion digital transformations, there is a specific persona and set of experiences we’ve seen time-and-time-again flourish in that environment. When looking to hire a Product Manager to transform your business ensure they have the right skills to deliver successfully.
Need help hiring a leader to champion your digital transformation? We can help!