Dealing With The Changing Business Cycle As A Product Leader

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Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Product Officer, N-able Ltd.

The past few months have seen turmoil in the market as tech companies’ stocks have suffered significant declines. There have been a number of layoffs at tech companies, with many forecasting lower growth and investment in the coming year. It was the first time in over a decade that he had seen the technology industry operate in a more constrained business cycle, and as a product leader he has adapted to help organizations cope with this changing business cycle. , need help.

Some of the leadership techniques and enablements that haven’t had to be addressed in years need to be revisited. To thrive during this challenging time, you will need to manage the talent of your product team, manage your message to other business units, and recognize the added pressure on your business and product leadership. Below are concrete steps product leaders can take to thrive in a difficult economy.

1. Recognize uncertainty.

Everyone in your organization will feel more uncertain about their business prospects than they used to. Over the past decade, the challenge has been recruiting and retaining talent. Given the job cuts in the tech industry, individuals are now worried about retaining jobs and company performance. As leaders, we need to be situational aware and help our teams recognize the value they bring to the company and what positive outcomes they can achieve. Build trust by being transparent about the good news as well as the bad, and share what you’ve learned from past experience. As a leader, you help your team focus on mission-critical work and deliver results efficiently. It also helps teams identify key metrics and results and report progress regularly. While this keeps teams focused on what’s important, it also helps each team focus on what can be achieved.

2. Use metrics.

If your team focuses on metrics and outcomes at the team level, as a product leader, you should use these metrics to inform the rest of the business about your product team’s success in terms of both metrics and business outcomes. there is. As well as the progress the team is making towards those results. These reports help you communicate with other business units, but they can also be used internally to show the impact your product teams have on the business as a whole.

3. COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION.

During difficult times, it is important for leaders to communicate with staff and organizations. Teams and employees need to feel confident that the work they do is making an impact. With more regular communication, everyone in the organization feels more connected to their work and mission. Continuously sharing and re-sharing business priorities, expected outcomes and status is key to building and maintaining trust as well as staying aligned with the business.

4. Look for efficiency gains and invest in them.

When growth is key, growth-related items that drive new revenue, new customer growth, or both are often prioritized. But with free cash flow and other earnings metrics becoming a higher priority, now is the time to take a look at what has been built and optimize. Businesses should proactively consider opportunities to improve efficiency. Keep a running list and look for opportunities to invest in areas that reduce manual work, drive cost savings and make your business more efficient. Investments in eliminating technical debt and manual processes will prepare your business for future growth.

5. Evaluate the organization and employees.

Over the last 10 years, as product leaders, we’ve all aimed to grow our team as quickly as possible while building new features to drive growth. Given the changing market, it’s hard to think about, but now is the time to assess your team and see where they have the right leadership, where they might have too much leadership, and what talent they have within the organization. It is also a time to understand what is going on.

With the tech job market cooling down, now is the time to look for the key talent you may not have had before. Need to replace an underperforming worker with a higher performing one? You need to make sure your business is set for success. You may be able to tolerate average or below-average performers when not enough people are available. need to do it.

For the first time in years, economic market shifts are raising a range of concerns for product leaders. Using his five strategies above, product leaders can continue to lead their organizations through this tumultuous time and drive success.


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