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The Top Reports CPOs Use to Lead Their Product Business

The Top Reports CPOs Use to Lead Their Product Business

Executive Summary

As a key executive team member working closely with the CEO and Board, the Chief Product Officer (CPO) is focused on leading product to drive business results.

It’s no secret that every C-Suite executive creates go-to dashboards that become their mission control center. Chief Revenue Officers look at pipeline and forecast reports, Chief Marketing Officers have lead and funnel reports, and Chief Operating Officers review operational efficiencies.

This begs the question: What are the top reports CPOs use to lead their team?

Through working with thousands of CPOs, we found out a common theme. And they are quite consistent with recommendations from these 10 world-class CPOs

There are 5 categories of reports every CPO should have:

  1. The state of the product business: Outcome progress and roadmap progress
  2. The state of investment: Portfolio allocations (target vs actual)
  3. The state of portfolio decisions: strategic and tactical roadmaps from multiple angles 
  4. The state of execution: Say:Do Ratio at the portfolio and team level
  5. A window into Risks and Bottlenecks

Let’s take a closer look at the top reports CPOs use.

The State of The Product Business

“CPOs need to have business talks, not just product talks. CPOs need to tie business Metrics With Roadmaps”

Shelley Perry Partner at Scalelogic, Former CPO NTT 

This means CPOs need to closely connect their product goals with business goals and track key business metrics and their progress. 

We know that the KPI progress and portfolio roadmap progress are 2 separate items that each influence the other. 

The Snapshot Report in Dragonboat gives you side by side view of outcomes (Objective Progress) and roadmaps (Feature Progress) to see the full picture of the current state and what influences it. This product operating system allows a CPO to adjust prioritization and allocation with instant visibility. 

Where Should We Invest? 

Should we invest in new customer acquisition or existing customer expansion? 

The answer? Both…. But sometimes you invest more in new customer acquisition, and sometimes, existing customer expansion. 

To help teams prioritize with context, CPOs must first define and align product strategies and investment allocations with the executive teams. This provides both clarity and aircover when resourcing conflicts or competing priorities inevitably arise across teams or roadmaps. 

A solid portfolio relies on having a target, reported, and actual allocation reports. So impactful decisions can be made based on data and instant visibility. 

Dragonboat portfolio allocation report
Image: Dragonboat portfolio allocation report

Strategic and Tactical Roadmaps – in Multi-Dimensional Ways

Lydia Varmazis, former VP of Product at Checkr, explains: 

“As a CPO, you must identify, manage, and prioritize a multidimensional matrix of priorities. It’s never easy, and it’s never perfect.” 

The key is to connect strategic context to your roadmaps at any and all levels.

Dragonboat is natively designed to handle this challenge. In Dragonboat, you can view Strategic Initiatives across all portfolio levels, slice and dice your data and configure roadmaps in any dimension.

For example, a common portfolio dimension is by OKR.

“Creating OKRs where they’re shared OKRs, where all C-suite executives own them holistically, creates alignment between all teams and helps build internal bridges.”

Lydia Varmazis, former VP of Product at Checkr

Outcome-focused organizations do OKR roadmapping, which guides teams to decide and prioritize what features to build. This alignment is carried out throughout the planning, resourcing, tracking, and adjusting of communication. 

A Responsive Product Portfolio tool helps to facilitate this process, guides best practices for the entire team, and rallies C-Suite executives to achieve OKRs across the entire company.

Outcome based roadmapping in Dragonboat
Image: Outcome-based roadmapping in Dragonboat 

How’s Our Execution? Say:Do at the Portfolio and Team Level

While aligning goals and defining strategies are critical, the ability to deliver is a non-negotiable requirement for success. 

One commonly used term is Say:Do ratio. Typically used in the agile/ scrum team, we can apply the same principle at the portfolio level: “We said we were going to do X at the start of this quarter. And here’s what we did.” This is your Say:Do ratio.

CPO Series

The above slide was taken from The CPO Series

CPOs need a source of truth platform connecting product and roadmap inputs and seamlessly integrated with engineering tools for execution. 

top reports CPOs use to lead their team | Dragonboat

Risks and Bottlenecks 

Ryan Polk, Insight Partner’s SVP of Product and Tech Center of Excellence, explains the importance of viewing allocation reports by:

  • Business goals
  • Customer segments
  • Strategic horizons
  • Regions
top reports CPOs use to lead their team | Dragonboat
Dragonboat: Portfolio Delivery Dashboard

“During uncertain times, tools with visibility into your company are vital because they show you what you will lose based on ROI and prevent uninformed decisions. This allows you, as the CPO, to become a connoisseur of team structure so you can drive outcomes at a more effective level.”

Ryan Polk, SVP of Product and Tech Center of Excellence at Insight Partners

Conclusion

A great CPO builds company-wide buy-in so everyone feels like they are part of the decision-making process. To do this, CPOs create and review tailored reports that keep them informed every step of the way. 

He goes on to share:

“We invested in Dragonboat because we believe it’s solving a problem. I spent years in Google Sheets and Docs, and that’s how I know this is the best tool to help you build an effective product system into the organization.”

Ryan Polk, SVP of Product and Tech Center of Excellence at Insight Partners
Kenisha Liu

Kenisha Liu

Kenisha is the Marketing & Operations Coordinator at Dragonboat with a mission to empower responsive leaders and their teams to build better products faster. Prior to joining Dragonboat, Kenisha finished her undergraduate degree at UCLA in 2020, where she studied History and Cognitive Science. She was also a CSCAA All-American and Program Record-Holder on the UCLA swim team.
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Dragonboat is a purpose-build product portfolio management tool for outcome driven product organizations that connects goals, customers, initiatives, resources and execution in one integrated platform. Dragonboat enables product portfolio management best practices and requeres no changes to you engineering process.

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