The Three Competencies of Mastering Complex Product Development


It’s mastery, so don’t expect it to be easy.

As both a serial entrepreneur and agile coach to teams of all sizes, I have come to understand that mastering complex product development converges into three competencies. I also sometimes like calling this as the core skillset of “chunking”, and also the skill of “solving the problem at the right level”.

(1) Content competency: the Expert

Of course it’s unrealistic to have every single skill and knowledge to build the product. If you do, most likely that’s not a complex product. And what’s the point of putting together a team.

Yet if you are maniacally in love with your product, it’s unlikely that you don’t know the full scope of your product. Naturally, you are an expert of your product.

(2) Integration competency: the Designer and Architect

Just stacking up tasks, stories and epics won’t make a product. The creative process of streamlining, merging and weaving the many moving parts into a higher state of creation, is how the product starts making sense and work.

A great product development team has a mastermind designer and architect. Be that person.

(3) Management competency: the Leader

Functioning and performing teams have two simple traits: they have team processes that work, and people that talk with each other.

Does that naturally happen? Typically not. It happens because of a great leader.

Be that leader.

And in the context of a functional expert CxO, this is what your work looks like. Your role is unique because unlike other GM type c-suite roles, you are a combination of expert of experts and GM.

The Three Competencies of a Functional Expert CxO | Chunking, and solving the problem at the right level of granularity – it’s a leadership skill

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