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The Digital Product Practice at Fahren

March 11, 2021   By Joe Ruekert

Building digital products and experiences that customers love and use is really hard. Reaching customers has never been more difficult. Consumer attention has never been harder to gain, and Amazon and Apple of reshaped their expectations from your digital experiences. For new ventures and even existing ones that are struggling to drive growth, achieving product-market fit can feel impossible. Competition is fierce, being driven but the reduction in the cost of entry. Building digital capabilities and multi-channel

Finding the right talent and leaders with a blend of business, experience, and technical experience continues to challenge all organizations. 71% of executives cite the workforce as being either very or extremely critical to product and digital transformation, yet many don’t have access to the talent they are searching for.

For top digital talent, the market has never been better. The top 5% of digital product leaders can essentially pick what companies they want to work for and what challenges they want to solve.

In addition to the challenges leaders are facing in product management finding the right talent, product strategy is also missing at most companies.

In 2016, Pragmatic Marketing Inc surveyed 2,500 product managers and product marketers. What they found around the topic of the strategy was surprising. According to those surveyed, just 28% said that they spent any time strategizing. Instead, 72% of the time was spent on tactics and execution. Despite the research being 5 years old, it’s hard to believe that this gap has been addressed.

So if you are a senior digital leader, what are you to do? In most cases, your teams are not be driving the product growth you believe is possible. You are likely having a hard time finding the right digital product talent. Your teams are spending the majority of their time focusing on tactics and execution instead of strategy.

These challenges leave digital leaders with three options.

The first is to do nothing and try and survive with their existing teams. This option only compounds issues with insufficient capacity, too many competing priorities, and the inability to think and plan strategically to drive growth. Trying to go it alone with what you have is rarely a good option.

The second option senior digital leaders have is to hire a management consultancy for the strategy, a digital agency for the execution, and a staffing firm to help with resource capacity. This option brings its own set of challenges, from the additional management oversight with your new partners to the coordination of the strategy to the work between teams and vendors. Multiple partners

The third option is to find a strategic partner that can help across these three areas. A single partner that can help you develop the strategy and roadmap of where to go, the experts to help lead and implement those strategies to get moving, and guidance along the way to support the change as it’s happening.

That’s why we created our Product Leadership practice at Fahren.

We are helping clients develop new product strategies and helping them find senior product leadership that can change the trajectory of their teams and organization.

This is a new kind of partner model for our clients, and one I desperately needed when I was at Target. We uniquely bridge the gap that exists between strategy provided by management consultancies, the ability to execute and deliver like digital agencies, and the leadership talent solutions of executive staffing firms.

Our unique model allows us to truly be a strategic partner for our clients, and they see greater business results because of it.

Here’s how we help our clients:

  • Product strategies for action. Whether you need help with your product roadmap or are exploring entering new markets, we have the deep expertise to guide you down the right path.
  • Experts in the lead on a contract or interim basis. Need someone to lead your product teams in an emergency? Looking to model a new role to get smarter about that important hire? Need extra horsepower to get to market faster? Our product consultants become a part of your team to drive strategy and execution.
  • Search and recruiting services. Ready to hire your next VP or Director of Product? We help our clients define the role, source, and evaluate the talent and guide them through the onboarding process.
  • Guidance to go there. We aren’t a firm that lets you go it alone. We are a strategic partner. When you work with Fahren, you have hand-picked experts and hands-on strategies at every phase, along with candid guidance to keep your change moving. This is how it works.

Here are the types of projects where we excel:

  • Product strategy & road mapping
  • Placing senior product consultants with our clients to lead, build and deliver
  • Guiding project to product transformation
  • Helping clients find and hire their first or next Chief Product Officer, VP or Director of Product
  • Standing up new product teams
  • Training your current teams to help them elevate and learn new methods

Building and scaling digital product teams is incredibly challenging. With the right partner who can help with product strategy and talent solutions, you can elevate your team, move faster and create more growth for your organization.

Contact us to learn more about how Fahren can help you go farther, faster.

Co-Founder and Product Leadership Practice Lead

Joe helps companies of all sizes transform their businesses by building digital experiences that drive business growth. With deep expertise in digital product management, eCommerce, design & systems thinking and agile transformation, Joe helps organizations move into the complex digital world with confidence. He is passionate about creating digital experiences that start with the customer and his philosophy is built on leveraging data and research to solve real business challenges. When working with clients, Joe focuses on leading with positivity and collaboration. At home, Joe is an avid golfer, skier, and Minnesota Vikings fan and is outnumbered with his wife and two daughters.

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