Product management is a resilient and vital force in driving economic growth. While the field may face challenges in uncertain times, its significance cannot be understated.
In a conversation with Jade Bennett, CEO and Founder of Middleton Executive and host of The Product Edge podcast, Adrienne Tan, Co-founder of Brainmates and a seasoned product leader, sheds light on the future of product management post-Covid-19. This article highlights the importance of product management in shaping the economy and offers insights into how professionals can stay relevant in an evolving landscape.
The Current State of Product Management in Australia:
While specific sectors, such as travel, have faced severe disruptions leading to job losses for product managers, it is crucial to note that other departments, including marketing and sales, have also been affected.
The initial cost-cutting measures organisations take during uncertain times may be understandable, but witnessing the undermining of product management’s vital role is disheartening as product managers serve as the growth engine of businesses. Their expertise and skills are crucial for driving innovation and success.
Adapting to the Changing Landscape:
Product managers should embrace a lifelong learning mindset to stay relevant. Engaging in professional development, such as reading industry resources and attending events, helps professionals stay informed about the latest trends and best practices. Sharing insights with peers and the wider community encourages collective progress and solidifies understanding.
The Rise of Chief Product Officer Positions:
The increasing prevalence of Chief Product Officer (CPO) roles within organisations highlights the importance of product leadership at the executive level. CPOs serve as dedicated voices for product strategy and commercial aspects, which are critical in driving success. Their presence sets an example for others, showcasing the impact and value that product leaders bring.
The Role of Product Leaders:
Product leaders are responsible for guiding their teams and creating an environment that fosters growth and prevents burnout. Recognising the mental exhaustion that team members may experience, especially in remote work settings, is crucial. Granting permission for breaks and promoting work-life balance helps alleviate burnout and maintain team morale.
The Future of Product Management:
The future of product management appears promising. As organisations experiment and refine their product strategies, there will be a gradual standardisation of job roles, skill sets, and certifications within the field. Companies will strive to embed product management practices deeply, ensuring consistency, efficiency, and improved customer understanding.
Successful product companies will prioritise customer research, asking meaningful questions to gain deep insights and provide impactful solutions. Investing in product management will remain crucial for organisations to achieve a competitive edge. The role of product managers as the most assertive salesperson in the business will be emphasised, as they can effectively convey the story and value of products. Furthermore, product leaders will continue to hold prominent positions in organisations, driving innovation and growth and serving as role models for other businesses.
Product management shapes the economy by driving innovation and delivering delightful experiences. Despite challenges, professionals in this field can stay relevant by embracing continuous learning and knowledge-sharing. The future of product management holds promise, with standardisation and customer-centricity becoming prevalent. Investing in product management is crucial for organisations seeking a competitive edge. By recognising the significance of product leaders and fostering a supportive environment, businesses can navigate the evolving landscape and drive long-term success.