The days of traditional product management are no more. Digital business has updated the responsibilities of product managers to include managing innovation and rallying relevant stakeholders to evolve their organization’s product strategy. The scope of digital product management has expanded, so IT and digital business leaders must cater to this change.
By 2020, organizations that have embraced the product management model will outperform those that have not
“Now that all businesses are digital businesses, all enterprises should plan and begin to execute this transition to more agile product delivery teams, if they have not already begun to do so,” says Deacon D.K. Wan, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner. “By 2020, three-quarters of digital business leaders will have pivoted from project to product portfolio management.”
Gartner shares three ways to use product management to improve digital strategy and governance.
Tailor the staffing of product management to your firm
IT leaders must understand the fundamental product management responsibilities required for digital business, including:
- Orchestrating stakeholders to validate and refine product roadmaps
- Preparing the firm to go to market with the product (even for internal use)
- Analyzing product and business metrics for insights into product outcomes
By 2020, three-quarters of IT project or program management offices (PMOs) will experience radical restructuring and changes in their missions as their firms embrace the product-line operating model. “This will require more than simply hiring and assigning existing staff, but rather mapping people to specific product management competencies,” says Wan.
Recruit people who have the skills to excel at product management
People who excel at product management have the following characteristics:
- A customer-centric focus
- Solid business and market understanding
- Baseline technical knowledge needed to work with digital teams
- Effective time-management and collaboration skills
The product manager’s work circle is composed of many stakeholders — enterprise architects, business development, security, and data and analytics, to name a few. As a result, the product manager must have above-average facilitation and persuasion skills, especially when encouraging innovation and buy-in for the product vision. Through 2020, startup product management and engineering culture will penetrate more than 50% of enterprise innovation efforts.
Equip your product management practice for sustained success
As product managers join your enterprise, ensure knowledge sharing to sustain and support the growing product management practice. “Because product management transitions enterprise IT from managing projects to managing products, full engagement and support of the CIO and business leaders is required to succeed,” says Wan.
By 2020, organizations that have embraced the product management model will outperform those that have not in terms of both customer satisfaction and business results.