What are Product Management Trends for 2021? Hygger Predictions
Product management is moving front and center in many business strategies. It’s obvious – PM will continue to expand its reach in the years to come.
Today the discipline is recognized widely in all industries despite the companies’ sizes. However, despite the increased recognition of product management as a key function in companies, there are still some challenges and room for improvement.
What should product managers do to be competitive on market? The answer is simple. They have to follow trends and permanently look for new ways to create value for their customers. In fact, trends can be hard to identify given the variation in product management purposes and objectives between companies and industries. We draw our subjective conclusions and predictions based on facts that are just becoming popular.
In this post, we combine some ideas about the most probable trends in product management-2021
What are the areas product managers should focus on in 2021?
The Power of Product Manager’s Role
Decision-making becomes increasingly distributed across companies, so the role of a product manager will become more akin to the role of a conductor who acts as a guide of the product team.
What does a product manager actually do?
If you do not need to go deep into the functional details, the main areas of PM interest can be highlighted as:
- Building a product (market analysis, creating a strategy and product positioning, competitors’ analysis, and creating a roadmap).
- Interviews with users, surveys, and questionnaires.
- Prioritization of ideas, tasks, and features.
- Prototyping and testing of hypotheses, product analytics.
- Monetization (calculating the business model, building a funnel, segmentation of the audience and pricing, choosing a monetization model, and working with it).
- Communication with stakeholders and all team members
Product managers will continue to direct the overall vision for the product while harnessing the team and stakeholders’ minds to optimize decision-making and ultimately deliver value to the customer.
According to research, there were:
- 13% of product managers in B2B in 2014
- 30% of product specialists in B2B in 2017
The growth number looks impressive, right?
The Power of Tech Background
Everybody code and you will! (If are you willing to be a successful PM in a software development firm).
Stakeholders in many companies think that effective product managers are not only expected to steer the product and marketing, they are also expected to know what the engineering team is working on. By understanding a basic grasp of some programming languages, PMs can better dive into development processes. They can better plan for releasing features and prioritize to certain parts of their products, increasing user-friendliness, or releasing a feature highly anticipated by customers.
2021 may probably show that already in five years the profession of product manager will become completely technical-oriented.
The Power of Product Management Frameworks
There are many frameworks that product managers use in their daily work. For example:
- Lean canvas
- Design Sprint
- Value Proposition Canvas
- Awareness Ladder
- UX testing
- The Hook framework
- Viral Loop and many more
You may find out more interesting and powerful frameworks in Hygger Product Management 101 section.
It seems like in 2021 product managers will become obsessed with new frameworks and apply new approaches to empower their teams and products.
It doesn’t matter whether your team is remote or standard, PM frameworks will prove to be really useful and will provide a sort of shorthand to problem-solving.
The Power of Professional Tools
The growth of the product manager profession indicates the need for special PM-oriented tools and services.
Nowadays product teams cannot imagine their professional lives without using a product management tool to collect and store ideas and feedback, assign tasks to sprints, prioritize, plan and track development processes, provide internal interaction and communication between departments.
Often, a single platform for managing products is not enough. The common picture is when developers work with Jira, while product managers, marketers, sales, support guys, and other team members use something else, more simplified and clear.
It seems that the time for new advanced tools and services has come. 2021 will demonstrate that such tools will blossom.
The new generation of PM soft
According to the latest statistics, product managers most often used special services to manage products for:
- creating and managing roadmaps – 72%
- collection and systematization of ideas – 55%
- prioritizing features – 41%
- roadmap sharing – 34%
- interaction with teams (marketers, sales, support, etc.) – 23%
The main goal of the new PM tools generation is to be universal and be focused on every team member, including developers, product managers, marketers, and all the rest.
Discussing the trends-2021 in relation to professional tools, we predict the growing popularity of the following areas:
- Simple and clear task management
- Lean and sharable product roadmaps
- 2×2 matrices and Lean prioritization
From this point of view, such tools as Hygger, ProductBoard, or Aha look promising and full of power.
The very special role of Kanban
Kanban is one of the most reliable methodologies of Agile project management nowadays. With the help of handy Kanban boards, product teams are able to improve their workflows and increase team efficiency.
A typical Kanban board contains the workflow and Kanban cards. Workflow represents the process steps each task has to go through in order for it to be completed. It is depicted in Kanban boards through columns and swimlanes. A Kanban card is a task your team will work on.
Kanban boards can be used for those product management tasks that are more likely to get changes for an effective way to limit work in progress and avoid multitasking.
It is expected, that Kanban boards will be in high demand in 2021 because of their advanced flow visualization, flexible release time, the capability to change priorities, no need for iterations, and estimates.
The Power of Remote Work as an Inevitability
The current pandemic changes everything around us. Businesses have been forced to open home offices, and it is highly expected that the situation will be the same in the coming 2021.
Product managers can also work from home but sometimes they may face different challenging issues that come with working remotely.
As a product manager, you will have to find a way to turn your personal space into a comfortable workspace and to repurpose its part to fit into the new structure. Fortunately, there are many reliable remote product management tools that may enhance the work and make remote collaboration even easier.
The Power of Customer Understanding
Any product team strives to become more strategic, rather than simply being order takers for sales.
Best product management functions will put formal processes and technologies in place to proactively collect, evaluate, and respond to customers and sales requests.
The Power of Professional PM education
The tendency demonstrates to us that many product management-type courses pop up in undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
It’s not a secret, that employers are really prioritizing candidates with diverse experiences and professional education. That is why, today more and more universities, colleges, and educational centers are planning and developing different programs and training courses for all who want to become a professional in PM.
Here’re some examples of professional courses and programs that will be proposed in 2021:
- Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI)
- Product management course in New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business (New York, NY)
- Masters in Management at University of London (London, UK)
- Great Product Managers are made, not born course at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
How do you see product management changing in 2021? Do you have anything to add to the trends above? Just feel free to leave your comment below. And have a wonderful start to the next year!
*all the pics used are from unsplach.com and pexels.com