Today, we published the findings from our 2020 Product Management Insights Report, which highlights the growing impact that product management has on organizational growth.
The survey of more than 550 product leaders and managers from startups and large organizations in the U.S. found that product teams are solving some of the toughest challenges facing organizations today, such as digital and strategic transformation, signaling that product management no longer influences narrow parts of a business or a company’s overall strategy. Compare that to six years ago, when Alpha first began reporting on the product management industry, and our data found that many product teams were primarily concerned about defining their roles and focused on finding ways to leave a lasting impact.
The research, conducted in December 2019, was the fifth annual report on the trends affecting product management teams in companies both large and small. Among the report’s key findings:
Product management enters the C-Suite: Startups and enterprise organizations alike are facing many high-level challenges like digital transformation and improving customer experience. Product management’s influence on solving those challenges has grown steadily, with nearly 60% of respondents saying incubating a new product or business line was high on the list of objectives.
Product development moves fast, but customer preferences move faster: 60% of respondents say direct customer feedback was the source of their best product and feature ideas, but most say they don’t conduct enough user research on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Surprisingly, 28% of respondents admitted that their best product ideas come from copying competitors.
Cross-functional collaboration can play an important role for product teams in 2020: 51% of respondents collaborate with market research on less than half their product projects. The time and rigor required to gather customer data is often at odds with the agility required to build innovative products and solutions, leaving a huge window of opportunity for improved collaboration between researchers and product teams.
Product managers find it most challenging to build and perfect product vision and roadmaps: 30% of product leaders identified a clearer product strategy as their biggest wish list item in 2020, but nearly 53% said they don’t have enough time to craft product roadmaps.
Tools and methodologies are maturing as the discipline matures: New and emerging technologies have the power to reshape the way companies build innovative products. 64% of those surveyed said they plan to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning into their product offering this year.
To learn more surprising stats from the report, download the 2020 Product Management Insights Report infographic or the full 2020 Product Management Insights Report.