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What are the major product management trends in 2016?

by Mike Fishbein
February 25, 2016

We surveyed more than 150 product managers to source data and perspectives on the evolving field of product management. We collected insights that range from the most common challenges to the latest tools and technologies. Below are three findings, but you can download the full report here.

Should product managers learn to code? Maybe.

There has been much debate about the degree to which product managers need to be technically proficient. While most don’t actually write code (5% of our respondents said they do), almost all have some knowledge and/or find it beneficial. About 60% think they could use some more training to be successful, while nearly 40% are happy with their current knowledge.


The complete report dives deeper into training and resources that product managers depend on, along with other skills they believe are important.

What’s the product manager’s biggest wish? Open your checkbook.

Perhaps the least surprising data point in this report is the continuation of ‘internal politics’ as the greatest challenge faced by product managers, followed closely by a lack of resources. On the other hand, perhaps the most surprising data point in this report is what product managers most wish for this year. Despite being the second to least requested wish (just 5% of respondents) in last year’s report, ‘salary’ increase rose to the top spot this year.


Maybe all the insights and publicity about the importance of the role is translating into a widespread, higher sense of worth.

What does a product manager do on a daily basis? A little of everything.

Josh Elman famously wrote “the job of a product manager is to help your team (and company) ship the right product to your users.” Vague, but that just about sums it up. From budgeting to writing specifications, the product manager’s role is a multi-faceted one.


The full report also covers the functional roles the product manager supports and the KPIs that their success is measured by.

Mike Fishbein

Mike is the Host and Producer of This is Product Management, Alpha’s podcast, and the Editor of Product Management Insider, Alpha’s Medium publication.