When it comes to product management, decisions and trends are made based on the world’s current climate. Needless to say, 2020 brought many changes to almost every industry, changing day-to-day operations. Successful product managers always think one step ahead when it comes to decision-making. With businesses becoming more digital, product management has so much potential to grow in the future. As the world returns to a new normal, let’s look at product management trends for this year. 

 

Ability to Adapt

Last year all companies were put to the test to adapt to new circumstances and realities. Schools turned to online learning, restaurants looked to delivery and pick-up options, and entertainment companies took their work from theaters to online streaming services. Companies will bring adaptability into the new year as we can expect new challenges to arise. Identifying and planning for challenges can also give you an advantage in product management. It provides you with an opportunity to lay out a plan preparing your company for new technologies, habits, and, most importantly, mindsets. Being able to adapt to the unexpected is becoming the new reality of our world.

 

Digital Design

With most people spending more time in the house, they are more likely to spend more time interacting with digital products. Computers used during work hours are also being used to communicate with friends and family for video chats. Jobs have also turned to virtual meetings and conferences, which calls for more time on tools like zoom and skype. Making digital designs user-friendly is more critical than ever. Users can only tolerate a digital design that doesn’t have an easy workflow for so long. That’s why product designs with an attractive colorway or aesthetic are vital; they can make users feel more comfortable using them. In a research study, Invision App found that digital innovation is reshaping the industry standards at over 70% of companies. As digital products become a part of everyday life, it’s essential to prioritize product management to enjoy the products they use.

 

Rise of Product Operations Managers

There are so many roles that play a big part in product management, but one of the most important is product operations managers. They are responsible for overseeing and assisting product teams, whether it’s communication or alignment. As products are continually evolving, operations are more critical than ever. Operations managers should ensure that teams are focused and committed to collaborating with others. They will spend a lot of their time creating and defining transparent processes that product teams will understand and follow successfully. As an operations manager, you are also in charge of collecting information found through research and sharing it with the business or organization. Without a strong operations manager, there won’t be a good relationship between product teams and customers. 

 

Customer Connections

Product management has been shifting from technology-focused customer service to more external engagements. Businesses and companies need to have an idea of how users enjoy engaging with their products. This can bring out pros and cons to help product management teams better their services. Many companies have turned to recorded customer service conversations but in 2021, expect more intimate direct lines. Having product operations set as the direct contact for customers can create great relationships that include insights and feedback. Allowing customers to have a voice in a conversation can help them feel more connected to your services. Be sure to ask the right open-ended questions with a good dose of curiosity. Don’t feel discouraged if the feedback isn’t always great because it just gives your team another challenge to conquer.