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Top 5 Product Management Trends 2022 to Follow

Silviu-Vasile Dima
Silviu-Vasile Dima
Product Owner

Leading businesses are adopting new technologies faster – creating innovative products against the clock in a race to stay relevant and keep customers engaged. With so much at stake, the role of the Product Manager or Product Owner has become more important than ever before. Let’s take a look at the top trends in product management.

The world of technology is constantly evolving – from advanced AI, Machine Learning, FinTech, and Cryptocurrency to Robotics and RPA. It may often feel like we are losing the battle to stay relevant to our target markets.

Not only has the world changed, but so have customers. They now have many different needs, more choices, and all kinds of distractions. To stay relevant and attract clients, product managers must make sure their products keep up with trends and leverage new features and benefits.

But as they say, with change comes opportunity. To thrive, companies must become resilient in this fast-paced, ever-changing environment – and that means product managers must be one step ahead. Here are 5 product management trends to follow in 2022.

Product Managers face a renewed set of challenges and a list of obstacles that continue to be shaped by pandemic aftershocks.

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT TRENDS 2022:

 
#1.Growing demand for Product Managers and freelancing

With working from home becoming “the new normal”, and consumer spending habits transformed as a result of the pandemic, our markets have shifted dramatically. Non-digital businesses are also expanding their product focus to the digital world.

In the past two years, we have seen a global increase in interest for product teams. Product Managers have remained in the spotlight as value maximizers and agents of change, with responsibility for product-centric business growth. This position requires a more robust skill set. We therefore expect to see growing specialization of Product Managers in areas such as AI Product Management, Personalization and Data Product Management.

There are many courses and certification programs designed to help Product Managers become more specialized and advance in their careers. Organizations that invest in reskilling and upskilling their product teams become more resilient to future market challenges. They also increase their capacity to quickly adapt their products and meet the ever-increasing market demand for quality and convenience.

The transition to remote working means that workforces are more distributed, and collaboration creates new challenges. Remote agile product teams will continue to thrive in 2022 and beyond, as most companies have already adopted a hybrid model of remote/office work. Additionally, flexible work arrangements have become the standard for employees in key industries.

Why is agility so important? Read our blog: Agile Projects: 5 Mistakes a Product Owner Should Avoid

More employee freedom around their location has made highly-skilled Product Managers and Product Owners choose freelancing rather than a full-time hire.
Besides the obvious cost-savings for companies due to downsizing their office space, there is also a huge benefit related to the hiring process. Fully remote work positions give companies a much bigger pool of viable candidates.

By removing the constraint on commuting distance and switching to fully remote work, IT companies lean more on freelancers and independent contractors to fill in the gaps in highly-skilled product professionals.

#2.Products have become the primary driver of customer acquisition and retention

Although it may be interesting to discuss how to leverage technical skills, the focus of a Product Manager should not solely be on technology. It should also look at developing the product to adapt to evolving user needs.

Today, Product Managers have shifted to discussing “organization strategy” and “transformation in a digital world” empowered by digital capabilities. There is a deep focus on the customer and their product’s higher purpose.
As a result, users have new ways to buy and use products. They have become more tech-savvy and expect the very best shopping experience at the most affordable price.

Product-led growth will have a lot of traction in 2022. As the author of “Product-Led Growth”, Wes Bush, writes:

“Product-led growth is defined as a go-to-market strategy that relies on using your product as the main vehicle to acquire, activate, and retain customers.”

According to this strategy, product-led companies focus on outstanding user experience. In contrast to sales-led companies whose focus is on the sales cycle and closing the sale. All the various components, like customer acquisition, conversion, and retention are driven by the product itself.

Becoming a product-led company is a process that starts with a mindset shift. A company-wide alignment should be created between all departments with a commitment to building a well-designed product that delivers on its promise.
The product-led strategy relies on a free trial model to sell products to customers. This model allows users to experience the product without going through the usual sales-led cycle.

Together with agile development processes, this philosophy allows a company to have shorter cycles to launch new features and gather feedback from customers. This helps improve their delivery pipeline.

Product-led growth taps into user data to provide helpful personalized product experiences, adapting the experience at the individual level. This leads us to the next trend: “Data-driven product management”.

#3. Product management is data-driven

We see increased attention on data governance with a focus on privacy and security. This is because we’re now working with a larger volume of data than ever before and the need for personalization through AI-use. For this reason, there is a significant rise in data management platforms, and product ops functions are widely spreading.

Data-driven product management helps Product Managers use the right data, uncover insights, and ultimately, build a successful product.

AI-based analytics are used widely in corporate evidence-based decision-making processes. Product managers have started to understand the importance of data-driven development and are taking advantage of it. This is done through the use of AI predictive behavior data, by offering personalized user experience.

Considering the wealth of available user data, a question pops up. What additional skills do product teams need to acquire in 2022 to properly manage their data and exploit it for the benefit of customers?

We can help you build an effective data strategy

#4. Low-Code/No-Code platforms are on the rise

Low-Code/No-Code platforms enable quick build of an application, using a graphical user interface that involves little or no coding. Another good use for Low/No-Code platforms is to rapidly build prototypes that inspire user feedback for your products.

According to Gartner research, the use of Low-Code and No-Code technologies will nearly triple by 2025. Application development will shift to application assembly and integration by the teams that use them.

This trend helps solve the shortage of skilled IT professionals and decreases the cost of software development, although it might not be for everyone.
There are some limitations related to the capabilities of these platforms in terms of customization, security, and compliance for consumer data. It’s also important to note that they are not suited for very complex applications. However, companies that manage to overcome these problems will reap major benefits in the medium term.

You can count on Pentalog’s experienced Product Owners to help you inject the right dose of agility into your development team.

#5. Product management and collaboration tools continue to evolve

Product teams need multiple agile product management tools to manage their day-to-day activities. This includes road-mapping, managing product releases, user onboarding, user tracking, feature prioritization and stakeholder management.

Product management tools continue to improve and adapt with the Product Manager’s changing role and responsibilities. And keeping everyone in the loop – stakeholders, product teams, and customers – is paramount.

These new tools, such as monday.com, productboard.com, productplan.com, help improve team collaboration, focusing on understanding user behavior, prioritizing and sharing decisions, forecasting resources, and creating dynamic stakeholder reporting.

Lean working practices can transform product development, providing an important opportunity for businesses. Find out more: Lean Product Development

Conclusion

For Product Managers, complexity continues to increase in all areas. While this is true for Product Managers, the good news is that for customers, SaaS products are becoming more convenient and easier to use. Product Managers nowadays wear many hats and need to possess broad knowledge of a large number of different topics.

However, with the role evolving and the future changing before our eyes, we foresee an increase in specialization of the role, especially in larger companies. For smaller organizations, the role will continue to be “generalist”. Some trends that started recently will prevail. Data-driven decision-making will stay in the top three skills that Product Managers must have. The Product Manager of the future will be an analytics specialist. They will carefully track product metrics to identify opportunities, improve poor-performing features, and facilitate rapid development of innovative products.

Our experts cover the entire scope of agile project development. Whether you need to coordinate development efforts, fuel growth marketing initiatives, or find a Product Owner for discovery, we can help. Contact us!


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