The product manager works as the chief of the establishment. Their job is to enforce and monitor the mission of the business and keep operations on track. They don many hats — from helping the developer to meeting the concerns of the end-user.
They are the candid link in the system that will ensure the ship is afloat. But we understand that all jobs have a shelf-life. Over the decades, we have seen many roles turn obscure from technological growth or lifestyle changes.
One such example is DVDs. Many industries shot shop as the era of CDs and DVDs came to an end. Others pivoted and played the change to their advantage. Netflix — a business that shipped rental DVDs turned into the biggest streaming giant.
The roles of a product manager do not perish; they just adapt to the times. That is the short answer to the big question.
If you were to attain a product management certification, you are fully aware that this is one job that is here to stay. In many discussions, the project manager is referred to as the chief operating officer of the products.
Here are some of the most valid reasons that will enforce the need for product managers in today’s modern world:
Rise Of Automation
The rise of automation is a significant game-changer in the product development ecosystem. With the increase in technology, the growth of these products will only improve with time. Everything from an electric-car to a web-application takes just a single day to make.
A simple example is an increase in CRM tools. These customer relationship management tools help to streamline the process and ensure the supply-chain is further effective. Every step of the process is trackable, thus reducing the chances of errors.
Suppose a strategy works for one product, the same replicate to many forms with automation. Automation has leveled the playing field, which will open the doors to more players.
All this innovation will inevitably raise the demand for competent product managers, allowing more opening and growth opportunities.
Availability of Information
The knowledge gap between the haves and the have-nots is shrinking with the education and information providers’ development. Today a person can seek the best product management certification from the comfort of their homes.
Knowledge of tools and special-skills is more accessible than ever before. Even the lack of hands-on experience can compensate with these programs.
Conventional colleges and business schools around the world are offering upskilling and specialized courses in PM. These courses give an overview of the skills needed and help train potential leaders. This change is proof of the job’s sustenance.
Shorter Birth-Cycle of a Product.
Elaborating, on the first point, the cycle of a product from idea to end-user has also reduced. Products can hit clients and users at a much faster rate. This innovation has also reduced the cost of production.
Additionally, more businesses can now gain funding from banks and venture capitalist establishments with ease. This in-flow and availability of monetary resources can propel this industry further.
To state an example, the introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence alone has brought down production time and cost. As computers get smart, integration and deployment are also quicker.
Technology is also becoming exceeding affordable. This means new businesses do not need to invest billions in kickstarting a project.
Reach With Digital
The number one reason for the survival of a product industry is creating awareness among consumers. The internet has been a major driving force in helping small businesses.
Advertising and marketing have reduced to a fraction of its cost from a decade ago thanks to the internet. It has provided an open market-place without any monopolies or strict regulation.
A business will flourish with merely a simple product and basic digital knowledge.
The online world has also helped to close the feedback look of a product. With sales and revues via online mediums, the consumer can directly content the sales team, thus eliminating the middleman’s role.
Better Customer-Research Data
Consumer experience is defined based on the data gathered by the establishment of the user. Mining this data is very straightforward in the age of digital. Additionally, all businesses adapt to this change making the reach wider.
This data field also means no company has the edge over another since all the facts are public information. The upper hand for brands comes from early adaptations and better tend-spotting.
A product manager can easily integrate better business tools that provide leading-edge data for product improvements and development.
For example, using machine learning tools and online data, a product manager will be able to make a data-driven business decision instead of an experience-driver. This approach will allow for better effectiveness of the team and more dependable products.
Lastly, the role of a PM is not more than just the manager of the product. The writer of the book “Product Leadership,” Marin Eriksson, famously said that a product manager has no direct authority over the company but makes the product successful.
This manager’s role was to keep the products in check, but over time they have taken on a lot more on their plates. The has evolved into the single point of content between the product, developer, sales team, end-user, and even the management.
This process has only shown that these jobs will never get obsolete but warp into important positions over time. The ideal management is found at the meeting point of subject knowledge, core competencies, and people management.
Doubt and pessimism is a realistic feeling, and the future is always uncertain. But the skills you hone as a PM will forever remain relevant to any changing industry.
The longevity of any job boils down to the experience at hand and the ability to make the right moves at the right time.
If you aspire to be a product manager, this journey will be endless and full of opportunities. With the right skills and experience, many doors are waiting to open on your path.