The Top Product Management Trends Within The Software Development Industry

Even though we are still in the midst of the product manager vs project manager, the boundaries have started to blur as the roles begin to overlap.


Even though we are still in the midst of the product manager vs project manager, the boundaries have started to blur as the roles begin to overlap. This fact is even more true in the area of software development where product managers have to possess some amount of technical expertise to steer product development.

The new generation of product managers for software development will have to observe the industrial trends and capitalize on them to stay on top of their games. So it is imperative that they not only keep a close eye on them but also use it to their advantage. Here, we have compiled a list of the top product management trends that are present in the software development industry.

Top Product Management Trends Prevailing in the Software Development Industry

Within the software development industry, the following trends are shaping up the future of product developers.

1. Product Managers Will Have to Experiment

Even though there is an increased demand for product managers in software development, it is still in its nascent stages, where there are no clearly defined roles. As a result, product managers continue to play it by ear and experiment to figure out what works best for them.

At the same time, product managers will have to sharpen their strategic and tactical skills to overcome major challenges in the area of product development. However, as a growth enabler, you may have to put in more time for building a product strategy.

2. Data is Gold

As more companies are transitioning to the digital framework, data is the fuel driving the growth of software products and services. Interestingly, nearly 92% of product managers consider themselves somewhat or very technical, which makes them capable of data-driven decisions.

At the same time, data is also featuring in other aspects involving product sales and development. Thus product managers must utilize this opportunity to leverage data to make strategic decisions.

3. Product-led Growth is the New Normal

Following the footsteps of tech giants like Slack, SurveyMonkey, and Dropbox, several other software-based organizations are moving towards product-led growth. In this case, the product becomes the basis for customer acquisition, conversion, and business expansion. As a result, product managers will have to diversify their roles and also manage product growth.

Growth product managers are similar to your regular product managers, except that they also play a crucial role in its growth. Thus, they will also monitor other KPIs such as trial-to-paid conversion rate, customer retention, churn, engagement, and activation rate.

4. Project Managers Can Seek Tool-Based Assistance

At one point, everyone from sales and marketing to software engineers had tools to achieve their goals. However, product managers were left behind on this development.

Fortunately, the demand for product managers has given rise to tools and resources dedicated to product managers. As of last year, there were 93 product management tools listed on the G2 Crowd.

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Thus, the future for product managers shall be propped on the shoulders of management tools and resources, which will be specific for the software industry. Thus, product managers will no longer have to rely on Excel sheets and task-lists to manage their product development. In fact, these tools will become more advanced and sophisticated with time!

5. Cloud-based Software Products are in Demand

Even though there is a significant push towards cloud-based products, not all software development companies have managed to achieve this goal. According to a 2018 Microsoft survey, only 67% of participants exhibited an interest in a hybrid cloud approach. Thus, there is an immense scope for software products to tap into this market and develop cloud-based products.

However, in order to achieve the desired results, product managers will have to work towards integrating cloud solutions with their legacy systems, which will eventually set the base for complete cloud migration when the company is ready for it in the near future.

6. Product Usage Analytics is Crucial

Product managers have to collect data sets to gain more information on the feasibility and viability of their product. However, the use of data analytics will unlock an entirely new avenue for product managers. According to Gartner, 75% of software providers will rely on software usage analytics to make data-driven decisions and to inspect consumer health. Thus, product managers will have to acquire the skill to collect, interpret, and use data to make informed decisions for bettering the software.

7. API Development and Sharing Helps

API development and sharing have become the go-to modus operandi for product managers to add value to their customer offerings. These APIs have the ability to make the software solution completely customizable and provide smoother integration with existing products and applications.

8. Automation is the Future

In the years to come, automation will be a defining characteristic of any software. It not only adds value to the customer offering but also simplifies their workflow by minimizing manual intervention. Software products that employ artificial intelligence (AI), machine language (ML) and other cutting-edge forms of technology will enjoy great demand in the market.

As a result, product managers must not only be aware of these trends but also incorporate them into their products.

9. Managing Remote Teams Will Present Challenges

Product development follows a tightly-knit collaborative approach. In the area of software development, it is easy to carry out the process remotely. Further, remote working opportunities allow companies to tap into the global talent pool and extract the most from it.

However, while working with remote teams, product managers will be the first to notice the unique challenges that come with this system. Whether it is the difference in time zones or not having an effective communication channel, product managers will be the first to feel the pinch. Thus, product managers will have to get innovative to address and overcome obstacles in team management, communication, collaborating, data fragmentation, and information transmission.

Final Thoughts

The above trends can help you estimate the future of product manager salary and corresponding roles and responsibilities. Acting upon these now will unlock a promising future for your professional and organizational growth!

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