The pandemic marked a point of acceleration for corporate digital transformation. The companies that performed the best were digital or had at least adopted a digital age mindset. Not surprisingly, companies who never had product managers are now forming product management teams.

These organizations are now living in a world where the product is never done and their systems, structures, and processes must reflect that. The product management function is the right group to design, test, and iterate upon those systems.

To succeed, companies must at some level be digital ready:

  1. Development team is agile, with an eye toward making the whole company agile. The PMs will be a conduit for expanding agile beyond Engineering.
  2. Employees are close to customers – hiring outside agencies, doing “market research”, and otherwise separating employees from customers is anachronistic. This is true even in business to business companies and highly regulated industries.
  3. Evidence informs decisions – leaders should yield to data and insights.
  4. Compete based on creating value – If M&A, government lobbying, or selling ice to polar bears is your primary growth engine, you don’t need product management.