Product managers have always worn multiple hats to bring together the many pieces of the larger product development puzzle. But as the digital world continues to pick up speed, the role of a product manager is complexifying. Product managers must focus on more than execution and timely delivery, striking an optimal balance between day-to-day product development processes and non-product related tasks.

At Pivot International, we’ve been helping companies launch successful products for nearly fifty years. Our product managers represent the industry’s top talent with experience across supply chain, data, design, user experience, engineering, manufacturing, client relations, marketing, compliance, complexity management, and more.

Even in the face of unprecedented disruption, our teams at Pivot have driven growth for our partners with proven sourcing solutions, including alternatives to China. With product development expertise that spans over fourteen industries and 320,000 square feet of manufacturing capability, we help companies defy disruption, seize opportunities, and bring award-winning innovations to market.

product manager

The Case for Well-Rounded Product Managers

The changes that accompany digital transformation require product managers to possess a broad range of experience that extends far beyond engineering oversight. Let’s take a look at growing trends that make the need for well-rounded product management increasingly important.

The Primacy of Data

Companies that are leaders in digital transformation and product development alike depend on the deployment of what may be their most valuable asset: data, both internal and external. Because data must inform nearly every product decision, product management with experience in data science and analytics are among the most bankable candidates.

The need for product management well-versed in analytics is also underscored by the role of data in gauging a product’s long term success (post-launch). Data that tracks engagement, retention, conversion, repeat purchases, and more, is every bit as crucial as the data that went into creating the product in the first place.

The Ascendance of Design

If ever there was any question that design could function as a competitive differentiator and key revenue driver for consumer products, Apple’s stratospheric success settled that question once and for all. But for companies hoping to bring an industrial or medtech product to market, the revenue-driving role of design is often underestimated, and at considerable cost.

Product managers adequate to the demands of the digital age are no strangers to the role that design plays in delivering bottom-line results — in any market. Though their background is often in engineering, this expertise is augmented by a keen understanding of design principles and design processes. For this reason, the most talented product managers are also those most successful at promoting cross-functional alignment and collaboration.

The Demand for Complexity Management

With the acceleration of the digital age comes the complexification of both products and product life cycles. Add to this equation evolving organizational dynamics, changing consumer expectations, increased risk of disruption, continuing supply chain challenges, and more. Product management was never a simple affair, but complexity management is fast becoming a core competence for product management.

Product managers must have a capacity for:

1. Operating from a big-picture perspective.
2. Aligning short- and longer-term objectives with the company’s overall growth strategy.
3. Promoting transparency throughout the value chain.
4. Optimizing the value chain with disciplined tradeoffs.

In short, effective product management in the digital age requires a breadth of experience that can be seen as a precursor entry into an executive role.

Behind every award-winning product is exceptional product management. If you’re looking for a proven one-source partner with top talent to help your company bring a profitable product to market, we bring a trusted track record and nearly fifty years of experience. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals and grow your business. Together, we can make your product vision a successful reality!