According to this hiring trends report, demand for high-level PMs has grown by 51% over the past two years (compared to entry-level 10% and mid-level 26%) with a 32% overall jump in all PM-related roles. Compared to the general labor market’s growth, the demand for PM positions in the United States is five times the increase in demand for all other positions combined.
Marketing and product worlds collide in new ways as customer experience takes center stage. We are already seeing companies, especially businesses, start changing their organizational structure to prioritize CX. For some brands, they are shifting the mobile app experience from product to marketing. Others merge the two and encourage the departments to work together to share the mobile experience.
Regardless of actual logistics, this change usually results from an organizational change at the management level. We are seeing companies hiring Chief Experience Officers and Chief Customer Officers to help them drive innovation and strategy around customer experience. These new leadership roles come with many changes at the organization level.
This brings us back to the focus of this article: Redefining the role of mobile product managers. With so many changes, it’s important to step back and re-align with goals and responsibilities.
What are the handling responsibilities of mobile products?
The last time we wrote about the definition of mobile product management, it was still a relatively new category. But the role changes and expands rapidly. Product managers no longer monitor product backlog or organize their team’s tasks. Between communicating with multiple teams, coordinating release schedules, prioritizing customer satisfaction, driving the mobile product roadmap, messaging product announcements internally and externally, and a myriad more activities, the “to do” list for mobile product managers can seem endless, and the work is constantly evolving.
In 2020, PMs will play a big role in product strategy and determine the overall customer experience. Product managers are now seen as leaders within their organizations rather than as independent employees.
Due to rapidly evolving technology, customers have high expectations of the products they use. If something is broken, they expect an immediate solution. This means that product teams must be more agile than ever and able to make decisions quickly. That said, they are increasingly entrusted with carrying the brand vision and maintaining focus on rapidly changing priorities.
Their primary goal for many mobile product managers is to create a realistic product-market roadmap and achieve milestones on time. But for the more advanced mobile PMs, success isn’t just about ticking boxes. Success is about understanding how the product is doing on the market and adjusting, running, and making decisions quickly based on customer feedback.
What skills do mobile product managers need?
You don’t need a technical education to be a strong PM. Product management’s profession requires varying degrees of technical skill, but it doesn’t apply to everyone and certainly doesn’t require an engineering degree. We wanted to know how technical the average product manager is, how project managers define the term “technical,” and where they go for continuing education.
When we surveyed 100 product managers, 8% of our respondents thought they were not technical (that is, they had no technical contact with developers). More than half of respondents (65%) considered themselves moderately technical (i.e., able to read code, write HTML / CSS, and solve computer problems) but were not fully proficient. The technical skills our respondents possess has increased from then on, with 25 percent of respondents reporting strong technical skills (i.e., the ability to write and read code) and two% identifying themselves as self-proclaimed “technical geniuses” (i.e., probably starts as an engineer and moving into mobile product management).
Being a mobile product manager is no small task. You bear a good deal of the responsibility of building a successful mobile app. Remember that success is different for everyone, but it must be based on the goals you set for yourself in the initial product formulation stages.
Ultimately, it should always come back to the customer.