Digital product management has become a crucial function for businesses in the current era of technological innovation and digitalization. This approach involves managing the entire lifecycle of an application, from ideation to launch and beyond. Digital product management can be applied to any app, whether a mobile consumer app or a system used for internal purposes. Digital product managers work to ensure that products continuously meet the needs of the target market, while also aligning with the organization’s business goals. In this blog post, we will discuss what digital product management is and the top three ways it can benefit your business.
What is digital product management?
Digital product management is the application of product management principles to technology investments. This approach represents a marked shift away from the more traditional project management and operations approaches that have dominated the industry thus far.
To understand digital product management, it makes sense to first review what we mean by “product management principles.” Modern product management combines three key roles or topics:
- "Traditional" product management, or what was historically known as product marketing.
- Product lifecycle management, which is often discussed in the context of supply chains.
- Brand management, which you could argue is a subset of product marketing, but has its own unique characteristics.
Each of these roles could take up its own blog post (stay tuned). Suffice it to say that a digital product manager will take on responsibilities from all three areas. It should also be noted that the concept of "product management" has been around for a very long time. People have certainly been marketing (and thus managing) various products or services ever since the invention of movable type in the mid-1400s—and probably before that in ways that have been lost to time.
When talking about digital product management, there is a recognition that organizations have historically not treated their technology investments as though they were marketable (whether that market is internal users or external customers) products. Technology was often seen as the invisible infrastructure of the organization—and not something that needed to be managed by the business. Technology was thought to be the province of IT and its professionals.
Now that almost every significant business service and initiative requires technology, however, we see increasing situations in which business stakeholders need to be actively involved in the development, deployment, and ongoing operation of their technology—whether they like it or not. These trends have served to accentuate the increasing criticality of digital product management.
Ways digital product management benefits the business
1. Better products
This should be obvious, but actively managing software applications as digital products results in better software. A digital product manager performs market research, user research, and competitive analysis to identify customer needs and market trends. Leveraging this deep understanding of the target audience, digital product managers can more effectively create products that continue to meet user needs and exceed their expectations. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and increased sales and usage.
Digital product managers also work closely with development teams to ensure that products are designed and built efficiently. They prioritize features and functionality, manage the development timeline, and ensure that the product meets necessary business goals. By having a structured approach to product development, businesses can avoid costly mistakes and delays that can occur when products are rushed to market.
Note that “continuous” is a critical concept here. Digital product managers ideally marshal their product from conception to grave—for however long that takes—and actively work that entire time to deliver increasing value over and over again. This continued commitment to the product’s purpose is one of the key differences between a product manager role and project manager—and also one of the keys to unlocking the value of better products.
2. Improved communication and collaboration
Digital product management helps improve communication and collaboration between teams and across the organization as a whole. The product manager acts as a bridge between the development team, marketing team, and other stakeholders. They ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. Digital product management tools like those found in Clarity by Broadcom can help teams stay organized, communicate effectively, and collaborate more efficiently, which in turn leads to better products and a more cohesive team. As an example, product roadmaps offer a visual representation of what capabilities will be delivered and when. This makes it easier for all stakeholders to reach consensus and execute on plans.
3. Enhanced growth and scalability
Digital product management enables businesses to grow and scale their products. By creating products that are well designed, well executed, and well received by customers, businesses can establish a reputation for quality and reliability. This usually leads to improved customer loyalty, increased word-of-mouth marketing, and ultimately more sales and usage.
Furthermore, digital product management can help businesses expand their product offerings, enter new markets, and uncover new opportunities. By leveraging market research and user feedback, digital
product managers can develop products that grow to meet more needs of their audience, whether internal users or external customers. This helps businesses diversify their product portfolio and expand their customer base.
In conclusion, digital product management is a crucial function for businesses in today's digital age. It encompasses all the activities required to manage the entire lifecycle of a digital product—from ideation to launch and beyond. Digital product managers work to ensure that products continuously meet the needs of the target market while staying aligned with business goals. By investing in digital product management, businesses can create successful products, improve team collaboration, and ultimately, grow their business.