You know what they say — you cannot predict the future. 

In excess of the previous several years, we’ve found a ton of unpredictability and volatility, both of those in the planet at huge and in the tech market. However at the starting of a new yr, there is always a drive to replicate on what’s happened in the recent past and make your ideal educated guess of what is to appear. 

We appeared to insights from our 2022 Product or service Excellence Report — and from some of the smartest item people today we know — to forecast the major trends we anticipate to define item administration in 2023:

  1. Merchandise administrators concentrate on operating smarter and more successfully
  2. A new acquire on buyer-centricity is needed 
  3. Conquering lack of clarity all around product eyesight and approach will be a vital focus
  4. Products teams prioritize hybrid collaboration
  5. Acquiring merchandise administration systems and procedures in place is much more vital than at any time
  6. The PM function stays important in spite of financial uncertainty

Completely ready? Let us dive in! 

Trend #1: Merchandise supervisors target on doing the job smarter and extra efficiently

We begun seeing significant-profile tech layoffs in the latter 50 percent of 2022, and in 2023, economists are however not sure about irrespective of whether we’re heading into a recession. As a final result, lots of business enterprise leaders have been shifting from a pure focus on expansion at all prices to performance and profitability. Budgets are tighter and there is extra target on income and ROI fairly than experimentation and chance-using. 

For item people today, this translates to getting requested to do a lot more with considerably less. No matter whether you have been impacted by layoffs or just have a tighter finances, you’re probably to have the same expectations, even though now you have less methods. 

In these instances, it is additional significant than at any time to produce fantastic solutions. This requires tighter communication and a lot more cross-purposeful collaboration. This is not the time to get the job done in silos! Prioritization also issues a lot more than at any time, and it is significant to be genuine with stakeholders about when and why you will be tackling unique jobs. You’ll also have to have to keep focused and steer clear of getting distracted by requests that are not aligned with your major-level ambitions

Craze #2: A refreshing just take on shopper-centricity is needed 

According to the 2022 Products Excellence Report, only 36% of respondents are self-assured that solutions and functions they launch are continually very well-received by consumers. In 2023, we count on to see a good deal of product groups focusing on improving that quantity. 

There are a couple practices that can aid with this. Co-founder of Merchandise Collective Mike Belsito indicates aiming to be the ideal for at the very least a single team of prospects. How can you make sure your item is mission critical for at the very least one particular of your crucial client segments?

Productboard Team Merchandise Supervisor Sophie Lalonde suggests returning to your suitable shopper profiles (ICP). How obviously have you outlined your ICPs? Sophie states you can believe of this like a bullseye, with the folks who get the most price in the center ring, and carefully similar but distinct groups in the rings all-around it.

Whenever you are in doubt about who your clients are or what they want, this is a distinct signal that it’s time to interact in extra product discovery get the job done. Go back again to the opinions you have gathered from numerous sources, establish crucial themes and trends, and link them to distinct element concepts or consumers challenges you’re seeking to clear up (the Productboard Insights board is a good put to do this, by the way). 

Craze #3: Conquering lack of clarity close to merchandise eyesight and approach will be a key focus 

Setting a very clear products vision and approach was the #1 products management challenge of 2022, a ache level felt by each particular person contributors and solution leaders alike. And as groups are stretched with less resources and running in long durations of uncertainty, it’s additional critical than ever to establish alignment.

If you are a product or service chief, placing and communicating a clear merchandise system is your most significant career. Make guaranteed you often look at in with products teams to assure you are on the same web page and they’re making use of method to guideline all prioritization decisions.


Productboard CEO Hubert Palan claims it is all much too common for people today to confuse technique with plans. A prepare is a list of the features you are going to create, although tactic is a selection of the ache factors and consumer segments you’re likely following, the strategies you differentiate your self from your opponents, the vital bets you want to make, and how you’re thinking about allocating your investments in a portfolio.

For the duration of occasions of economic uncertainty, Hubert claims leaders are compelled to feel lengthier time period: “There’s a significantly decreased probability that somebody will fund you in the following 6 months if you really do not figure it out.” This is equally a challenge and an option: “It’s a forcing functionality for businesses to be a lot more disciplined with strategy,” says Hubert. 

Pattern #4: Product groups prioritize hybrid collaboration

In the early years of the pandemic, most individuals shifted to an all-remote design out of requirement. And this was touted as a accomplishment, with numerous company leaders proclaiming that they were being executing absent with offices and likely all in on remote function. Having said that, Productboard CEO Hubert Palan is not certain that remote perform is the best answer, primarily for operate that needs creative imagination and collaboration.

Performing with each other in person builds up important “trust money,” which is wanted in purchase for people today to feel snug inquiring concerns, interrupting, or giving constructive criticism. Doing the job remotely comes with a time penalty of men and women hesitating to ask their inquiries or share their feelings, and this can in the long run hurt a company’s capacity to innovate or attain an edge above opponents. 

Fairly than relying wholly on remote work, Hubert imagines a potential where products groups occur jointly when it is strategically crucial to do so. There will be a time and a position for remote get the job done, but it is not the suitable way of functioning for everybody at all instances — primarily not product or service team.

Craze #5: Getting product or service administration techniques and processes in put is more essential than at any time

The 2022 Solution Excellence Report reveals that self confidence is at present pretty small in merchandise management devices and processes. Only 12% of 1400+ respondents are satisfied with how they capture item insights — which helps make it tough to really hear to your customers and what they will need. When it arrives to roadmapping, just 32% of groups believe that their roadmaps will deliver wished-for organization results, and only 31% can simply share their roadmaps with cross-useful partners. 

With elevated concentration on effectiveness and making the most of out restricted budgets in 2023, acquiring these programs and procedures in location really should be a major priority. You want your groups and stakeholders aligned close to a shared strategy. And you want to get new merchandise and features appropriate the first time to preserve useful time and money.

Whether or not you’re an particular person contributor or product chief, now is the time to systematize how you seize and act on products opinions and insights, outline your product or service approach and how you technique prioritization, and develop rituals around how you connect your options throughout the group so everybody is on the exact web page. 

A merchandise management system like Productboard can enable. See how Productboard can support your crew weather conditions prolonged durations of uncertainty by working additional successfully and with increased transparency.

Trend #6: The PM position remains vital despite financial uncertainty

Around the past couple many years, the tech labor market place has been erratic. Hired’s 2022 State of Tech Salaries report sums it up very well: “In the tumble of 2021, we were being climbing the mountain of submit-pandemic restoration with teams scaling up to tackle ambitious selecting goals… Then, as inflation grew and a economic downturn approached, using the services of slowed or froze in lots of spots.” 

Solution administrators have not been exempt from latest waves of layoffs, but they nonetheless appear to be in need. Just after all, making the ideal products and functions for your consumers is a lot more important than at any time, and product or service administrators are needed to get to the bottom of purchaser demands and prioritize what comes up coming.

In accordance to the Products University Long run of Item Management report, 43% of corporations are selecting more PMs and 26% of PMs are planning to depart their work in the up coming 12 months. And solution administration roles are still a single of the greatest-spending tech roles in the US, even with the financial uncertainty. 

Even when tech workers are impacted by layoffs, their probability of landing on their toes is superior. In reality, economists believed that 75% of tech staff who had been laid off in Oct 2022 would conclusion up discovering a new occupation inside of a few months. 

Bonus: A number of regions of opportunity for 2023

If you are wanting to know what these tendencies could suggest for you and your solution crew, here are a few spots of opportunity we see for 2023.

Option #1: Forge alliances outdoors the product or service crew

If — like the the vast majority of product teams — you’re making an attempt to do a lot more with much less, you will need to be much more aligned, and not just in your own crew. Alignment is critical across teams to assure anyone is performing towards the exact aims. 

Sophie suggests doing the job with a stakeholder in every department — particularly client results, product sales, and marketing — so they can advocate for merchandise wants when you’re not all-around to do so. And on the flipside, you can take their insights to be certain that you’re concentrating on the very same buyer complications and doing the job jointly to discover the greatest methods.

Possibility #2: Concentration on problems relatively than answers

Presented the financial weather, there will be opponents that turn into hyper-concentrated on performance and turn into aspect factories. If you as an alternative use this as an chance to target on unique consumer profiles and their work to be finished, you could arrive up with extra creative solutions than just incremental alterations. 


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