A closer look for product management
ProductCon London, the first of five-yearly conferences put together by the team at the Product School, was held at the iconic Barbican Centre today. Product leaders gathered to share insights, learn from one another, and discuss the future of product management. This year, Devbridge had the opportunity to be an event sponsor. I also had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on creating and managing best in class products. Here are three takeaways I’ll carry with me moving forward.
The state of product management is healthy
With close to 2000 attendees, all of whom work within the product space in one capacity or another, it is clear that the industry continues to level up. People across both ends of the experience spectrum shared learnings from war stories and wins. New product managers now come from various backgrounds, not typically categorized as ‘tech’ (e.g., manufacturing, education, and recruitment). All of these are signals that we have a healthy pipeline of new PMs with diverse backgrounds, engaged community of practitioners, and a level of excitement and enthusiasm about the future of our industry.
Diversity remains top of mind within our industry
Today's event featured a diverse mix of speakers and panelists. Male and female product leaders from different racial backgrounds across multiple countries shared the stage to exchange ideas about the product. While I applaud the Product School team encouraging diversity through inclusion, there’s still more work to be done. As product leaders, we need to step out and speak at events (or recruitment fairs) that enable and include underrepresented demographics into the product realm. Minority product leaders raise your hand to represent your teams at these events. It will be a two-way, collaborative effort to establish and maintain diversity in our industry.
Product management will see a convergence of roles
Just as the product management roles continue to evolve, so will the practice. Only a few years ago, the primary focus for PMs was delivery. Meanwhile, today's PM is leveling up. The theme across all of the talks today points to a future where PMs continue to wear many hats. Focusing on building skills such as leadership and creativity, as well as technical skills such as data analytics and user experience. It will not be uncommon to expect PMs who are less reliant on data analysts for simple queries (for example).
It was a great day diving deep into product management and leadership. Thank you to Carlos González De Villaumbrosia, (Founder & CEO of Product School), the team at the Product School, those who stopped by our booth to say hello and learn about the work we are doing at Devbridge. Also, big thank you to my fellow panelists and speakers Tim Beattie, (Open Innovation Labs Engagement Lead at Red Hat), Orkun Ozbatur, (Senior Product Manager at Amazon), and (Irene Gonzalvez, Product Lead at Spotify).
Above all, thank you to the Devbridge team. A team of fantastic product managers and product designers who work very hard every day to build great things and deliver results for our clients. Together, we are working to move the needle forward.