The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on many aspects of our lives, and product management is no exception. In just a matter of months, the world was changed dramatically, and product managers adapted to the new challenges. Lockdowns and social distancing forced us to find new ways to collaborate with teams, stakeholders, and customers, and this accelerated our use of tools like video conferencing and online collaboration platforms – we had to stay proactive and technology adoption-ready to keep up.
Even though we like to think product managers are very special, what we saw was that our customers also adapted – became more tech-savvy and adoption-ready! During those initial lockdowns, things that required years of market education were shortened to mere months or even weeks. Everyone has become accustomed to consuming digital services in a moment and at all ages. Consumers and users now expect companies to think digitally. They expect to buy the product and receive service and support for it completely online and without the help of a representative. Many companies are not there yet, even though the vast majority of customers of all ages are already there.
It has been a clear lesson from the impact of Covid-19 is that work processes, products and markets will always evolve and adapt to current human circumstance. As a result, many product management tasks have totally shifted and changed with the pandemic. Digital interactions have emerged as the winner from the pandemic, and that has allowed entire new markets to emerge.
Our customers are now looking for products and services that are more affordable, flexible, and resilient. This means we as product managers must focus on innovation, cost-effectiveness, and customer experience, while also finding new ways to bring value to customers in a challenging economic climate.
The pandemic has also had a significant impact on supply chains and logistics. Because of lockdowns, increasing shipping- and material costs, we need to find new ways to source materials and get products to market. For product managers this requires an even more agile, and adaptive approach, sourcing to new supplies and finding new routes to market as needed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on product management, forcing product managers to find new ways to work, collaborate, and drive business success. However, this has also been a time of opportunity, providing product managers with the chance to improve processes, adopt new technologies, and find new ways to bring value to customers. With the right approach and a focus on agility and adaptability, product managers can emerge from this crisis stronger and better equipped to drive success in the new normal.