Top Takeaways from the 2021 Feedback Loop Product Management Insights Report

Hint: The Pandemic Changed Everything

The DISQO CX platform 2021 Product Management Insights Report is different. In light of the lunacy of the past year, we asked even more meaningful questions on this year’s survey. Just as we’d hoped, they elicited even more telling answers from the 500 product managers and leaders we surveyed. 

For our seventh-annual report, Anuraag Verma, host of the popular podcast This is Product Management was joined by Ben Wilson, COO of Olea Edge Analytics and a former CTO for Google during a webinar.

“Just like pretty much everything else, product management, as a profession and as a practice, changed last year,” Verma says. “It was very interesting to see how product managers, themselves, saw those changes and the impacts they had on their day-to-day work practices. Product managers have always known how to be agile and how to do more with less; the 2021 PMI Report showed those skills were really tested by the pandemic in some fundamental ways."

Product Management Insights Reports Roadmap Shift

Verma and Ben will offer their own take on the report’s top takeaways. Chief among them is 90% of respondents who said the global pandemic shifted their product roadmap considerably during the past year. Other takeaways from the report included:

  • As the PM role has become both more pivotal and widespread within companies, more tenured employees are transitioning to product management departments from other roles within the company. After analyzing the research, we see a lot of opportunities for PMs in the future.
  • PMs are playing larger roles at smaller companies, where they need to wear more hats. This became even more necessary in light of pandemic-induced downsizing.
  • The hierarchy of responsibilities among our PM respondents shifted. In 2020, Product Strategy and Setting the Product Roadmap were atop the list, but as many companies struggled to survive, there was likely less time to spend on these types of longer-term practices. This year’s winner was User/Consumer Research
  • Product managers turned inward. They relied more on internal sources for ideas and information, and they shifted more to internal ideation and collaboration, despite — or because of — physically separated teams.
  • PMs want more: more development resources, more data to inform decisions. No surprise here, this has not changed from previous years.

Product Management Insights Reports Wishes
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