As the free money era ends, budgets are tightening, and layoffs are looming. Digital Product Managers will need to shift their focus more to productivity and efficiency instead of just growth. This is valid for both customer-facing products and the internal software and tooling that fuel the modern enterprise. Growth remains a priority, but further driving engagement and ensuring retention will help to stop the leaky bucket of churn.
Here are three areas for digital product managers to focus on now:
1. Data-driven fixes and enhancements
Building and launching new product features and functionality may have to wait for larger investment appetites to return, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve select experience elements that can have a significant impact on usage and satisfaction. Prioritizing investments that generate nearer-term ROI and cash flow will set the stage for future growth.
Two key areas to consider:
- User onboarding; and,
- Customer service
Both areas typically have strong behavioral data to guide optimization efforts, with the ultimate goal being to increase customer lifetime value (CLV) via the productivity impact of internal tools.
2. Process mapping and alignment
Standardizing design and development processes and systems across products can save money, reduce complexity, and simplify cross-functional collaboration.
Examples of this type of work include:
- Service blueprinting
- Design systems
- Data master strategies
Experimentation and iteration should still drive experience improvements, but better process alignment between product, engineering, design, IT, and go-to-market teams can decrease cycles and help launch updates faster.
3. Resource investments in talent and cloud
Layoffs and hiring freezes are shrinking internal talent at many firms. Reprioritizing the product backlog can help mitigate the effects of this, but leaders should also strive to maintain velocity by leveraging flexible and scalable global talent solutions. From freelancers to SWAT teams and staff augmentation to full-stack product squads, there are great options that already “speak product” and can plug in quickly.
Many companies moved quickly to perofrm a lift and shift to get into the cloud, but few had the time or resources to fully address underlying issues with their data master and analytics strategies. This has led to bloated or redundant storage, created additional product debt, increased costs, and added friction to realizing all the advantages the cloud promised.
Optimizing infrastructure spending can unlock savings in capacity, utilization, and untapped functionality. This holds especially true for cloud-related initiatives:
- Reprioritizing cloud investments can help lower the total effective cost of ownership to free up more budget; and,
- When budget permits, cloud investments can help to unlock new product features and productivity enhancements, especially across automation and artificial intelligence realms.
TheoremOne helps digital product leaders manage through the ups and downs of business cycles. Through consulting, product design and development, and scalable talent solutions, we understand the challenges of driving productivity and efficiency in today’s environment. Please reach out to connect or discuss how we can help you do more than just keep the lights on.