More Openness and Other Product Manager Trends

Paul Gray recently was crowned The Best Product Person of 2010 Runner-up. In this final series installment, let's check out the emerging trends of openness in product management.

Paul GrayVery close runner-up to The Best Product Person of 2010 was Paul Gray. Paul Gray has spent ten years working in the entertainment, media and communications industries within Australia and Europe. Paul worked in both B2B and B2C roles for organizations including Disney, Foxtel, and British Telecom.

In consideration as The Best Product Person of 2010, I interviewed Paul about all aspects of Product Management, from his own career path, to advice, to trends he now sees emerging.

This week, let’s look at the trends of openness Paul is seeing.

Looking Forward

> What trends do you see in product management? positive trends? any negative trends?
With the rise of Web 2.0 and consumers gaining more visibility, influence and even control in the development and distribution of products and services, I think product managers will find their role become increasingly more customer centric. It won’t be possible to “stay in the office” and “work on market requirements”.

There seems to be increasing board awareness of the role of product management and I think this will continue. But product managers must work hard to ensure that the rest of the business they operate in understands what it is they should do and what they should not do. This is necessary to help product managers focus on the strategic work rather than get bogged down in operational or tactical tasks.

> How do you see product management evolving over the next 5 years?
Product managers in are already navigators and facilitators – working with customers directly, as well as their colleagues in sales, operations, engineering, marketing and customer service. But as we see increasing globalisation, more openness within organisations and power shifting to the customer, product managers will have to step up and take responsibility for the entire experience. This presents an excellent opportunity to make truly amazing products and services, but it also threatens organisations that are slow or reluctant to open up.

More to Come


Over the next few weeks I will share more of my interviews with other fascinating product people I met in my product person journeys!

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring The Best Product Person of 2010, or any other of the upcoming product person interviews, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.


Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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