Business Meeting

Product Management Challenges.

Research from 2019 found that product management is clearly defined and understood in only 21% of organizations. 


There are three core challenges for product teams. They need to:

  1. Improve results from new product initiatives;

  2. Reduce the chaos in product management processes; and 

  3. Improve the outcomes from product management training and professional development.

Challenge 1: Failure rate of product initiatives

Peter Drucker said, "The test of an innovation . . . lies in its success in the marketplace." By that measure, product teams as a whole are not delivering success.


of new product development efforts either never make it to market or fail to deliver expected returns.


of all new product development efforts fail to meet their revenue targets.


of startups die because they work on products with no market need.

When organizations have too many ideas and too few resources, these failure rates are unacceptable.


The most impactful thing organizations can do to increase the productivity of their development teams is not increasing velocity, it is simply picking the right things to focus on.


Challenge 2: Chaos in the product process

Cooper and Edgett, in their "Best Practices in the Idea-to-Launch Process" paper, said that "Simply having a formal process is itself a best practice."


of product professionals indicated that process was the biggest challenge for product management in their company.

2 X

High-growth organizations are twice as likely to have and use standard deliverables in their process.


Recent research identified the top issues in product for 2020: ad-hoc lifecycle processes, ill-defined product innovation processes, and inconsistent portfolio management processes. For most organizations, process is the problem.

Simply put, defining a clear and nimble process from idea to market has a material impact on the overall performance of your product team and organization.

There is a significant gap between the importance of product management fundamentals and the current command product teams have in those area.

The majority of spend for product management professional development is going to lecture-based training, even though lecture-based training ranks lowest in the value of adult learning approaches.

Product management professional development needs to shift towards active learning – coaching, hands-on workshops and on-demand lessons – the areas that consistently rank the highest in value with today's learners.

Something has to change. If the product profession wants to remove chaos and deliver success, professional development needs to evolve. 

Challenge 3 | Poor professional development outcomes

In his HBR article "Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development," Steve Glaveski said "the majority of training in today's companies [is] ineffective [and] the purpose, timing, and content . . . is flawed."


of employees do not believe training measurably improves performance.



of employees report they don't have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs.


of employees do not apply new skills from professional development.