2019 Product Management Survey

We just finished analyzing the results from our first-ever product management survey. 

You may be wondering if you can share the results and the graphics. The answer is: Absolutely! You simply need to attribute it as a report from Roadmap.com that was sponsored by Aha! and link to both if you want to use the data online. You can read the full analysis over on the Aha! blog. If you want to print and share with your team, you can download the infographics in color and in black and white too.

So, what did we find out? One thing is clear — product management is rapidly maturing. But there is still a long way to go.

Do the results surprise you? Or are these the same types of challenges your team is facing? Sound off below by leaving a comment.

500+ product managers

Of the more than 500 respondents who participated in the global survey, many are seasoned product managers. The breakdown between individual contributors and leaders was proportional, with the majority being based in Europe and North America.

From small to big

More than half of the product managers in the survey work at a company that sells five products — 30 percent reported building and selling a whopping 25-plus products.

Roadmapping is a big focus

Roadmapping and capturing ideas for customers are the most common work streams for product managers to manage, along with defining features and requirements.

"I want to spend more time with my users."

Busy, busy, busy

Product managers are really, really busy and having a hard time keeping up with the demands across work streams. For example, one third of respondents reported spending as much time assisting with sales deals as they do creating product roadmaps.

"If I could do one thing differently next year it would be to spend less time crafting roadmaps and more time on strategy."

Busy supporting other teams, too

Product managers also report spending a lot of time supporting other teams' efforts — from assisting with sales deals to balancing limited development resources with an ambitious product plan. Investing in internal alignment with marketing was another time-suck.

"Not enough cross-functional alignment between engineering, production, sales, and marketing."

Strategy is (still) a struggle

Overall company strategy is murky. Product managers consistently cited challenges establishing clear strategy, setting goals and initiatives, and quickly pivoting strategy to market demands.

It is a challenge to define and stick to a proper and coherent strategy.”

Pace of innovation disappoints

The majority of product managers said being more agile is the goal, but felt product teams generally fail to move at a meaningful pace.

"It had taken us too long and people were more frustrated at the wait than excited about the new feature.”

Go-to-market activities suffer

Most lackluster product launches and unsuccessful marketing programs start with the lack of alignment between product and marketing management. Collaboration and communication with marketing were cited as top reasons for go-to-market flops.

“It simply was not clear to the public what our mission was or what our product was.”

7 Replies

Very interesting data! Thanks for sharing.

Is this an annual study? Will there be another next year?

You bet! Just like this year, we will notify all Roadmap.com members when the next survey takes place — you will get a notification in your profile. And if you want your teammates to be informed as well, encourage them to join the site. 👍

Great data, is there any analysis between this years survey and last year. What are the changes trends year to year?

Hi Tim — Thanks!

This was the first year of the survey. But next year we will do the survey again and have some trend analysis to provide. Glad you found it useful.

I would like to run this survey at my client who is a Fortune 500 company. We’d be happy to share the results back into the survey if you like. Is this something we could make happen?

Hey Jason 👋Glad you found the results interesting.

Unfortunately, we have closed the survey for this year. We will run it again next year — exact timing to-be-determined. However, feel free to use our results as inspiration for your research. If you do run a survey with your clients, please share your learnings with the community. I'm sure everyone would be interested to find out what you discovered.

Thanks for chiming in — and for joining the forum!

Thank you for sharing this insightful survey! Its invaluable in understanding this important role of product managers. I look forward to the future editions.