The history of product management: Tracing the evolution of product management as a discipline

Product management as a discipline has evolved significantly over the years, reflecting the changing needs and expectations of organisations and consumers. In this article, we’ll trace the evolution of product management and explore how it has developed into the vital role it is today.

The origins of product management can be traced back to the early 20th century, when companies began to adopt a more systematic approach to managing their products. At this time, product management was primarily focused on the development and introduction of new products, as well as the management of existing ones. This involved tasks such as market research, product development, and pricing strategy.

As the business landscape changed, so too did the role of product management. In the 1960s and 1970s, the focus shifted towards consumer-driven marketing and the development of brand management strategies. This was a response to the increasing importance of consumer satisfaction and the growing competition among companies.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the rise of technology and the internet led to significant changes in the way products were developed and marketed. Product management began to focus on the integration of technology into products and the development of digital marketing strategies. This was a crucial period for the discipline, as it helped companies adapt to the changing business environment and stay competitive in an increasingly digital world.

Today, product management is a vital discipline that plays a central role in the development and success of products and organisations. It involves a wide range of tasks, including market research, product development, pricing strategy, and digital marketing. Product managers are responsible for ensuring that products meet the needs and expectations of consumers, while also aligning with the overall goals and strategy of the organisation.

In conclusion, the evolution of product management as a discipline reflects the changing needs and expectations of organisations and consumers. From its roots in product development and introduction, it has grown to encompass a wide range of tasks and responsibilities, helping companies stay competitive in an increasingly complex and digital business environment.