Inside the minds of software product managers

Inside the minds of software product managers

Australian technology recruitment company Real Time has released an industry talent report based on hundreds of conversations with in-demand software product managers. 

Inside the Minds of Australia’s Greatest Software Product Talent, published in February 2024, examined what motivated product managers, along with the issues they described as current struggles. 

Real Time Director Ellis Taylor said it was important to find out what attracted product managers to a new role, and what kept them in their current positions.

“Real Time is proud to work so closely with the software product community and share unique insights that make a difference,” Mr Taylor said.

“Throughout January, our expert consultants interviewed over 300 of Australia’s most in-demand product managers to capture their thoughts and insights.”

On the wish list were: a culture of idea sharing; autonomy within a teamwork environment; early experimentation; iteration to completion and customer conversations.

Product managers also revealed what they did not want in the work environment, with the hit list including: overplanning; “meeting mania”; under-learning; “agile stagnation”; priorities overload and a “command and crash” mentality.

The report studied the biggest hurdles to achieving interconnected data and cross-functional teamwork. Topping the list of frustrations was Data Silos and Lack of Integration, which was cited by 27% of those questioned.

This was followed by: Team Communication and Alignment at 24%; Tech Infrastructure and Tooling, 20%; Lack of Data Literacy, 18% and Company Resistance to Change, 11%.

There were also some interesting results when product managers were asked how their employers could increase their engagement and motivation this year. The Top 3 answers all rated over 20% by respondents.

Empower Me with Ownership and Autonomy was the top answer, having a positive impact on 26% of those questioned. Also highly rated was Invest in My Growth and Development, 25%, and Re-prioritise Wellbeing, 22%.

Rounding out the list of Top 5 motivators was: Recognise and Reward my Contribution on 16% and, Align My Work with Purpose and Meaning, 11%.