Product management in a crisis

COVID-19 crisis

In 2020 we faced the COVID-19 crisis. Another crisis like many others, but this one with a huge impact on people’s daily lives. To help remember, here’s Wikipedia’s list of economic crises and a list of health crises, including the Spanish Flu that happened more than 100 years ago with 500 million people infected — about a quarter of the world’s population at the time.

Product management in a crisis

Product management “is the function responsible for making the connection between the company strategy and the problems and needs of clients using the digital product. It must be, at the same time, helping the company to accomplish its strategic goals, and solving the problems and needs of clients.”

  • preserve cash;
  • identify and adapt to changes in customer problems and needs.

The role of the product manager

The interesting side comes when the company focuses on identifying and adapting to changes in customer problems and needs. That’s the main role of the product manager.

Real-life example

Here at Gympass we have 3 different customers and all of them are deeply impacted by COVID-19:

  • gyms in many cities were closed to help in physical distancing measures applied in many cities to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and consequently are losing recurring revenues from users who are not visiting the gym;
  • users, the employees of our clients, cannot go to gyms anymore and have to stay at home, but also have to somehow stay active, but their first reaction is to cancel or pause their Gympass membership since they won’t have access to gyms for a while;
  • corporate clients, whose employees are at home and don’t go anymore to gyms, while HRs are concerned about how to keep these employees engaged and productive.
  • Provide gyms a white label app they could offer to all their members so they can deliver value to their clients helping them stay active while at home;
  • Provide a platform for gyms to schedule and stream live classes to all Gympass users so they can keep their instructors employed while providing Gympass users with exclusive content.

Perfect is the enemy of good

As mentioned earlier, when a crisis hit the market, companies need to look into these two perspectives:

  • preserve cash;
  • identify and adapt to changes in customer problems and needs.

Product leadership advisor

I’ve been helping several product leaders (CPOs, heads of product, CTOs, CEOs, tech founders, and heads of digital transformation) extract more value and results from their digital products. Check here how I can help you and your company.

Digital Product Management Books

Do you work with digital products? Do you want to know more about how to manage a digital product to increase its chances of success, solve its user’s problems and achieve the company objectives? Check out my Digital Product Management bundle with my 3 books where I share what I learned during my 30+ years of experience in creating and managing digital products:

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Joca Torres

Joca Torres

Digital product development advisor, coach, and board member. Also an open water swimmer and ukulelist.