5 More Ways AI Will Evolve Product Management in 2024

Part two of our experts’ predictions about how AI will impact the product management profession.

Published on Jan. 10, 2024
5 More Ways AI Will Evolve Product Management in 2024
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Welcome back to the second part of our exploration into the transformative effect of AI on product management. In part one, we forecasted trends involving AI-enhanced user insights, engagement and feedback, as well as prototyping and even development of medical treatments tailored to smaller cohorts. Now, let’s unveil five more ways AI will revolutionize the field of product management.

5 More Ways AI Will Revolutionize Product Management in 2024

  1. AI will make sprint management easier, precisely estimating task completion, optimizing team assignments and identifying skill and planning gaps.
  2. Product managers will embrace end-to-end accountability, transparency and consumer protection to uphold responsible AI practices.
  3. AI will boost predictive maintenance capabilities.
  4. AI will generate personalized findings and recommendations in service of a superior product experience for users.
  5. An interconnected AI defense network will shift isolated security efforts to a unified, global cybersecurity front.

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1. AI-Enhanced Sprint Management

In sprint planning, collaboration has always been the secret sauce to success. But what if we could spice up this collaboration with a dash of AI? In the future of product management, AI’s integration into tools like Jira marks a significant leap forward. This advancement goes beyond writing user stories for you; it actively reshapes decision-making.

Consider a scenario where an x-functional, global product team works on a tight deadline to launch a new feature. By analyzing historical sprint data, including task durations, assigned points and outcomes, AI develops predictive models tailored to enhance team efficiency. This technology provides precise estimations for task completion, optimizes team member assignments and identifies skill and planning gaps. 

The result is a streamlined approach to sprint planning and product operations, allowing the team to adjust strategies proactively. Integrating AI into the project management toolchain enhances productivity and allows the full product team to focus on high-impact, strategic aspects of product development.


2. Ethical AI and Responsible Product Management

As AI technology increasingly permeates various sectors — from healthcare and finance to education — its ethical deployment has become a top-level concern. The expanding influence of AI and the increasingly difficult job of separating the generated output of AI tools from human-generated ones necessitates a transparent and enforceable commitment to responsible development. Particularly in light of documented instances of algorithmic bias, privacy violations, copyright infringement and manipulation, to name a few.

For product managers steering these developments, this responsibility calls for a holistic approach that encompasses end-to-end accountability, transparency and consumer protection. One emerging strategy to reinforce ethical AI development is the implementation of certification programs.

These programs aim to standardize practices and ensure compliance with evolving regulations. They offer a tangible way to demonstrate a product’s adherence to ethical standards, thereby safeguarding user interests and upholding the reputation and integrity of the organizations behind these AI innovations.

Initiatives like Microsoft’s Responsible AI Toolbox provide invaluable resources for product managers to master ethical considerations and integrate them into their AI-driven product development processes.


3. AI-Enabled Forecasting With Predictive Maintenance

In industries dealing with physical products, particularly manufacturing and IoT devices, the emergence of predictive maintenance has already revolutionized the way we approach product care and will continue to do so exponentially. The accelerated innovation hinges on AI algorithms analyzing sensor data from these devices to detect wear and potential failures. 

These algorithms spot subtle changes in operation, like temperature fluctuations or unusual vibrations, signaling the need for maintenance before issues escalate. The predictive analysis and alerts prevent costly breakdowns and minimize downtime, making maintenance more predictable, efficient and cost-effective.

Predictive maintenance analytics are revolutionizing telecommunications network reliability and customer satisfaction. For example, the Deloitte Analytics Institute developed a machine learning model that tracks metrics like line attenuation, error rates and connection stability to identify patterns predictive of future faults. By detecting symptoms up to two weeks before failures, their AI system triggers proactive troubleshooting by field technicians. On average, predictive maintenance increases productivity by 25 percent, reduces breakdowns by 70 percent and lowers maintenance costs by 25 percent.


4. Market Trend Analysis Powered by AI

AI is transforming market research by enabling rapid data analysis at scale to uncover consumer insights. With advanced analytics like machine learning and predictive modeling, AI can forecast trends, guide marketing tactics and automate how to measure and track success to take corrective action.

AI is powering new techniques for qualitative research to decode emotional responses, sentiment and other subjective signals from focus groups and interviews. Technologies like facial coding, voice AI and confidence metrics extract deeper layers of meaning from consumer opinions and behaviors.

The expectation moving forward is that AI will be an indispensable tool for market researchers to generate hyper-personalized findings and recommendations that were previously unfeasible, all in service of a superior product experience for the users, and a competitive advantage for the product and service owners.

Amazon’s recommendation system is a canonical example of the impact of AI in transforming market strategies. Using AI to analyze customer preferences and browsing habits, Amazon has created a highly personalized shopping experience that measurably influences purchasing decisions. An AI-driven approach has set a new standard in e-commerce, demonstrating how product managers can leverage AI for substantial competitive advantage. 

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5. Cybersecurity Threats Anticipated by AI

The evolution of AI in cybersecurity is predestined to follow a trajectory that’s reshaping the foundations of our approach to digital security. In the future, AI won't just react to threats; it will anticipate them by analyzing global cyber threat patterns and even geopolitical and social trends.

For example, an AI system in the near future might foresee vulnerabilities in a new IoT device category and prompt developers to implement specific safeguards during the design phase itself, thus embedding security at the product’s core.

This evolution will also see AI-based systems facilitating a more collaborative approach to cybersecurity. We can envision a future where AI systems across different organizations and sectors communicate with each other, sharing threat intelligence and defense strategies in real time.

This interconnected AI defense network would shift from isolated security efforts to a unified, global cybersecurity front. Imagine a scenario where AI instantly detects a new type of malware in a financial institution in one part of the world and informs and updates defense protocols in devices across various sectors globally. This approach has the potential to not only bolster the security of individual products, but to fortify the entire digital ecosystem against evolving threats.


A Foundational Reshaping

Integrating AI into product management is an exciting and ongoing journey that promises to reshape the profession at its foundation. From collaborative workspaces to ethical considerations, predictive maintenance, market trend analysis and enhanced cybersecurity, product managers are at the forefront of using AI and AI-based tools to unlock new levels of innovation and efficiency.

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