They play a strategic role, making difficult choices. The project manager is the single point of contact for that project up until the moment of completion. Many times you may see project managers who do all the planning for the project, and they actually sit those project plans on the desk and not use them. As you can see, the difference between product-oriented, process-oriented, or project-oriented management is very thin and hard to define. Project Manager Vs. Lots of aspiring product managers want to know the answer to these questions. Casting the confusion and overlapping skills aside, product managers and project managers form a powerful duo after all. If you’re considering the different between a product manager and project manager and considering which of these roles you’d like to pursue, you may want to think about what you like doing. Learn more about the cookies in Our Privacy Policy. A project manager keeps the expectations of the stakeholder while manufacturing the product. Product Manager vs Project Manager - what's the difference? Let us know if you have any article ideas or want us to cover something in more detail. What will be its introductory benefits in the market? The product manager often meets with the marketing and sales teams to ensure goals are aligned and their product continues to get support from cross-functional teams. By joining powers together, they can create a tremendously successful project. Know the difference: Product Manager vs Project Manager. Sample project management activities include the application of knowledge, skills, tools, techniques to the project activities to meet the project requirements. Please try again. While the project manager goes with WHEN and HOW. Product Manager vs. Project Manager Explained. But they are also responsible for establishing a vision for the product and following that up with a strategy to fulfill it—with the customer in mind. Projects manager, project leader, aka project lead, team leader, there are so many project manager jobs that it’s easy to get confused. Product Manager vs project manager: the Brainmates perspective. Project Manager has the responsibility to deliver project scope within an established time and budget. Key Definitions: Product Manager vs. Project Manager Definition of a Product Manager. We always love to hear from you. Stay up to date on the latest SaaS & product management tips to grow your business. Ideally, the product manager should be free to maximize his or her time on product metrics, customer analysis, and defining/refining the product core vision. In small organizations, it is customary for one person to perform multiple jobs. Are you a product manager or project manager? and Why?. Now here’s the thing that sets them apart: the timeline. A product manager’s role is strategic, much like a CEO but for the product. While in some organisations the role of both is clearly understood and takes the shape of job requirements, others may attribute functions of one position to the other. Firstly, the project manager requires a technical background, and in the IT company, they have to be very experienced with the responsibility to convert the objectives into quantified and achieved project plan, giving emphasis on management and implementation. For this reason, I decided to write about the differences between Product Management, Program Management, and… For me, this is easier than most people make it out to be. Both of the product manager and project manager roles are vital for the success or failure of a company. That is having the intuition to know when to move a product from alpha to beta tests, when to delay a release because of a buggy feature, or remove a product or part of it because it doesn’t make economic sense anymore. Product Manager vs project manager: the Brainmates perspective. Although both the job roles involve quite different tasks and responsibilities, they are often mistaken for each other. What is the product? Product Owner vs. Business Analyst vs. Account Manager. The following are some of the differences that clarify the product manager vs project manager debate. Construction managers are more involved in the details. Based on what we covered so far though, we expect that you can already spot some big differences in the Product Owner vs Project Manager roles. What's the difference between product manager vs. project manager?It certainly doesn't help that both are named so similarly, and I can't tell you the # of times I've been incorrectly labeled as a project manager.. To start, the two disciplines have fundamentally different purposes.. Meanwhile, project managers deal with project execution and ensure that they deliver a quality product on time and on budget. Product and project managers see the same work through different lenses. The two functions share the responsibility for managing the delivery of an outcome. Project manager is a person who is responsible for accomplishing the project goals within the scope, specified time frame and within the budget. They analyze market gaps and use customer feedback to continuously improve the product. But they both work for the same team. And when they join forces to collaborate, everyone benefits and … Get monthly tips on how to successfully run projects and remain sane at the same time. When it’s time to change the model of the car, it’s time for a more flexible and … Products vs. They control the entire team of designers, developers, and everyone involved in that project. “What is the difference between a product manager and a …?” You can fill in the rest of that question with more than a half dozen job titles — engineering manager, scrum master, project manager, business analyst, and more. Product management is an organizational function within a company that deals with the planning, forecasting, and production or marketing of a product or products at all stages of the product life cycle.Project management, on the other hand, consists of the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills, and experience to achieve the objectives of a specific project. A project manager runs product development. A project manager holds an analytical role. Software, apps, training, and courses are all products. They are connected with the stakeholders as far as the outcome of the project is concerned. But, above all, it involves product sense. Difference Between Product Manager vs Project Manager To put it simply― “A Project Manager is like a midwife – he/she delivers the baby, hands it over to the mother and moves on. A project is a fixed plan for method and timing . 3. Hence, it can include several projects that aim to maintain, improve, or diversify it. There aren’t two more confusing, yet vital roles in a tech company that get so mixed up these days: the product manager and the project manager. A product manager has to convince the stakeholders to invest in the execution of their vision. The 10 Must-Have Project Management Skills of 2019. Or, to put it simply, their responsibility is to successfully bring a project to completion within the agreed budget, time, and quality – one project at a time. They understand the users’ needs and bring innovative ideas to the project team. The product manager is there to convince them with statistics about projected revenue, market share, and brand recognition. The complexity of business and its recurring changes have segregated the workforce into more and more specialized categories. Project Management to Product Management: An Easy Transition. and When?. Product Managers have to evaluate the customer needs and develop a solution that addresses these needs, with the help of various teams in the organization. Project management guide on Checkykey.com. Project managers, on the other hand, ensure that product development and construction projects go smoothly. Project Manager vs. Project Coordinator vs. At a high level, a product manager decides the evolutionary trajectory of a plan and the project manager is responsible for aligning resources in order for that plan to be successfully executed. Product Manager. All rights reserved. The product manager has to continue to bring new ideas of innovation to make the product more successful and keep up with marketing campaigns. It goes through a life cycle, being developed and introduced on the market, grown in acceptance until it matures, and retired once it’s no longer needed. Monster has an example job description for product managers. Does this mean that, for example, a product manager does the same job as a project manager? But usually it takes a lot of projects to achieve this result. In our 2019 book Hired: How to Get a Great Product Job, we went into detail on managing this transition from project to product. One of those being the product manager vs. project manager. Some organizations hire one of them, others hire them all. A product and a project are different things. They’re the ones who set and own the overall product direction, staying with it until they remove the product from the market. Product management It is a process to strategically drive the development, market launch and ongoing support for the improvement of products at a workplace or company. Product managers used to do the upfront market research, product planning, and requirements definition work. The most complete project management glossary for professional project managers. Project managers with the How? The right question to ask is for product manager vs project manager. They may also be interested in the quality of processes and products your project creates or improves. To untangle the two terms, it’s helpful to think of programs as being the long-term bigger picture, and projects as being shorter phases that all feed into it. NOTE: If you’re a project manager that runs a small team and looking for time tracking system, check out these easy time tracking software. A product moves through product lifecycle and a product manager must take action according to where their product lies in the product lifecycle graph. In parallel with the product manager leading the product’s development, the product marketing manager will be responsible for learning the product’s strategy, getting to know its customer and user personas, and developing the tools and campaigns that the company will use to introduce and sell this product to the market. The operations manager is a person who is … A project is a one-at-a-time endeavor with the aim of creating a product or service. Even after the launch of a new product, the product manager is still busy with marketing campaigns to ensure their product sales grow. Quality management controls the quality of an organization's processes, products and services. Whatever the responsibilities, a product manager is functionally an organizational role. First, when Scrum was developed in the 1990ies, product management was different from what it is today. A product can be a physical object or a service. Required fields are marked *. Why should it be needed in the market? This way product managers add value by focusing on the product vision. You can actually see what the difference is. However, you are likely to encounter them in fields as diverse as manufacturing, marketing and retail. But once the project is more complex, spans across a longer timeline, and involves people from different departments and geographical areas, it’s best to separate them. Project Manager vs Operations Manager As managers play important roles in every business organization, it is handy to know the difference between project manager and operations manager. Some people are … Today I’d like to explore the differences between IT Product Management and IT Service Management as they pertain to IT and to business-IT maturity. What do they do? And that's a good thing when you are trying to achieve something special like bringing a new product to market as I was. Thus, a complete vision of the product is presented by a product manager. They are responsible for the entire product, from its design to its development to its production. Let’s dive in. So when somebody says “program manager vs project manager”, tell them that those two terms are synonyms. Even after the launch of a new product, the product manager is still busy with marketing campaigns to ensure their product sales grow. A project manager’s main role is tracking progress and organizing the workflow to provide on-time project completion. Product Manager vs Project Manager: A Product Manager is ultimately responsible for making sure that her product is as successful as possible both short-term tactically and long-term strategically. Firstly, the project manager requires a technical background, and in the IT company, they have to be very experienced with the responsibility to convert the objectives into quantified and achieved project plan, giving emphasis on management and implementation. Throughout the entire development stage, this person ensures that the project is in line with budget and time frames. Product management and project management are complementary but distinct. That is why understanding the difference between them is so crucial. A product can be anything from a physical product, to a software or a service that satisfies the needs of a group of users. It usually goes through five stages – initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control, and closure. They have to make decisions based on the feedback of their customers and market competition. The product manager makes decisions according to the needs of the customers and ensures all relevant departments are in sync with their idea. The perspective of a Project Manager - everything is under control! Quality managers may be interested in any quality disruptions (or risks of disruptions) your project may cause. Product Owner vs. In an earlier post, I discussed the differences between and relationships among Project, Program and Portfolio management – this continues to be a popular post. It evolves and adapts to the current user’s needs to prove its utility and avoid being retired. Today’s organizations need both innovative ideas and execution of those ideas to lead them to the top. Difference Between Product Manager And Project Manager. If you still don’t know the difference between the project manager and project lead, we’re here to help. In order to fully understand the differences between these functions, one must first understand the difference between a product and a project. Difference between a product manager and a project manager. But the real question is, should they? Product Manager — Differences. A project manager is responsible for a single part of a product lifecycle – product development, while a product manager’s responsibility is to lead a product from the germ of an idea to launch, focusing on features, business value, and the customer. In just one decade, the Singapore tech scene has seen a tremendous explosion. Complementary roles indeed, but distinct at the same time. This involves a great deal of market research. A project is a process. Meanwhile, project managers tackle more functional issues and work internally. Product Managers have to evaluate the customer needs and develop a solution that addresses these needs, with the help of various teams in the organization. A product manager is responsible for the marketing and strategic development of the product. Workable has an example job description for product marketing managers. The following are some of the differences that clarify the product manager vs project manager debate. A product manager is the person who identifies the customer need and the larger business objectives that a product or feature will fulfill, articulates what success looks like for a product, and rallies a team to turn that vision into a reality. Let’s move forward and see how differences play out when it comes to their roles and responsibilities. After briefly reviewing their roles and responsibilities, we can observe that product managers deal with technical issues and are thus externally oriented. A project manager on the other hand only coordinates with the product, technical, and engineering team to manufacture the product according to the requirements. Program manager vs. project manager: What’s the difference? We can assume that product managers can be project managers too. Your email address will not be published. They can move onto the next project for its timely execution. A product is a result. By signing up, you're agreeing with the Paymo Terms of Service and When is the best time for the execution of a project? They are responsible for the entire product, from its design to its development to its production. The project manager should use those defined parameters to initiate, plan, control, and execute on project goals. Technical product managers bring a deep technical expertise to their role but still focus on the core best practices of product management. Read our full comparison of product managers vs project managers in the dedicated article. Copyright © 2020 Anarchist, Inc. DBA outcry.io. This involves the overall lifecycle of the product. Casting the confusion and overlapping skills aside, product managers and project managers form a powerful duo after all. When aligned properly, they both can shine. In this article, I will focus mostly on Product Owner. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure the project progresses fluently, deliveries are on time, and deadlines and milestones met. This goal usually breaks down into three activities: The project manager might also gather up the user requirements, but have little to say in defining and prioritizing them, as well as aid the product manager in writing the user stories. Many titles include project management in their job description. It is important that people in these careers meet fiscal goals set by their superiors. The first challenge in differentiating the role of Project Manager or a Product Manager is that (as well as having the same initials) they sound a lot alike. By continuing to use the website, you consent to the use of cookies. Found this article useful? Depending on your level of experience, there is likely a fit somewhere in the profession, if you look for it. The project manager will be concerned with that project’s budget, resources, deadline, and quality. The root of the difference between a project manager and product owner can be found in the direction of the project that needs to be managed. Many people confuse the terms Product Manager, Program Manager, and Project Manager. How Do Project Managers and Product Managers Work Together? Is it the kind of project that needs to build from a transparent, robust plan that lays out every step in the order that they need to be finished before the next step to begin? A product manager is responsible for market success. At a high level, a product manager decides the evolutionary trajectory of a plan and the project manager is responsible for aligning resources in order for that plan to be successfully executed. It continues to confuse people, I assume because they sound similar. Conclusion Although, there are differences between product manager and project managers but both plays an important role in success and failure of a company. In describing the product manager’s role, our friends at Mind the Product cite Marty Cagan’s book Inspired, which explains succinctly that the job of a product manager A project manager is also referred to as a program manager in many organisations. So they are responsible for making sure milestones are met, timelines are followed and the budget is maintained. Project Manager Vs. Constant thought is given to the end-users who are the ones that will either keep the product alive or let it die. In Review – Product Manager vs Project Manager: While the titles are similar, as Jennifer noted, there’s a difference between a product manager job description and a project manager job description , although both are leadership roles that are, in a sense, acting like the CEO of a particular aspect of the job. While the product manager is the general of product development, the project manager is the platoon leader of the project life cycle. Privacy Policy. To better understand the difference, let us start with some basics to lay the foundation.You may also like: Transformation from Project Leader to Project Manager The most complete project management glossary for professional project managers. Their differences complement each other and guarantee the long-term success of a company. Cookies help us deliver our services. If you look closely at those 973 job descriptions, you’ll see that they are not all that different from the role and responsibilities of a regular ol’ product manager. The first challenge in differentiating the role of Project Manager or a Product Manager is that (as well as having the same initials) they sound a lot alike. Product managers are also responsible for the profit and loss function of a product. This temporary undertaking approach uses five processes to deliver a project; these are: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Control and Monitor and Close. To know the differences among the roles: product manager, program manager and project manager, let us first know about their functions in detail. Conclusion. Product vs Project Manager: What Are the Main Differences? Difference between product Manager and project Manager. [ You May also Like: 10 Books Every Product Manager Should Read ]. The terms product management, program management, and project management are often associated with the software industry – especially product and program management. While it might seem to be a trivial, semantic issue it often leads to confusion about the two roles. Product Owner vs. After 10 years of studying the craft of product management, I’ve developed a deep understanding of what it means to be a product manager. Related: 7 Must-Haves for Every Product Manager Resume. Product Managers define strategic business objectives which lead to different projects. There is a demand for the seasoned product manager, but also entry points for those with less experience and skills working in the discipline. 5 Qualities That Every Good Project Manager Possess. 6 min read. So what are the differences between a product manager vs. project manager? A Project Manager is responsible for delivering a project that meets its requirements on-time, on-budget, and to the required degree of quality. Let’s analyze the problems that might arise from overlapping both roles: It might be feasible to have a person that wears both hats like it happens with most small companies. The similarities between product managers and project managers. Many people confuse the terms Product Manager, Program Manager, and Project Manager. It makes sense that people are curious about the overlap between different job titles. Product Manager. NOTE: If you’d like to see what the expectations for a project manager position are, have a look at our complete analysis of 200+ project management job descriptions. It involves the execution within the time frame and overall management of the budget. If you want to work in any of these professions, then always pay attention to the list of responsibilities. How to execute this project? Shared Characteristics and skills for the Product Owner and the Project Manager. The Different Roles in Product Management. A product is anything that can be offered to a market to solve a problem, or to satisfy a want or need. Product management is a growing field. While it might seem to be a trivial, semantic issue it … Product Managers define strategic business objectives which lead to different projects. Product Manager vs. Project Manager Compared. Drift has a great infographic on the differences between a product manager and a product marketing manager, which we've displayed below. “oh, it depends… “. It has a start and end date, as well as a defined outcome. A project manager typically has more of a technical role. They have to attend industry events, 10 Books Every Product Manager Should Read. Product Manager vs Project Manager - what's the difference? Project management guide on CheckyKey.com. They have to attend industry events, gather customer feedback, and run different usability tests. After the introduction of the product in the market, the job of a project manager is done. For this reason, I decided to write about the differences between Product Management, Program Management… How this translates to differences between product managers and project managers. As previously mentioned, a product manager is involved in the marketing of their particular product. It is easy to see why the two roles are used interchangeably. Projects. This is a summary of what you need to succeed: Work on your tech skills: Many product managers have emerged from programming or developing. Even though they might overlap in terms of certain skills, such as leadership and time management, they’re in fact two sides of the same coin. Unlike a project, a product is not a temporary endeavor. The product manager sets the vision for the product that needs to be built, gathers requirements, and prioritizes them, while the project manager acts upon this vision and makes sure that it is executed on time and on budget. Product and project managers each perform unique functions. Product Manager — Differences. They will understand the many details of each project. The entire lifecycle, from development to redundancy, is supervised by a product manager. Content: Investors are usually interested in getting to know the projected return on their investment to cater if it is a viable option of not. Though some of the organizations have all three different roles, still the confusion persists about their work. Project manager vs product owner: it all comes down to the project. Please spread the knowledge and share it with your teammates and followers. employed at a large organization, you’ll often find roles that sound the same, but are quite different. We don't spam and we deeply respect your privacy! Product manager and Project manager are two of the most important roles in every technology company. Meanwhile, project managers deal with project execution and ensure that they deliver a quality product on time and on budget. Project management vs product management: Q & A Q1: Product vs project – What’s the difference? The essence of being an effective project manager or product manager can be summed up in four words: “The buck stops here!” That quote, popularized by U.S. President Harry Truman, refers to the ability of leaders to make decisions, work collaboratively with trusted advisors, and – ultimately – take responsibility for the outcome of those decisions. We’ve compiled typical duties of PDMs and PMs into a table to find out the areas where they overlap. This way product managers add value by focusing on the product vision. The product manager deals with WHAT and WHY. Join our newsletter and get product management tips to grow your business. The Difference Between Product, Program and Project Management. To iron out their differences, let’s start with the definition of the words product and project. Product management software and project management software are entirely different tools — each designed for a different type of role, to help address different business needs.The key distinction: Product management software helps product managers organize, develop, and communicate the product strategy, while project management software helps project managers (and others responsible for building the product) track the execution of the strategy. Product manager vs. project manager: Which role might be right for you? They have to bring the vision to an end. What's the difference between product manager vs. project manager?It certainly doesn't help that both are named so similarly, and I can't tell you the # of times I've been incorrectly labeled as a project manager.. To start, the two disciplines have fundamentally different purposes.. The main difference is that a project manager is completely responsible for the start to finish of a project, while a product manager is completely responsible for the start to finish of a product. For me, this is easier than most people make it out to be. After my previous video on Project Manager vs Scrum Master, people asked me how different is Project Manager role to Product Owner role. That’s why they collaborate with the sales, marketing, customer success, and support teams to make sure that they nail the overall business goals, in terms of revenue, competitive advantage, and customer satisfaction. After the closure of a project, another assignment is undertaken, which is again of a temporary nature. I often am asked what the relationship should be between a Product Manager and a Delivery Manager and the answer I give almost all of the time is contextual. This role mostly demands individuals with a marketing or business background. Project managers typically don’t deal with construction workers, equipment, and materials, except to sign off on them.It’s the construction manager’s job to determine what their needs are in those areas, develop a proposal, and submit it to the project manager for approval. A project manager’s role, on the other hand, is more tactical, focusing primarily on the execution side. Project Managers work with the Waterfall methodology, when in Scrum all team members share the duty of manager. Product includes any tangible or intangible item or service, or bundles of goods and services offered for sale. It is their responsibility to understand the user needs, translate them into a design or MVP (Minimum Viable Product), and lead a development team to build the product and meet those needs. However, their job doesn’t end at the introduction of products in the market. Their job is to lead the team to … They have to take the product vision from the product manager, develop a project timeline around it, and plan the work for the development team to hit important goals and deadlines. To use a simplified example, planning and designing a new car model is a project—whereas running a factory that builds the cars is a mass-production system. Project management deals with temporary projects to deliver the desired goal for an organization. However, if you are one of the 60 million people in the US employed at a large organization, you’ll often find roles that sound the same, but are quite different. This is also a good time to check out the top 9 courses for product management. Product and project managers see the same work through different lenses. Therefore, we would like to move on to the skills for both roles. Basically, they are responsible for bringing the vision of the product manager to life. Related: Product Manager vs Project Manager. One of those being the product manager vs. project manager. This reassures them that instructions are as clear as possible for the team so that they can easily stick with them. To quote a popular industry saying: Product managers deal with the What? Treat them appropriately and they’ll take care of your business. It continues to confuse people, I assume because they sound similar. Therefore, the product manager and project manager professions are also different. If so, what are some other differences you’ve seen between the two roles? Deciding which ones are worth going after. However, in engineering organizations, they can require a technical background as well. The responsibilities and functions of product managers and project managers. The difference between the project manager and product manager. Program Manager vs. There are many relevant skills and characteristics that great Product Owners have. Product Manager vs. The baby is the product and the mother being the Product Manager.” They would then hand off a requirements specification to a project manager who would work with development and test to deliver the product.