Project manager vs. Product manager is two of the most confusing, but important, positions in a tech company these days. While they may have certain skills in common, such as leadership and time management, they are both two sides of the same coin.
They are responsible for managing the overall product directions, Staying with it until the product is removed from the market. They must understand the user needs and convert them into a design or MVP and make a development team to build the required product and meet those needs.
This includes difficult tasks such as
- Interviewing users for gathering information.
- Checking the problems and opportunities.
- Making a decision which options are worth following.
- Creating a guide map and defining its features
- Giving priority to development tickets
But theKey priority is given to the product sense. That includes remembering the intuition to know when the product is transferred from the alpha to beta tests, delaying the product’s release due to many buggy features, or removing the product or part from it because it doesn’t make any economic sense anymore.
Product managers are also reliable for the profit and loss function of the product. due to which they align with the marketing, sales, customer success and also supports teams to make sure that they meet the overall business goals in terms of competitive advantage, revenue, and customer satisfaction
The project manager has to acquire responsibility for the product vision from the product manager, make a product timeline for it, and plan with the development team to hit essential goals and deadlines.
Or in other words, the project manager’s main objective is to complete the project within the agreed budget, time, and quality and should complete one project at one time.
Their goal is mainly divided into three activities
1. Risk and issue management
It involves reducing the potential risks which may lead to the delay of the project completion.
2. Planning and resource scheduling
The planning process starts with assigning tasks with the starting date and ending date, setting the initial budgets, assigning these tasks to efficient employees, and preparing for the project timeline with the help of specific project management tools like the Gantt chart.
3. Scope management
The most difficult of all, it generally requires juggling the time-budget-quality trio to favorably adjust the project scope and put it in line with the original set outcome. For example, if you shorten the project timetable, you’ll need more money, which will raise the budget. Alternatively, you will need to change the scope to achieve the agreed-upon quality.
The project manager will also collect user specifications, but he or she will have little say in identifying and prioritizing them, as well as assisting the product manager in writing user stories. This assures them that the team’s directions are as simple as possible to follow them easily.
Is There Any similarity Between Project manager vs. Product manager?
Despite what this divisive side-by-side comparison might imply, product management and project management have some overlap in responsibilities.
A product manager can be required to dig into the tactical, task-based specifics of a product’s creation at times, work that a project manager would otherwise perform. In these cases, a product manager may need to work closely with a project manager, and the two can also share certain task management duties.
On the other hand, project managers may move from a strictly tactical to a more strategic position when circumstances need it.
The majority of project management skills can be transferred to the broader analytical scope also used by product managers. A project manager with good troubleshooting skills, for example, is essentially a professional problem solver.
It’s also worth noting that, to succeed in their positions, both product managers and project managers rely on similar soft skills. Listening, communication, coordination, and product evangelism are four important soft skills for product managers, and they all apply to good project managers.
Some difference between Project manager vs. Product manager
Let’s start with the definitions of the terms product and project and see where they differ.
A product can range from a physical object to software or a service that meets the needs of a particular group of people. It goes through a life cycle that involves being established and released to the market, increasing in acceptance before it matures, and eventually be withdrawn when it is no longer needed.
A project is a one-time activity to improve a product or service. It has a beginning and an end date, as well as a clear result. Initiation, preparation, implementation, monitoring and control, and closure are the five stages that it normally goes through.
Now comes the aspect that distinguishes them: the timeline. A commodity, unlike a project, is not a one-time undertaking.
A common problem s that may arise if we overall the both activities
1. Decreased focus
Brand managers are based on the outside world. Talking to customers, conducting usability tests, shadowing the sales team in customer interactions, and even attending trade shows are all possible everyday activities. Many of these events occur outside of the workplace, making it difficult to keep an internal perspective on the product vision and development team.
2. Insufficient skills
When it comes to predicting how long each task will take to complete, product managers may not be technical enough, leaving them at the mercy of developers.
3. Potential bottlenecks
To put it another way, a bottleneck in the form of a single individual responsible for the product and project’s progress. There are too many odds stacked against a product manager who assumes all of the risks.
It would be possible to have someone who wears both hats, like most small businesses, do. It’s best to isolate them as the project becomes more complicated, covers a longer timeline, and includes people from multiple departments and geographical areas.
By concentrating on the product vision, product managers add value. Meanwhile, project managers oversee project execution to ensure that a high-quality product is delivered on schedule and within budget.
Putting aside the ambiguity and overlap of expertise, Project manager vs. Product manager are a formidable team. Their differences balance each other and ensure a company’s long-term sustainability. If you treat them well, they will take care of your company.