Home > Pragmatic Approach, Product Marketing Management > Difference Between Product Manager and Project Manager

Difference Between Product Manager and Project Manager

In technology field, people often get confused with the role of Product Manager and Project Manager. Its quite unfortunate to see most of the Product Managers do not know the difference and end up doing Project Management. For success of any product, its very important that each one knows their boundaries.
To give a simple difference between both, a Product Manager always talk about what the product should be. Where as a Project manager mainly talks about when.
Product managers often ensure to measure the impact of product changes or new features being added. He acts as an advocate to customers and works with engineers to implement changes suggested by customer or sales or from any other source.
Basically, at any point of time a Product Manager passes through the following steps:
  • He defines the impact of suggested product changes
  • He sets goals for the changes
  • Dertermines how these product changes can be measured
  • Once the changes have been made, now evaluate the impact with assessed impact

Another well known difference between a Product Manager and Project Manager is that a Project Manager leaves the project and moves on to another project once the project is over. Where as, Product Manager remains with the product till its life cycle.

I came across a wonderful ebook that talks about the strategic role of a product manager. Here is the link from where you can download this ebook

Interestingly there are as many as a dozen tools available in the market for Project Managers to do Project Management. Where as, as per my research I came across only two commercial tools that are available for Product Managers to do Product Management. They are:
  1. Tele Logic Focal Point
  2. Feature Plan

Finally, if you are a product manager and reading this post and you don’t know the difference between Product Management and Project Mangement… God help you!

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