Project Manager vs Product Manager: Differences & Similarities

Despite carrying out different tasks and responsibilities, the terms project manager or product manager are often used interchangeably. Both involve managing something. But it’s what they manage that makes the difference. To help you understand the differences between product management and project management, we will discuss them.
Product vs. Project
First, it is important to know the difference between a product and a project. A project is temporary and has a defined timeline and activities. However, a product creates value for customers and doesn’t necessarily have a time frame. This is due to the fact that customers’ needs change on a daily basis, sometimes even hourly, so products must keep up with them.
ProjectProgrammeTime-bound (beginning and end date)No set timeframeTemporary, short-term project teamMore permanent, long-term project teamOne-off deliveryContinuous developmentSet planVisionProject Manager responsibilities
Project managers are responsible to break down strategic plans into task-oriented, actionable initiatives. They manage the project’s delivery and ensure it is completed within a specified time frame, budget and resources. They put the plan into practice, monitor its progress, and ensure it succeeds.
Sounds simple right? It’s not so simple. It is not easy to manage the scope of a project. You must coordinate and allocate resources, time and budgets, and manage the project team and any risks or issues that may arise. It is not difficult to see that a well-organized individual is required to deliver a project on schedule and within budget.
Product Manager responsibilities
Product managers are focused on creating products that customers want and need. They are responsible for the product’s entire lifecycle and vision. As we have mentioned, customers’ expectations and needs change daily. Product managers need to be able to adapt and continue developing their products.
A product roadmap is another important responsibility. This is basically a roadmap that outlines the steps required to achieve the product vision. The product manager’s role doesn’t end with the creation of the product. They are responsible for monitoring the product’s development and continuous improvement through market research and promotion.
Skills of a Project Manager
Project managers are focused on execution and have a goal-oriented outlook. They ask the “who, when, and how” questions. They are the key decision-makers and must gather and evaluate data in order to make evidence-based decisions. Communication is essential. They must communicate with their project team and external stakeholders. A strong leader is essential for the project team. Other stakeholders need regular updates to keep everyone informed and happy. They must be able to plan, organise, manage risk, and even manage conflict.
Product Manger’s skills
Product managers must be more creative in order to create a product strategy that is both profitable for the business and their customers. To create a voice that represents a whole group, product managers must be more concerned with the ‘what’ as well as the ‘why’ questions. Empathy and curiosity are required to fully understand the needs and desires of users. This understanding is essential for problem solving skills as many products are created to solve a specific problem. Product managers need to be able to think outside the box and solve problems effectively.
Do they overlap?
Even though project man

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