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Explained: The difference between a Project Manager and a Product Manager

Product Managers define the ‘What and Why’ of the product- in consultation with customers, business leadership, marketing, sales/support, engineering (and other teams).

Project Managers define ‘When and How’ in consultation with the product, engineering, QA and support teams.

In many companies, the product manager is often seen as a project manager who defines product requirements and owns the delivery as well. Unfortunately, that’s one sad reality of the role but it is changing for good.

Product managers must answer these three questions:

  • What problem does this solve?
  • What and why are you building this?
  • What will the benefits be?

Project managers, on the other hand answer the questions:

  • What resources are needed? Dependencies?
  • When will the project get delivered?
  • Who is going to do what?

TL;DR: For a project manager, the product team is the customer.

For a product manager, the end user/customer success is all that matters.

Via: FWD app

PS: If you want to really learn product management from the best practitioners, hop to the FWD app.


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