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Product Manager Vs Project Manager

Work Management 25 Feb 2022

Product Manager Vs Project Manager ; 5 Main Differences

Product management requires project management, whereas project management doesn’t necessarily require product management.


Let’s clear the grey clouds upon project management vs product management.

Product Manager vs Project Manager; The Ultimate Battle

There is no such difference between the roles of a project manager and product manager.

The above statement is MYTH, and the myth was created, assumed, and accepted by those who never stepped in or experienced any job roles.

Let’s start with the basic definitions of both roles.

project management vs product management

The differences between a project manager and a product manager’s role might not be apparent at first glance, but the definitions are starting.

More Into Product Vs Project Management…

Product management and project management are entirely distinct job roles, and the expectations from both management roles are not similar at all. Hence, narrowing the expertise, position, and functionality down will give a bigger picture of the differences.

Which Is Better Project Manager Or Product Manager?

product vs project management

Both roles are essential for the success of the business.

5 Main Differences; Project Management Vs Product Management

We are starting from the most straightforward questions.

1.       What are the product manager and project manager responsible for answering?

Expectations and questions of both roles differ from each other.

The Product Manager is responsible for answering:

  • What is the gap in the market for our product?
  • Is our product solving any user problems? What are they?
  • How is our product better than the competitor?
  • How can our product perform better than the current version?
  • What should be the next improvement to our product?

The Project Manager is responsible for answering:

  • What is the tenure of the project?
  • How many departments are essential to perform for the completion of the project?
  • Are there any communication gaps?
  • How fast can we effectively close the project?
  • What are the constraints of the budget?

Although, these questions aren’t limited to the stated above, and many more add to the pile. However, it gives out a clear idea of both designations.

2.       What are the strategic areas?

The PRODUCT MANAGER is entirely focused on the product’s lifecycle only, whereas the project manager will look through how the project goes by and closes.

The responsibilities of a product manager vary depending upon the size of the organization. For instance, if the company is small, the product manager will be handling the research and analytics personally. At the same time, if it is a well-established organization, the product manager will assign these tasks to the team and look into the bigger picture of the product.

Product managers strategize the entire life of a product. They are the minds behind the product:

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Planning
  • Initiation
  • Implementation
  • Gap identification
  • Product execution
  • Product delivery
  • Product improvement

And so on. Everything related to the product falls under the product manager, which is why people tend to assume that the product manager might be the company’s CEO. Sometimes it is true; most of the time (in bigger organizations), it is not.

On the other hand, the PROJECT MANAGER is entirely focused on the project initiation and delivery on time. The projects aren’t limited to one product but are extended to different project niches and requirements. For instance, if a mobile app is to be developed as a product, then a project manager will narrow down the condition of the app niche like an image recognition app and then form align the required expertise of different departments to stand on the same page for the project execution.

A project manager strategizes numerous projects depending upon the vision and business ground.

  • To be on the same page as the project’s scope and all the required departments.
  • Oversee role fulfillment by all departments
  • Daily communication with the client and team
  • Updating stakeholders
  • Providing kickoffs and scoping sessions
  • Time management

3.       Different set of skills

The skills that are keenly required for the product manager might not be the same or, to an extent, similar to the skill set needed for a project manager.

The critical functions of a product manager are different from a project manager. A product manager might need:

  • Extensive Research Skills
  • Strategic Thought Process
  • Business Savvy

On the other hand, a project manager might need the skills of:

  • Effective Planning
  • Organizing Skills
  • Networking & Communication
  • Time Management

4.       Job scope

The scope of a product manager vs project manager differs significantly.

Let’s take an example;

  • A project manager may work on a different project with different timelines in under a year. While a product manager may work on a single product for the whole year.
  • A project manager might be involved in dealing with one set of a product, ensuring its proper management and delivery. On the other hand, a product manager must focus on every little detail of the product while ensuring that their team can deliver it.
  • Project managers should have a broad vision and be capable of jumping from one project to another. Product managers should be keenly focused on a single product until it is delivered and keep track of its progress throughout the time.
  • The scope is limited for a product manager while extensive for a project manager.

However, the job scope of each role also depends on the size of the organization and the industry grounds.

5.       What about the daily tasks?

The regular day-to-day activities are somewhat similar if you don’t know the in-depth details. For instance, both the project manager and product manager will be holding a team meeting, overseeing progress and all. However, the agenda of each task differs.

For a project manager, it will be more like an administrative meeting and an organizational meeting daily. On the other hand, the agenda would be pretty different for a product manager, and the daily tasks would include:

  • Data analysis
  • Meeting for product development
  • Evaluating product growth cycle
  • Backlog management
  • Troubleshooting resolutions

And critical research for the better or innovative turns for the product lifecycle. A product manager might even go in-depth to study marketing trends for B2B, B2C, etc., wherever the product and company vision suits.

Which is better project manager or product manager?


Every single role is essential for the company, and every contribution counts. The parts of project and product managers hold their significant places in the organization, and both are concerned with the organization’s success and fulfilling their roles simultaneously.

There is no better in project management vs product management as both are vital for the company’s growth.