Find Out Why Product Management and Project Management are Not the Same!

In today’s competitive business world, technology has a big influence on how businesses build growth strategies. Besides, without dynamic and experienced management, it is almost impossible to grow your business. 

Product management and project management are very important positions in any organization. However, these terms are very often used interchangeably by the bottom of the pyramid to top management executives. 

Before we dive deeper into the matter, remember that product management is NOT project management. 

Now that we have made that clear, let’s learn more about what project and product management mean, and what product and project managers do. 

We hope this article will help you understand the key differences between project management and product management. 

SEE ALSO: What are the 3 Main Types of CRM Software? (and Which One is the Right for Your Business?)

Products vs Projects

Although product management and project management complement each other, they are different. 

Due to the ambiguous nature of project and product management, there is ambivalence pertaining to project manager and product manager as well. 

To get a better understanding of the two, it is crucial to understand the difference between a project and a product. 

A product is something that is launched or introduced to the market to address a problem or cater to a particular need. 

Every product has a lifecycle that consists of various stages. At first, the product is conceived, developed, tested, and then launched in the market. 

In the final stage, the product is withdrawn from the market when the demand for it starts to diminish. 

Projects are different! Projects are temporary and primarily undertaken to develop a product or a service. Within a project, the project management team has to adhere to the delivery date and time.  

Note: Product development can only take place within the context of a project. In addition, various projects can take place during a product’s lifecycle. 

A product evolves as customer preferences change over time. 

What is Product Management and Project Management

Product management is defined as an internal responsibility within an organization that primarily deals with the planning, forecasting, and production, and marketing of products or products at various levels of the product life cycle. 

Project management can be defined as the culmination of the application of methods, knowledge, experience, and skills to attain the objectives of a project. 

It is important to not mix these two functions with Program management. 

Who is a Product Manager?

A project manager is responsible for finding and implementing new strategies to ensure the success of a product through its lifecycle. 

A skilled product manager should be well-versed in problem-solving and time management. Besides these, a product manager should also be able to utilize their knowledge and expertise on other important aspects.

A product manager should be able to craft and execute a product strategy, perform market research, and find answers to the “what” instead of the “how”. 

All in all, a product manager has to chalk out a long-term strategy and decide in which direction they want to steer the product toward based on customer preferences. 

The main objective of a Product Manager is to create new revenue channels and maximize the value of a product. 

Who is Project Manager?

Project Management

Product managers have to ensure that a project is delivered on time, within a fixed budget, and has a well-laid product roadmap. 

Project managers look into the management side of product development by assigning responsibilities to the available resources. Besides, a project manager also is responsible for risk management until a project is completed. 

One of the main challenges every project manager faces is managing the scope of work, as they are required to balance cost, time, and quality. 

The final objective of a project manager is to increase the quality of work while reducing risk. 

If you go by history, a project manager requires industry-standard certification. 

Difference between a Product Software and Project Software

A product management software and project management software are very distinct tools that are developed to cater to different business requirements. 

What is the difference between them?

A product management software allows product managers to develop, organize, and communicate the product strategy. 

A project management software enables project managers to keep track of the various stages of a project. 

Product management software

Product Management

A product management software can be used to keep a track of critical requirements, communicate strategy, catalog the product vision, and set priorities. 

While product managers are more likely to use product management tools, there is a gamut of project management tools that they can use for different applications. 

Project management software

A project management software is a tool that is used to manage various details of a project. Project management software is often used when a specific project is approved. 

Such tools provide in-depth insights into tasks, deadlines, jobs pending, jobs completed, collaboration, tasks, subtasks, and more. 

Wrapping it up!

There is no doubt that project management and product management are unique, but similar conceptually. Both address problems! 

However, there are a few things to remember!

When you develop a product, it is important for you to understand what separates these two concepts. The success of your product hinges on your ability to tell the difference. 

While project management is centered around achieving particular goals and completing a project within a stipulated time and budget, product management predominantly focuses on the end-user. 

Can a product manager undertake project management and vice versa? Technically, yes! 

However, the best scenario would be to separate both the roles to stay clear from conflict of interest and underperformance. 

If you run a business, have you thought about which profile your company needs? Do you need a project manager or a product manager? Is one person handling both positions? 

Leave your comments below and tell us the structure of your company!

SEE ALSO: 4 Major Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping and Why You Need It in 2021

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Image 2 Source: Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay 



Karandeep V

Karandeep V

Karandeep was born in Pune, Maharashtra, an upcoming metropolitan city in the Western region of India. While most members of his family are engineers, he had different ideas. He was more inclined toward exploring the non-technical aspects of a business, which is why he studied Bachelors of Business Administration at Symbiosis International University, Pune.  Having said that, his love for new and upcoming technologies remained intact, which is why he has written extensively about technology throughout his career. After a brief stint with a gaming company at the beginning of his career, he discovered that his love for writing was not temporary.  Being a tech geek, he always liked installing and playing around with new applications on his mobile devices and the home desktop. He was fascinated by how technology can simplify even the most mundane and complex tasks with just a few commands. He keeps a close eye on how businesses use different tools to streamline their operations to boost productivity and efficiency. At ToolsMetric, he writes product reviews that cover the main features and specifications of different enterprise applications. The sheer amount of innovation and hard work that goes into building these tech solutions is one of the reasons why Karandeep loves reviewing these tools. Besides product reviews, he also writes interesting news articles and blogs that track the latest developments in the tech industry.  When he is not writing, you can find him rooted to his seat playing video games, watching movies, or supporting his favorite football team. Since his childhood, he has always loved to travel and explore new places. Traveling is a major part of his life due to a myriad of reasons such as experiencing new cultures, food, and traditions. His other hobbies include playing football, cooking, and running.  You can find him on LinkedIn here.

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