A project team may include a product owner or product manager. Both of these positions are important in a project and sometimes have a crossover of responsibility. These are two distinct product roles with different responsibilities. These roles may not be understood by everyone. Let’s take a closer look at them and see how they relate to a project.
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Product Owner vs Product Manager
What is a Product Owner?
Product owners are the project’s key stakeholder. They engage all stakeholders, including customers, leadership, marketing and sales, and connect them with the agile development group. They support the development team by defining requirements and prioritizing the product backlog. This will help to determine the project’s success. Product owners are the internal customer experts for both engineering teams and development teams. They answer questions and clarify requirements throughout the project.
What is a Product Manager?
Product managers are responsible for developing products for organizations and oversee the marketing and development of products through every stage of their life cycle. They are able to connect business strategy, design knowledge, customer needs, and business strategy to create a product that is relevant, useful, and achievable. Product managers are responsible for the product’s business strategy and can help with its development and launch. Despite being among the most under-appreciated professionals, product managers are highly respected.
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Roles of Product Manager and Product Owner Compared
Product manager and product owner are often interchangeable. This may be because both titles include “product”. Although there are some overlaps in the responsibilities, the roles are mostly distinct. Product owners translate product manager’s strategy into concrete tasks and work with crossfunctional agile teams to implement those requirements. Product managers are more strategic and focus on the product’s long term strategy, the product vision and market trends. They also identify new opportunities. Let’s compare the similarities and differences between these roles.
Product Managers and Product Owners are the Same
Both roles direct the product’s development and work with many of the same people and teams within the organization. Depending on the stage of the product, a product owner might assume the role of product manager or product manager. If the product owner is more tactical and internal-facing, they might be considered a product manager.
What Makes Them Different
It is unclear where the line ends between the product manager’s and product owner’s roles. It is possible to simultaneously perform both functions if there is overlap. It is important to highlight the differences between them.
Product owners are more tactically focused than product managers.
Product owners “own” the product backlog. They work with the scrum and development teams to create the product. Product managers are the experts on the product and customer, and they develop the product roadmap. They also support the business in positioning and marketing the product for sale.
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