With awareness of what has changed over past years with
technology (and people), we can highlight this holy sentence:
the only constancy in the world is a change. Many new
professions have been created. With that, many new technical
skills were formed.
(Those new skills are mainly related to technology )
But some professions gain a new name, they changed from
outside, with little modification inside.
There are many articles written on this subject, and this text
is not aiming to do something revolutionary, but it can inform
and boost searching for this issue.
Let this be our contribution.
Where is the matching point of
Product and Project management professions?
Before diving into differentiating these two professions,
let’s keep in mind that Project and Product management are two
disciplines that overlap.
However, let’s not forget their starting position, they’re
both created to deliver working software.
While both professions require approximately the same set of
skills (technical and soft skills) some are, particularly for
each profession. It is the same thing for software tools that
are used by both professions.
And there is just the beginning of a thin line between Product
Where is the center of overlapping between these two
Software Lifecycle (SDLC as systems development life cycle) is
our reference point and let’s start from there:
SDLC is composed of the following components: planning,
creating, testing, and deploying an information system. Those
clearly defined and distinct work phases are developed by the
plan based on customer requirements, designed according to
customer expectations, and finally delivered as a working
To manage this level of complexity a variety of methodologies
have been created, and many SDLC has been created either. Each
phase needs to be supervised.
Can we see the Software?
Although there is a precisely determinative role of
developers, there are positions that govern other departments
and that role is the Software manager role.
Looking from a side of the software lifecycle this is a
project and in charge of it is the Project manager. Simply
put, that is a set of tasks completed to achieve an outcome.
On the other side of an SDLC, the person who is in charge of
any service or item that an organization creates to serve
customer needs is a Product Manager.
The power of handling
Software formation .
Handling the Project
It is not going to be redundant information if we mention that
knowledge implies “theoretical” and refers to information
learned from books, schools, colleges. And skills imply
something “practical” and refer to the application of
theoretical information in practice and the workplace.
As we go through the responsibilities of Project and Product
Manager’s positions, we may notice what knowledge is and what
And, after all, does it matter?
The Project manager has to follow specific tasks:
Determine key goalposts like project scope, timeline, and
budget estimates. This implies that PM is informed about the
project, which leads us to the second task and that is
Extensive collaboration and communication with leadership
and stakeholders. And while they are subject to change of
opinion, PM has to be always prepared to
Create and maintain processes for changes in the project.
Thereby using proper tools are necessities, so
The ability to use proper Project management tools for
keeping track of tasks and schedules is a must. With this
skill, it is easy to
Make sure teams are collaborating well, on the schedule, and
For Motivation is important to know how to approach people and
raise morale when it is necessary.
That would be a soft skill or ability that can be learned, but
the majority of people (who are good at this particular job)
have a sense of this.
Talking about knowledge or skills, the manager who is in
charge of the project needs to possess a mix of the following:
Knowledge of project management approaches like Scrum,
Agile, and Waterfall. Learning about Agile project
management for managing software development is one
rewarding feeling with fast transformation into knowledge,
and then after starting using in real-world problem: top
Risk management is a highly desired skill. If the person in
charge can identify, assess and control threats, your
project won't be vulnerable. So, the skills of a business
analyst are welcome.
Basic budgeting is also a required skill, which means PM
know some financial allocation
The ability to adapt to new project management tools is
number one, and some of them are Asana, Jira, and many more
that are conceiving right now as we communicate.
(Do we need luck, strategy, brain...? )
The next part of this riddle is what the Product Manager does
and what specific tasks should follow:
The Product Manager should define key metrics for product
success, and how will get to this is his or hers
Understanding a consumer's need and help with it will be
his/her trust in the product team. It shows that the Product
Manager works with cross-functional teams, so there needs to
Understanding engineering, design, and marketing role, so
that they can develop and pursue product strategy.
With an eye on a strategy, the Product Manager must find
ways to improve or grow a product through market analysis
and other research.
With all those analytics, the Product Manager will be able
to supervise and nurture Product performance.
- And not forget to observe and monitor competitions.
How will the Product Manager fulfil these obligations if it
doesn’t possess a variety of knowledge, skills, and readiness
Knowledge of the basic economy will be helpful because the
Product Manager needs to deal with data, price modeling, and
Where there is a business there is marketing, therefore,
skills for market assessment are preferable.
- Basic user experience (UX) knowledge is also welcome.
What follows from the above is that even within the same
industries it is common to confuse Product and Project
But their responsibilities are very different.
We might say that the Product manager works with a diversity
of people who are on the project. The role is external and
internal, managers vertical and horizontal, connect technical,
business, and operational domains.
The Project manager has to collaborate with clients and
stakeholders and is turned toward getting “things”
done with an initiative that doesn’t begin until tasks
are clearly defined.
This is all very transparent and well-defined at larger
In smaller organizations, Product managers can take on
high-level work like managing a team and might do more
hands-on work, such as market research, or even some project
management. So, in many more situations, it is requested
from the Product Manager to act as Project Manager meaning to
use some of the Project manager's duties and/or
responsibilities. And vice versa.
(Optimizing our approaches )
Thus, we may say that the Project Manager leads many smaller
projects to make those goals a reality, such as creating or
maintaining a product, and the Product Manager sets the
vision, goals, and business trajectory of a product.
For the conclusion (if there is any) of this article let us
use some terms.
This will be contract closure or project closure. That would
be a phase regardless of what position you are standing in.
This is a vital phase of the project and for the
project team to learn from experiences and apply them to
Usually, a Post Implementation Review consists of looking at
things that went well and analyzing things that went badly
on the project to come up with lessons learned.
In this phase there is a slight difference between these two
acronyms and their job positions that, unlike Project
management, Product management usually doesn't have a
clear beginning and end.
It might be very useful to distinguish these two positions
for the sake of knowing that there is maybe one strong
differential that could be put this way: The project
manager is much of a doer, but the product Manager is a
Both professions were created to deliver working software.
What do we have to know about Software? The Lifecycle of
software is composed of the following components:
planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information
Managing software development is a process, and to be in
charge of these processes or one step in the process
requires certain skills and/or knowledge.
As we go through the responsibilities of Project/Product
Manager’s positions, we may notice what knowledge is and
what skills are. And, after all, does it matter?
The Project Manager leads many smaller projects to make
those goals a reality, such as creating or maintaining a
product, and the Product Manager sets the vision, goals,
and business trajectory of a product.