The well-defined roles of product and project managers are packed with multiple responsibilities within any organization. Given the differences between product management and project management, the two roles share some important skill sets such as aligning the tasks of all teams, effective and efficient communication as well as application of processes in order to remain competitive in the market.
The difference between product management and project management lies in the tasks they deal with rather than the execution. When it comes to product management vs project management, most people assume that the latter is a subset of the former. However, that is not true. Project management skills are essential for product management roles as well since the responsibilities of both roles are quite similar to some extent.
The product management vs project management discussion often leads to doubts about the relation between the two. Although most organizations now have well defined roles for product and project managers, the difference between product management and project management is little understood. The major differences between the two comes into play when talking about delivering results. Even so, project management skills are extremely important if you want to deliver or launch any product and execute processes well with your team.
As the name suggests, project management is all about managing the tasks in a project and time taken by each one. A project manager has many responsibilities; the chief ones are listed here:
1. Alignment: Project managers likely don’t analyse resourcing and scope the effort, as that would chiefly fall under the engineering team’s responsibility. However, they need to align the tasks of all teams so that all processes run smoothly.
2. Communication: A project manager needs to communicate necessary information, not only internally such as to marketing, customer support, sales and other functions within the company, but also to other stakeholders and the market, especially during launch.
3. Application of processes: A project manager’s basic work is to chart out the objectives of the project, the time frame in which they need to accomplish them and ensure that the steps the team will take will lead to achieving all the goals in the stipulated timeline. The most important goal is to remain competitive and relevant in the market.
Right from product names to their delivery, product managers implement project managing skills in order to execute well. Since all products are a result of combined team efforts and multiple tasks, project management is an integral part of product management. Every product manager needs to have project management skills in order to deliver the results they want and ensure premium execution. However, contrary to what most people believe, project management is not a subset of product management. Both of these well-defined roles are inter-linked but not quite the same.