Product Manager vs. Project Manager: What’s the Difference?

Sep 06, 2021

In the professional world, we often see several similar jobs, such as Product Manager and Project Manager. But did you know that they are two different roles with different job responsibilities? We will share the differences with you, so you won’t be confused when applying to become a Product Manager or Project Manager!

Start with the definition…

Product can be defined as a physical product, software, or service that meets the needs of a group of users. A product goes through a lifecycle. First, it is developed and launched in the market, grows, and used by people.

While a project is a series of tasks that need to complete a particular outcome, like a product, a project has a start and end date and a defined result. It usually goes through six stages – initiation, planning, implementation, monitoring and control, and closure.

Then, how about the responsibilities?

A Product Manager is responsible for making a product and circulating it for consumers. In contrast, a Project Manager must obtain the product vision from the Product Manager, develop a project timeline, and plan the workflow that the development team should do to achieve important goals and deadlines. 

Or, simply put, the responsibility of a Project Manager is to complete a project within the agreed budget, time, and quality – one project at a time.

A Project Manager does not need to have expertise in product management. Still, a Product Manager must have expertise in project management because they manage various projects throughout the development and management of a product.

And to become one of them, what skills do you need?

A Product Manager focuses more on the performance and quality of the products they are building. Therefore, the skills they must possess are also product-related, such as user research, problem-solving, product design, and marketing. These skills are needed because a Product Manager must work closely alongside three parties: the tech team, the design team, and the customers.

On the other hand, a Project Manager is expected to have organization and time management skills because they have to ensure that the project timeline is under control.

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So, from the explanation above, which one are you interested in? Product Manager or Project Manager?

For those interested in becoming Product Managers, join Apiary Academy, a 12-week training program to prepare you to be a leading Product Manager. You will learn directly from experienced Product Managers through direct mentoring and real-life projects. At the end of the program, you will be connected to hiring companies! 

What are you waiting for? 

Register now at academy.apiary.id/registration