Project Manager vs. Product Manager

Project Manager vs. Product Manager

Many people mix up the roles of Product Manager and Project Manager. Product managers and project managers frequently collaborate, but their roles are distinct. While a product manager establishes a product’s vision, goals, and business trajectory, a project manager oversees the numerous projects that make those goals a reality. The product manager is a strategic thinker, whereas the project manager is a doer.

This article will provide an overview of the product manager and project manager roles.

What does a Product Manager do?

They set and own the overall product direction, sticking to it until the product is removed from the market. It is their responsibility to comprehend user requirements, translate them into a design or MVP (Minimum Viable Product), and lead a development team in building the product to meet those requirements.

This involves typical tasks such as:

  • Defines key metrics for product success
  • Understands consumer needs and relays them to the product team
  • Works with cross-functional teams—like engineering, design, and marketing—to develop and pursue product strategy
  • Finds ways to improve or grow a product through market analysis and other research
  • Keeps an eye on product performance
  • Tests and monitors new product features
  • Monitors competitors

What does a Project Manager do?

They must take the product vision from the product manager, create a project timeline around it, and plan the work for the development team in order to meet critical goals and deadlines. Their responsibility is to successfully complete a project within the agreed-upon budget, timeframe, and quality – one project at a time.

Project managers can do the following specific tasks:

  • Determine key goalposts like project scope, timeline, and budget estimates
  • Collaborate and communicate extensively with leadership and stakeholders
  • Create and maintain processes for changes in the project
  • Use project management software to keep track of tasks and schedule
  • Make sure teams are collaborating well, and staying motivated and on schedule

You should now understand what distinguishes a product manager from a project manager. A product manager is generally more concerned with the creation and development of a single product, whereas a project manager is more concerned with the entire lifecycle of a team and project – from development to execution and delivery.

Product managers are in charge of product development, whereas project managers are in charge of the logistics and execution of those development plans. While there are significant differences between the two roles, there is also some overlap.

Both project and product managers are concerned with the experience they provide their customers, how to best manage team members, and how to produce the best end product possible with the tools at their disposal. Both roles necessitate excellent communication and organizational skills, as well as market knowledge.


A successful project or product is dependent on a manager understanding their role and properly carrying out their responsibilities.
Aside from the confusion and overlapping competencies, product managers and project managers make a formidable team. Their differences complement each other and ensure a company’s long-term success.

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