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The Basic Difference Between A Product Manager And A Product Owner

by Samson

The debate between a product owner and a product manager has raged for many years. Who is really in charge? Can they both exist simultaneously? What is the difference between them?

Product management and product ownership work differently in different companies, and thus, there is no black-or-white answer for who must take part in running the show. A product manager’s and a product owner’s roles are affected by a variety of factors, including how well-settled the product is or the size or structure of the organization of the company in general. 

A business’s primary objective is to deliver products that provide value and service to customers and investors. In order to achieve this, it is vital that product features are optimized and delivered in a timely and quality manner to suit the needs of customers as well as investors of the company. If there is a rift between product owners and product managers, it’s difficult to split it. Understanding the difference between them can help to do this. 

Product managers and product owners need to have the same end goal, but their roles are different within the product management process in order to achieve it. There are POPM certification courses and training through which one can get educated about the duties and responsibilities of a product owner and a product manager.

Who Is A Product Manager?

A product manager creates a roadmap for the success of a product. This role outlines a strategy for a product or product line. A product manager leads a cross-functional team to develop the product. They work with the product owner, project manager, and other team members to get to a successful launch of the product. PM roles vary slightly from company to company and may include marketing, forecasting, and gauging profit and loss.

The role covers both tactical and strategic tasks and must coordinate cross-functionally with departments such as engineering and sales. Product managers analyze the market and the competition and create a product that is unique and has value for the consumer. 

Who Is A Product Owner?

There is nothing misleading about the term product owner. It doesn’t refer to someone who owns or controls a finished product. Instead, it refers to someone who builds and supports complex products within the agile framework Scrum. According to the Scrum framework, a product owner is someone who is responsible for estimating and optimizing the value of the said products developed by the Development Team. As the voice of the customer, a product owner will develop customer stories that can be used by the development team.

It is the responsibility of the product owner to ensure a team reaches a certain product outcome, which includes a feature list, changes to features that already exist, or developments like bug fixes, to ensure the team is on track. It is the full scope of what an agile team will focus on.

Product owners and managers make great assets, but the final decision has to be driven by the needs of the company, the needs of customers, and priorities. Also, you’ll need to define product manager roles, but it doesn’t mean you can’t adapt to new situations. 

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