Project Manager vs Product Manager: who has the heaviest load on his shoulders?

If you work in a large company and your team consists of different strategic divisions, positions and roles, then you may encounter confusion in understanding the roles and functionality of employees. In the case of a product manager and a project manager - such confusion happens very often.


How often do your colleagues confuse the responsibilities of both managers? If you are one of PM, you should at least once in your life hear the question: “Is there any difference at all?”

So, Product Manager and Project Manager are completely different roles. Let's try to consider what is the difference between the two strategic positions in IT companies, so that it no longer causes confusion.

However, even after this there will be a lot of questions, because even in the field of product management today, many companies distinguish several job options from junior to the product owner, director or VP for the product.

Product and project managers can be safely compared to the Atlanteans, who are carrying a heavy load on their shoulders. This is a company, the product itself, which consists of smaller products and projects. Both strategists are responsible for their part of the burden, both depend on each other's efforts.

Whose burden is heavier? And what happens if one of the Atlanteans gives up?

Product Manager vs Project Manager

A product is the end result that you provide to your users or customers. It can be a physically tangible product, software platform, service, application or service.

A project is a concrete plan consisting of various activities. All activities have a specific result and fixed start and end dates. When the result is completed, accordingly, your project will be completed.

For example, a product is a new mobile game. The development of this game involves many projects. One of them is the launch of a corporate website. This project has its own starting and ending points. Product and project managers have different responsibilities and functions.

The main responsibilities of the product manager and project manager

Product manager

Product managers are usually responsible for global product strategy, feature prioritization, and the final product release. Managers produktoviki-create ideas and initiatives to help achieve the strategy and goals, using roadmaps (product roadmaps) and manage the backlog (product backlog).

If we recall once again about the association with Atlanta, then the following will be a valuable burden on the shoulders of a product manager:

  • Global product strategy
  • Release releases
  • Ideas and Initiatives
  • Prioritization
  • Profit and Loss Matters
  • Market research
  • Competitive environment

Project manager

The project manager is usually less focused on specific product goals. His main responsibility is the project itself. The project manager receives product initiatives and features for developing and approving a timeline. He is responsible for risks, potential constraints, resources and the scope of the tasks.

Project managers are responsible for:

  • Releases
  • Project Resources
  • Updates and Statuses
  • Project budget
  • Team collaboration
  • Resolving ongoing problems within the project

Who is more important in the hierarchy of the company?

Both. And this is illustrated by a picture of the Atlanteans. If your company has both positions, then you have a complete order with the organizational structure. How to understand which of the managers is more important?
Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Can a team work effectively and get results without a product manager?
  2. What happens if the project manager leaves the team?

Most likely, your answers will show that both positions are important and irreplaceable. Their collaboration is the key to success.


Tools and services for product managers and project managers

It is easy to assume that if the roles and functions of managers are different, then the professional tools for their effective work also differ.

However, there are exceptions. Today, many platforms, such as Hygger, offer a useful feature set for the product manager and project manager.

Product management software

Product management software is used to track requirements, document product visions, strategies, and prioritize.

The product roadmap is one of the main tools for product managers. Special services for building and working with the product roadmap are designed to inform the team about the product strategy, demonstrate all initiatives and ideas.

At Hygger.ioYou can share your “road map” and share the prospect of what will happen in the product over time by indicating releases, projects and initiatives. This option looks very competitive, because many other strong market players often cannot offer such an option. For example, using Jira, you will have to pay for “Portfolio for Jira”.


Backlog management is another feature that a product management tool should offer. Priority tasks can be visualized, for example, using the graphical display of the Backlog priority chart . The tool helps optimize product priorities by identifying important and less important tasks.


Project management software

Professional services for project managers is a strategic tool that is used to track and manage all project details.

Once you get the “green light” to start a project, you can plan all your development activities using any project management platform.
PM-services help to fix and share tasks and subtasks, deadlines, necessary assets and interaction between team members.

Hygger offers comprehensive opportunities for project managers from convenient Kanban and Scrum boards to time tracking and project reporting.



Summing up, we emphasize once again the most important thing:

  • Product managers and project managers have completely different roles and both positions are important for any modern IT company.
  • Product managers manage product development. They work with initiatives, prioritize them, and make strategic product decisions. Project managers usually oversee the implementation of plans that have already been developed and approved.
  • Each manager needs professional tools for the correct visualization of all products and projects.

What tools do you use to manage? What is the difference between project and product managers? Write in the comments.

Also popular now: