What is the difference between a Product Manager and Product Owner?

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Many people who undergo a POPM course are unaware of the differences between a Product Owner and a Product Manager. It is a very common mistake to consider that both of them are synonymous with each other and can be used interchangeably. Although there is an overlap in their duties and philosophies, over the duration of your POPM course you will learn that each of them has its own unique contribution to the firm.

 

Who is a Product Manager?

In the simplest of terms, the Product Manager is the person who is responsible for deciding what is the next product will be developed or sold according to the needs of the customers. Product managers are higher-level management members who have a very diverse and holistic role. They need to be well versed in the trends of the market and communicate the needs of the customers to the organization. Product managers engage in activities such as:

 

  • Conducting customer research in order to gain new insights into the needs and preferences of their target audience.
  • Design a long-term vision and strategy for their products.
  • Develop a cohesive and comprehensive roadmap for the development and delivery of the product.
  • Prioritize the features that are needed to be built next.
  • Orient the product and development of the products to be focused on the needs of the consumer.
  • Align all the internal and external shareholders to create a cohesive overall direction and strategy for the product.

 

What is a Product Owner?

A product owner is the part of a Scrum team who maximizes the value of a product by managing the working of the development team. The Product Owners are the ones who decide how they want to develop or produce the products that are on the backlog for delivery. This process is called backlog grooming. Apart from this, Product Owners have the following duties:

 

  • Converts customer feedback into actionable data, that can then be used to decide backlog priority.
  • Designs production processes and delegates them to the development team.
  • Cooperates with the Product Manager to ensure alignment of goals and product ideas.
  • Communicates between the development team and the management by providing instructions and valuable feedback to both parties.

 

Why Do We Need POPM?

Although their tasks are similar, both a Product Manager and Product Owner are integral members of any organization. Where the Product Manager is concerned indirectly with dealing with the customers and their needs, the responsibility of the Product Owner is to facilitate the development teams in building the products decided by the Product Manager. Companies need Product managers for their long-term vision, strategic operations, team alignment. On the other hand, Product Owners provide value in the form of detail-oriented, short and medium-term workloads on the backlogs.

 

 

The services of both a Product Owner and Product Manager are integral to a firm, although they don’t need to have separate people doing it. By doing a POPM course you can learn to fill the role of both the Product Owner and Product Management in an integrated and well cooperative manner.

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