Product Management vs Project Management: What’s the Difference?

A well-managed project increases productivity by 27%, and a well-managed product increases sales by 34.2%

But do you know the difference between project and product management? It’s challenging when the terms are often used interchangeably – but there are some key differences.

If you’re in business, you need to know exactly how to excel at both. Knowing your product and project management inside out could be the secret to business success.

Read on to learn the exact differences between these two types of management.

What Is Product Management? 

Product managers manage the product. The product can be anything from a tube of toothpaste to consulting services. It is whatever the service is that your company provides.

A product manager sets the direction of the company and provides insight into what customers need. They are responsible for the research, strategy, and planning of any new campaigns.

Some choose to manage products on their own, but there’s an increasing shift towards product management software, similar to the one on this page. Product management software is focused on strategy; it helps track and communicate goals and establish business priorities.

The advantage of product management software is that it helps break a vision down into achievable tasks and provides timely communications to other staff.

What Is Project Management? 

Project managers manage the projects. This can be a marketing campaign, a recruitment drive, or a product launch.

Project managers oversee specific projects that are already developed and planned. They breakdown the bigger picture into smaller tasks, plan timelines and allocate resources.

Most companies use project management software to keep track of the project completion status. Project management software is based on tracking and execution. You can use this software on a small (daily to-do list) or large scale (quarterly business targets).

Project management software helps to track specific tasks, dates, timelines, and allocated resources.

What’s the Difference Between Project and Product Management? 

So product vs project management – what’s the difference? Both managers are working to meet business needs but using very different methods.

The product manager is one step above the project manager; they delegate projects to be managed. The product manager’s role is varied and insightful, requiring them to communicate up, down, internally, and externally.

The project manager is tasked with getting things done. They complete the projects for the product manager and have an essential part to play in the project’s success envisioned by the product manager.

The Down Low on Project vs Product Management 

Now that you understand the basics of project and product management, you’ll know why you shouldn’t get these terms mixed up.

Working towards the same goal but with very different tasks, these two types of managers are both essential. They work together to get things done and accelerate business growth.

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