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What’s the difference between product management and project management?

Black & white chess knights facing each other

We’re busy developing some new apps in the office and our designer asked us a really simple, on the surface, question.

What’s the difference between product management and project management?

It certainly got the office humming as we debated backwards and forwards. In the end we came up with:

In project speak, the product manager is the sponsor of the product. They are responsible for setting the strategy, prioritising the product releases, talking to customers to make sure they’re happy, clearly defining features and making sure that the end product delivers what they say it will. This effort can take place over multiple projects.

The project manager on the other hand is responsible for making sure their part of the product development lifecycle happens on time and within budget.

On well running product developments, product and project managers work very closely together as neither can really do their job well without the other one.

What do you think the difference is?

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