Comparing Project to Product Manager Roles is Like Comparing Apples to Apples
I've managed projects and products. I don't see a big difference between the two roles, if you view a product as a project. Then again, I believe project management should keep things simple.
I believe these two roles and their definitions get too complicated. Viewing a product as a project keeps things simple. Project management should aim to keep things simple. That's why I favor a simple definitions and simple approaches.
Let's start with some simple definitions.
A project is a set of defined tasks executed to achieve a desired outcome.
Project management is defining those tasks, leading their execution and delivering the desired outcome.
Yes, sh*t hits the fan!
Yes, in practice, sh*t hits the fan along the way.
I find setting a simple starting point sets a clear intention for a project. A a clear intention grounds the project. Keeping the project grounded helps focus it.
Keeping a project focused helps -
-Limit the amount of sh*t that hits the fan
-Bring the project back on track once the sh*t hits the fan
Viewing everything from a project perspective keeps things simple. If you view everything from a project perspective then -
-A product is a type of project
-A program is a collection projects or
-A program is a collection of products, since a product is a project
So along these lines -
A project manager is a project manager. A project manager may manage a project, program or product.
A product manager is project manager. A product manager manages a product as their project.
That's my simple view of things.
Photo credit Raquel Martinez via Unsplash