The difference between project management vs. product management
Project Management is the discipline of managing a project and seeing it through from beginning to end. Usually, projects have a defined start and end date. Project Managers may use one or more management methodologies or frameworks to help them oversee the project and its team members.
Product Management is the discipline of managing a product from birth to market. Product Management may comprise of a series of multiple projects and cross-functional teams. The product may actually not have an end date but instead have a lifecycle. Product Managers often have to continue to manage a product even after it has gone to market to oversee changes, upgrades, marketing, and other tasks.
Strategy and vision
Product Management requires strong strategic thinking. Product Managers require the ability to manage multiple areas of the business that affect their products including but not limited to technical solutions, marketing, customer support, sales, design, and more.
Project Management may use the same principles but Project Managers work more in the trenches. They set milestones, deadlines, and a path to achieve defined goals.
In both roles, strategy and vision are important skills to have in order to set proper goals and achieve them within reasonable deadlines.
Execution and success
While a Product Manager sets the vision and strategy, Project Managers are in charge of executing the plan and delivering the vision to life. There are many crossover skills between both roles. The difference lies in their responsibilities. Depending on the organization, products and/or services and scope, both roles may be needed to distinctly manage separate parts of the business. Regardless, it is important to have strong collaboration and communication skills between the roles.
There are several certifications that both roles can obtain to increase their skills and qualifications. Some certifications may be required by hiring companies and roles. These certifications are provided by a number of different organizations.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) from Project Management Institute
- Certified Project Manager from International Association of Project Managers
- CompTIA Project+ from CompTIA
- Certified Product Manager from AIPMM
- Product Manager Certificate from Product School
- Technical Product Manager Certification from One Week PM
- New Product Development from Product Development and Management Association
Project Manager and Product Manager jobs and salaries
Project Manager salaries in the United States average around $75,000 per year.
Product Manager salaries in the United States average around $97,000 per year.
As with all jobs, salaries vary depending on the industry and geographic location of the position. However, many remote positions are becoming more common.
Search for Project Manager jobs on Indeed.
Search for Product Manager jobs on Indeed.