Product Owner vs Product Manager Whats the Difference?

Whatever route you choose, it’s important to establish clear expectations with your product people and to make sure you’re not relying solely on what you call them to convey what you expect them to do. For comparison purposes, the average salary for product manager jobs in the United States is $112,000 with a range of $73,000 – $173,000. This last difference has more to do with the characteristics of the team you likely work with rather than your specific responsibilities.

product owner vs product manager

This helps teams work more efficiently because roadblocks will be easier to overcome. Product owners are responsible for managing user stories and organizing customer feedback. They identify common roadblocks by responding to criticism as if they were a customer support representative. For problems that can’t be solved, the product owner logs potential solutions to these obstacles in the product backlog. The product owner then prioritizes this backlog for the product development team to address. A product manager is a job that oversees not just product development or Scrum but end-to-end product management from product roadmapping to feature functionality and responding to customer feedback.

Product Manager vs. Product Owner: Who’s Who?

The project manager identifies cross-functional dependencies and does resource planning. Product managers tie the production to the market needs and trends. You don’t necessarily need to choose between one and the other, as they fulfill different roles. What you need to ask yourself is what your desired outcome is, as this is what will tell you what management roles you need to round out your team.

  • Since product owners tend to be more proactive – they have to attend team coordination meetings, discuss delivery methods, and handle the teams involved.
  • The product owner regularly checks in on the product manager and can reprioritize development efforts if there’s a bad design.
  • However, the roles of product manager and product owner are indeed different.
  • FedEx Logistics recently advertised for a product owner who can represent customer and business interests, own the team backlog, and effectively define and prioritize user stories.

They know how to estimate the time it will take to complete a project and identify potential problems related to scope or limited resources. During my seven years at Atlassian, and specifically working on Jira Software, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with thousands of software teams. Software teams of every shape and size, building everything from SpaceX rockets to cars to pizza delivery drones. While no two teams were the same, the majority of them shared a desire to become more nimble in how they were planning and developing software. Product owners manage the development of the products to realize the vision of the product that has been planned. This role is all about the development of the actual product, and they work closely with (or are part of) the production team.

Responsibilities of a Product Owner

Meet Janet, who was recently hired to be a new company’s first product manager. Janet will assume some accountabilities from the product owner, Noah. — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

product owner vs product manager

This can also include business intelligence tools like Tableau to answer data-related questions. A big part of working together as the product manager and owner is using customer insights and data to lead product development. This means data should be readily available to both through a framework that allows sharing, privacy, data interpretation, analysis, and usability. To do this, the PO needs to understand each initiative and know what the product team needs to do to reach the product manager’s desired outcome and, ultimately, the customers. Now let’s continue our exploration of the difference between a product manager and a product owner with some real-world job descriptions. The product manager is responsible for the overarching, big-picture strategy for the product.

Heatmaps: improve unpopular product elements through analyzing user navigation

Some organizations can’t translate their product vision into fully-functioning product features because of a lack of understanding about the roles of a product owner and a product manager. This is because a major part of a product owner’s job is translating a product manager’s high-level vision for a product into actionable tasks. As a result, product owners are key point people for developers, QA staff, UI, UX, and designers. What is the difference between a product manager and a product owner?

product owner vs product manager

Product managers have thorough product expertise and work closely with engineering and design teams. Here, you need a product owner to step in and support the product manager by building those stories and providing the product team with a deep understanding of the customer. As product management expert Roman Pichler explains of the product manager-product owner distinction, the product owner role traces back to the Scrum agile methodology for project management. As a result, product owners today are found primarily in organizations that use the agile development approach.

What’s the Difference Between a Product Manager and a Product Owner?

The technical and financial realities were in opposition to the product strategy. Product management expert Roman Pichler explains this saying that product managers were considered antithetical to Agile when the Scrum Guide was released in the 1990s. In this report, we’ll explore the differences between the roles and help you understand when your small business should use them. If there’s disapproval, product owners must relay that instruction back to the developers for consideration.

Outside of working with design and engineering teams, the product manager must also communicate with Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service departments. Together, they perform customer behavior analyses as well as look at product usage charts to determine the most optimal release strategy. The product manager is responsible for articulating the key benefits of the product so these teams can optimize the sales and marketing efforts upon release. Product managers make sure that everyone has the resources needed to fulfill the product owner’s vision. They make the business value clear to the engineering and design teams by defining what the project is, why they’re doing it, and when the expected deadlines are. The product manager routinely works with these teams to overcome any unexpected roadblocks that may impede product development.

Incoming Feedback: understand VoC feedback and identify which features are missing for customers

They figure out what needs to be built, based on the end users’ needs and the business goals. The product owner makes sure that, on a day-to-day basis, the tasks being carried out and prioritized are in line with the strategy set out by the product manager. The product manager occupies a strategic role, defining the overall vision and direction for the product. They ensure that the right thing is being built in order to meet both end user and business needs. Explore how a product owner’s role impacts the development of a product and an organization’s overall product vision and strategy.

product owner vs product manager

Technically, the PO and PM can be the same person in the Scrum framework, so it can be hard to understand whether you need to differentiate between them. If you’re weighing up both roles with your own career path in mind, you’re probably wondering how the salaries compare. Often, the best way to gauge what different roles and job titles entail is to look at job ads. Our career-change programs are designed to take you from beginner to pro in your tech career—with personalized support every step of the way. Customize everything to match the way your organization works — including your workspace hierarchy, terminology, workflows, and more. Brainstorm concepts on a whiteboard and create compelling documentation — using guided templates to help you shine.