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Diff between Product Owner and Product Manager role
Last Post 22 Jul 2016 11:20 AM by Steven Lee. 10 Replies.
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Sanjay Saini
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Sanjay Saini

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01 May 2014 07:36 PM

    I am sure this topic will be covered and I must have missed that discussion. What is the difference between a Product Owner and Product Manager role?

    I heard that Product Manager is more outward while Product Owner is more inward towards the team. Or there can be just one either Product Owner or Product Manager?

    Cheers
    Sanjay
    Umair Iftikhar
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    Umair Iftikhar

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    01 May 2014 08:06 PM


    I heard that Product Manager is more outward while Product Owner is more inward towards the team.


    You have summed it nicely. In our company, where we are working on product based project, we have product owner(s) and a Product Manager.

    Product Owner(s) have duty of requirement gathering, backlog maintaining and running sprints (+ other responsibilities as mentioned in Scrum Guide). However, product owners don't define quarterly / yearly road-map of product.

    Product Manager in our company defines the road map of the product, costing of project, he deals with sales and marketing teams, resource management (HR) teams etc.

    You can see a clear distinction here, I think it all has to do with how you define the role of Product Manager.
    Himadri Bhattacharya
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    Himadri Bhattacharya

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    01 May 2014 11:25 PM
    I may be wrong here but there is no mention of Product Manager anywhere in Scrum. There are no courses, guides or any other references to that role. I believe in an ideal scrum framework the road map of the product is defined by the product owner with input from stakeholders and discussions with the scrum team. Sales and Marketing maybe considered as stakeholders and should be liaising with the Product Owner. The Product Owner can provide input into resource management issues.
    Mrugesh Panchal
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    Mrugesh Panchal

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    02 May 2014 01:02 AM
    A traditional project manager can fulfill the roles of a scrum master or a product owner depending upon his or her skills/inclinations.

    In case of a traditional project, a project manager fundamentally manages the project.

    However, in a scrum project, the work is managed by the development team.

    In scrum, the PO is responsible for maximizing the product value in addition to the work carried out by the development team. The PO is the sole entity responsible for creating and managing the product backlog.

    The product owner “owns” the project on behalf of the stakeholders. He or she assumes a servant-leader role to facilitate the colloboration and transparency features which are very important in scrum. The project manager generally assumes a more autocratic role and decides everything pertaining to the project. The person also issues commands as to how the team should carry out the development activities - something never done by the PO in scrum.
    Kapil Sharma
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    Kapil Sharma

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    07 May 2014 10:15 PM
    Hi Sanjay,

    In nut shell of Scrum, here is difference. The P.O is part of scrum team where as the P.M doesn't having any role in the scrum team. You can put P.M in the stakeholder profile.

    The P.O having final vote which user story goes in the sprint and the team and P.O can create stories. P.M won't do that.

    Scrum Team Members: P.O, S.M, D.T
    P.O: Product Owner
    S.M: Scrum Master
    D.T: Development Team

    Thanks,
    Kapil
    scrum-mines.blogspot dot in
    Ian Mitchell
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    Ian Mitchell

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    09 May 2014 04:31 AM
    > What is the difference between a Product Owner and Product Manager role?

    In Scrum the correct use of vocabulary is important. If there is any evidence or suspicion that the Scrum vocabulary is being compromised...for example by conflating or splitting roles...then Scrum is not being done well. The difference between a Product Owner and a "Product Manager" could therefore be the difference between a sound implementation of Scrum and a poor one.
    Sanjay Saini
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    Sanjay Saini

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    13 May 2014 07:31 PM

    Yep, I also see it as implementation issue, no product manager role in Scrum. He can be a marketing or sales guy though.

    Cheers
    Sanjay
    michael
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    michael

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    23 Jul 2014 03:47 AM

    Actual question:

    What’s the difference between a Product Owner and a Project Manager?

    My initial thoughts are, PM doesnt exist in scrum so why are we comparing them.

    If we go a bit deeper takes us down another avenue.

    PM
    PM is responsible for managing a project so has the skills to scope, time, cost,communication,risk,quality.
    PM would not always work with self organising teams or have the skills to adapt, top to bottom.

    PO
    Would have skills to scope, time, cost,communication,risk,quality.
    PO would always work with self organising teams as its Agile, bottom up.

    So they are roughly the same but do the job differently is another option.
    This question for me is a bit like this

    Bob is a PM, he is six foot three, likes sport, and drinks ten pints.
    Dave is a PO, five foot four, doesnt like sport, tea total.
    (Dave is my PO but dont go out drinking with Bob)

    Isnt it irrelavant what the difference is, if we think of it as a question of value in scrum.
    In pints yes I could see some logic as Dave would be on a mission.
    We dont have PM, its PO, does any PST for PSPO know what the thinking is behind this.
    Scrum guide doesnt compare them.
    This is like the "Who would be the best choice for PO question".

    Michael
    Igor Melnikov
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    Igor Melnikov

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    14 Jul 2016 04:31 AM
    the role of the product owner is a key in any Agile/Scrum methodology. At the same time, expectations and definitions of this role are even more blurred than the roles of Scrum Master and Scrum Team as the whole. If we speak in metaphors, the Scrum team is a powerful (or not really) car, and how fast it goes may directly depend on the driver’s level of experience, who is the Product Owner.

    from here https://blog.craft.io/2016/06/28/product-owner-product-manager-whats-difference/
    Alan Larimer
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    Alan Larimer

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    14 Jul 2016 12:33 PM
    From my experience, organizations that utilize a Project Manager are most often still operating in a classical, top-down, directive style. When implemented properly, a Product Owner is operating in an agile, bottom-up, self-organizing style. How the role's duties are performed may vary, but the intended purpose is clear.
    Being "responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team" and "one person, not a committee" while most likely representing "the desires of a committee" makes the Product Owner role vital to both the Scrum Team and the business alike. Input from all stakeholders funnels through him or her to guide in the creation and prioritization of the Product Backlog: the ever evolving collection of possibilities for the product. Providing clear understanding of what those items mean (in both function and value) aids in maximizing the efforts of the Development Team. The Product Owner and the product will be most effective and rewarding (both financially and personally) only when the statement "the entire organization must respect his or her decisions" is actually lived.
    Although I like the analogy of a driver, I prefer navigator. He or she has a strong and shared vision of the final destination (product). He or she plots and adjusts the proposed course (Product Backlog) as the needs and desires change. He or she provides the understanding so that the goal of each short segment of the trip (Sprint) can be achieved without gong in a wrong direction.
    Steven Lee
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    Steven Lee

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    22 Jul 2016 11:20 AM
    I noticed in this thread that the original question has been misread by some responders. The OP asked the difference between "product manger" and "product owner"... NOT "project manager".
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