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Product manager vs product owner: Is the product manager higher than the product owner?

The functions of product managers and product owners are generally confused. Product management is a wide field with several duties and obligations, and many individuals in the tech industry have difficulty distinguishing between them. The discussion between product managers and product owners is commonly about accountability. Is the product manager or the product owner is responsible for the product lifecycle? How do the two functions interact within a business? What part do they perform in the product team and the organization as a whole? In this post, we will discuss the distinction between the product manager and the product owner.

What does a product manager do?

Image for part: What does a product manager do?

A product manager directs the design of the product by 

  • Establishing the product's strategic plan
  • In charge of consumer and market analysis
  • Discovering and prioritizing prospects
  • Contacting internal and external stakeholders

The extent of the function is generally determined by the corporation's size and the composition of the design team as a whole. A product manager's everyday duties will also vary enormously based on the product design stage. At the start of a product's lifecycle, the product manager may be concentrated on technique and specifying the product's vision. The product manager will begin to emphasize product functionalities, market study, and user reviews as the product are provided to clients. Here are the three key elements to better grasp the function of a product manager;

  • Scope. Based on several factors, the extent of their role can be extensive or quite constrained. The product manager will collaborate with outside stakeholders like the customer and users. They are the sole representative of the product team and should be ready to convey strategy and the business's message even as meeting the requirements of stakeholders. As you'll see, the function of a product manager necessitates a diverse set of capabilities. Product managers should be artistic and technically competent in addition to having strong communication and leadership expertise. They will assist in defining the product purpose, potential consumers, and designing a product approach that provides the product's long-term perspective. Product managers define what excellence entails. Their scope is likely to be broader than that of the product owner, who is more concerned with day-to-day product-focused activities. The product manager is basically in charge of vision and has a big say in how the business advertises the product. They operate on both a theoretical and practical level to comprehend customer requirements and refine the development technique.
  • Artefacts. Product artifacts are items formed as a spin-off of the design methodology to confirm the creation of a product or software system. Product managers are regularly in charge of artifacts such as a product workflow, or a product criteria record. When a product manager creates a product guideline, it is for the betterment of the entire product management department and to establish a unified perspective for the product's future. It aids in the alignment of a team around objectives and enables the discussion of development growth. They can help to keep the design process on track. Artifacts such as a product blueprint or a product vision card are incredibly beneficial when product managers are dealing with several departments and multi-functional teams.
  • Ceremonies. During the product advancement phase, the product group will gain from participating in product group ceremonies like product research regularly. Product managers can oversee the product exploration while enabling team members to participate. They can help product management discourse regarding customer requirements and market inadequacies. The product breakthrough ceremony is intertwined with many of the product manager's duties, particularly when it comes to determining the product's vision and brainstorming insights for the product approach.

What is a product owner's function?

The Product Owner (PO) is an Agile professional who is in charge of specifying stories and prioritizing the team stockpile to simplify the implementation of the program emphasizes while retaining the theoretical and technical validity of the product's functionalities or elements.

Product owners play a significant role in maintaining that all team members are operating efficiently to strengthen the product development and optimize value provided in a scrum team structure that is intended to assist teams to work together. 

Let's look at three main elements, equivalent to how we looked at the product management function to comprehend the product owner duties.

  • Scope. A product owner's extent is usually narrower than that of a product manager. Since product managers determine why, who, and what, the product owner decides how. They view user storylines and consider the concrete actions their team can follow to satisfy the customer's requirements. 'How can we maximize the scrum team's qualities and create the highest quality products?' That's the type of question that product owners will wonder themselves weekly. Internal stakeholders like coders, designers, and quality control collaborate with product owners. Their responsibilities are almost completely focused on the product. And, product owners should be technically proficient and detail-attentive. A product owner will also assist the design team in carrying out a common goal. They will encourage the scrum group to take creative risks by utilizing their outstanding communication abilities. A product owner should consider the client and the long-term product vision when developing a winning strategy. The product manager will make the major corporate strategy decisions concerning delivery, upkeep, and market analysis.
  • Artefacts. Product owners are accountable for developing and maintaining artifacts like a product and sprint backlog. They may not have the ultimate authority on the finished product, but they should be fully informed about the product as it develops. 'A product backlog is a prioritized list of work for the design team based on the framework and specifications.' The product owner is responsible for creating the product backlog and ensuring that the entire team is performing their duties. When a product owner has a definite and reasonable product backlog that inspires optimal group work, the process becomes simpler. The product owner's function is critical for maintaining that the team remains focused on the task at hand. It enables the team to remain agile and adapt to market trends while developing the product.
  • Ceremonies. The agile scrum ceremonies serve as a foundation for teams to finish tasks in an organized and consistent way. For instance, a sprint planning session enables the 'product owner and design team to fulfill and evaluate the prioritized product backlog.' As a result, the team is allowed to accomplish work progressively and consistently attain productive objectives. The product owner must understand the product backlog and be prepared to describe the specifics to the development team. Also, as a product owner, you must reply to any issues or queries the development team has regarding the work.

Other resources on product manager, how to write a product manager cover letter, how to become a product manager, how to write a product manager resume, product manager resume sample, what are the key skills of a product manager, what careers will be in demand.


As a result, in comparison to product managers, the product owner is much more involved in the everyday activities of the product team. Product managers and product owners can both play significant functions in an organization. When the workflows of the two positions are in sync, the product manager and product owner can collaborate flawlessly to construct and optimize customer solutions. Preferably, a business working on providing a large, complex product will be interested in hiring both a product manager and a product owner who will play different but completely complementary duties within the product team. While handling a group of expert individuals and interacting with outside stakeholders, the product manager will concentrate on the big picture. Simultaneously, the product owner will undertake daily activities and make sure the emergence of a great product.

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