Product Manager vs Product Owner: Key Differences Explained

author

Cubix

24 Mar, 2022

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4 min read

Many people confuse and mix the roles of product owner and product manager, which are two different positions. To that very end, top software product development companies hire product owners and product managers who can run the show with their skillsets, vast knowledge, and well-versed experience.

With debate taking momentum about who we need the most in a SaaS niched company, defining the role of product owner and product manager is challenging but explainable. In general, the roles are determined based on organizational size and structure, product scope, adoption criteria of software development methodologies (traditional or agile practices), and the software development company’s philosophy towards the development – all counts in!

However, the responsibilities and roles of product manager and product owner are described below to sort the confusion that puzzles your mind. By the bottom line, you will be motivated enough to correct the concept of those who say both positions are the same.

Why do we need a Product Manager?

Software-as-a-service niched companies require the person’s services who can upgrade the quality of their product. A product manager helps rev up the product development process by defining a product strategy that efficiently meets its goals and encompasses factors that offer the product a unique identity and make it worthy for adoption in the marketplace.

Goals

The product manager plans to set the standards for the product development and identifies the ways of implementing those strategies into the development scenarios while blending the three essential elements altogether, which are:

Technology

A product manager offers technical guidance to the team while defining the client-side technical requirements and gets involved throughout the development phase. He understands the cruciality of aligning the development process with the business perspective.

Business

The product development manager is responsible for adding value to the business through smart product strategies. He also carries out business analysis to determine whether the product nature matches the business requirements or needs to be modified according to the business.

User Experience

User experience is the real deal in the software industry – if UX fails, your business fails, end of the debate. Saying that reason, the product manager analyzes whether the product offers a good user experience as per what the client has demanded or not.

Responsibilities

Deliver Prioritized Features

He clarifies the product vision to the development team while prioritizing the product features per customer requirements. Finally, he decides and directs the group about the subsequent feature development. The product manager also demands that he deliver already-built features to the client and negotiate with him.

Team Alignment with Product Roadmap

A product development manager is accountable for enhancing the product and company’s value. Therefore, he aligns the team with the product roadmap and efficiently handles the business partners and stakeholders.

Unveil Product Criticalities

Every software production encompasses many risks and problems that challenge the product leader and development team. Therefore, a product manager conducts thorough research about the product and identifies solutions for the product.

Why do we need a Product Owner?

A product owner has the abilities and skillsets to improve the company’s identity and software product development through smooth communication with stakeholders, supporting short- and long-term planning, suggesting excellent product functionalities for the ROI generation. However, the product owner role comprises so many more responsibilities.

Goals

User Stories

The product owner defines the user stories and strategizes the practical approach with the team to enhance his team’s ability to build an agile product that perfectly fulfills the client demand.

Monitoring and Ensuring

Attending meetings, agile, or scrum is a must for the product owner to ensure that the product manager aligns the development process according to the product roadmap.

Controls the Process

A technical product owner provides feedback to the team and a product manager about whether the development is proceeding as per the expectations or not.

Responsibilities

Evaluate the Development Process

From building and prioritizing the product development process to confirming that the team has fully understood the process and every minor detail about it. The product owner role involves collecting information about developmental activities, their outcomes, and the effective results.

Prioritizes Backlog

The product owner prioritizes the backlog as it supports iteration planning, including bugs, design modifications, technical challenges, customer changes and dictates the prior work requirements. In return, the development team dictates the work velocity through the backlog.

Monitor almost the Entire Production

A product owner works closely with the technical crew, which involves the designers, developers, QAs to look after the accurate production. Therefore, it is required that the product owner must be well-familiar with the technicalities.

Product Manager vs Product Owner: Do Companies Need Both?

As defined above, roles speak volumes about the individual importance of each leader in a tech-related company. Therefore, both roles have vital importance at the introductory level. However, it depends on each software development company’s operating environment, size, complexity, deadlines, etc.

According to the source, to carry out quality product management, both leaders have the skill sets to manage the complexity of the product. Still, wide-ranging companies do not consider leaders to communicate with customers – they are user liaison companies where IT people directly negotiate with the customer/user – which hardly make significant progress in the development process. To that end, well-established companies that consider building large-scale and complicated projects must involve tech-geeky managers to add value to the process.

You might want to know how a leading company comprises a skilled, agile team geared towards innovation while focusing on your product purpose as part of your product strategy.

Does Cubix add both Product Manager vs Product Owner roles in its technical product management?

Yes, Cubix encourages our product manager and product owner to put their efforts into the technical product management process while collaborating with cross-functional teams, stakeholders, and customers to ensure the best outcome from the end product.

Get Your Software Project Developed by Experts

Cubix is one of the top software development companies and we have some of the best product development experts onboard. Whether you want to kick-start your new business idea, or customize an already developed product, our development experts can do that for you. Learn more about how Cubix metaverse development, website & app development, and game development services can help you grow and scale your business.

Consult our development experts today and share your ideas to learn how we can add value. Give us a call.

author

Cubix

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