Product Manager vs Project Manager

Product Manager vs Project Manager – Which one should you choose?

Product managers and project managers play a crucial role in tech companies as well as other industries. Most of the time people get confused between the two roles because of similar skill requirements such as leadership skills and time management, but in reality, a product manager and a project manager are the two sides of the same coin.

The product manager is responsible for setting the vision of the product, gathering the requirements, and prioritizing accordingly. On the other hand, a project manager is responsible to act upon the set vision by ensuring that the project is executed smoothly within the set deadlines and budget.

In this guide, let us learn about the differences between Product Manager vs Project Manager in an organization.

What is a Product Manager?

The product manager is a professional who sets a vision for the product as per his or her research, then communicates the vision to the entire organization. So, this way, the product manager starts creating a strategic action plan upon successful approval by executives or stakeholders in the organization.

The product manager's role includes defining and executing the product roadmap, gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, and working closely with cross-functional teams such as engineering, design, marketing, and sales to ensure that the product meets the needs of the target market and achieves business goals. Additionally, the product manager is responsible for analyzing market and competitive trends to ensure the product remains competitive and successful in the long term.


What is a Project Manager?

A Project Manager as the name suggests is a professional who is responsible for managing and leading organizational projects. They are responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the entire project through its closure within the set deadlines, resources, and budgets.

The role of a project manager can vary depending on the industry, organization, and specific project requirements. However, in general, a project manager is expected to work closely with the project team, stakeholders, and clients to ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

A project manager must have a wide range of skills, including communication, leadership, organization, problem-solving, and decision-making. They must also be able to manage risks and adapt to changes in the project plan as needed.

In addition to technical skills, a project manager must also possess strong interpersonal skills, as they often serve as a liaison between the project team and other stakeholders.

Product Manager vs Project Manager: Certifications Required

A few certifications that project managers and product managers can opt for to get a boost in their careers are as follows:

Product Manager vs Project Manager Key Responsibilities

To get an idea about the key responsibilities of a product manager and a project manager, you can refer to the following table:

Product Manager Project Manager
Develop a product strategy and vision Plan and manage project timelines and budgets
Define and prioritize product features Define project scope and requirements
Communicate with stakeholders and team members Allocate resources and manage project teams
Conduct market research and analysis Identify and manage project risks
Work with cross-functional teams to deliver product releases Monitor project progress and make adjustments as needed
Monitor product performance and user feedback Communicate with stakeholders and team members
Analyze product data and make data-driven decisions Ensure project quality and customer satisfaction
Collaborate with product owners and designers to create a user-centric product Document and report on project progress and results
Plan and manage product releases Manage project changes and scope creep
Ensure product quality and customer satisfaction Close out projects and conduct post-project evaluations

Can Product Managers and Project Managers Collaborate?

The success of any project heavily depends on the collaboration between product managers and project managers. While product managers define the product strategy, identify customer needs and outline product features, project managers plan and manage resources, schedule tasks, manage risks, and ensure the timely delivery of the product. Both roles are critical for the successful execution of the project.

Product managers and project managers must work closely together to ensure that the product is developed within budget, on time, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders. They need to communicate effectively and collaborate to overcome any challenges that may arise during the development process.

Establishing clear roles and responsibilities is crucial to facilitate collaboration between product managers and project managers. Defining project goals and objectives and establishing open communication channels are also essential for successful collaboration. By working together, product managers and project managers can ensure the delivery of a high-quality product that meets customer needs and business goals.

Let’s look at an example. Suppose, there is a company that sells electronic goods online. Now, they want to develop an app that their customers can use for browsing the products on their mobile handsets.

In such a situation, the company hires a product manager, who is going to be in charge of the development of the app by defining the goals, strategizing, and so on. In the same way, the same company will hire a project manager, who will be responsible for executing the set goals or vision into reality.

Product Manager vs Project Manager: What is the best role for your team?

The right role for your team is dependent on your organizational goals and initiatives. Here are a few aspects that you can consider when it comes to choosing the right role- product manager or project manager.


While for both product managers and project managers, soft skills such as communication skills, leadership skills, human skills, etc are crucial.

There are also technical skills that both these roles may possess.

Product Manager Skills Project Manager Skills
Data analysis Knowledge of PM approaches such as Scrum, Agile, and Waterfall
Market assessment Risk management
Price modeling Project management tools like Asana or Gantt charts
Basic user experience (UX) knowledge Basic budgeting
Basic business knowledge Tracking and monitoring

Job Role

When it comes to the job role, a product manager may perform activities and tasks related to setting and planning the vision of the product, while a project manager executes the project and oversees it till its closure.


When we compare Product Manager vs Project Manager salaries, we find that they are highest in major East and West Coast metros. However, some industries favor one role over another, so the median salary for product managers and project managers differs.

As per Glassdoor, the average salary that a product manager makes is $1,17,437/yr, while the average salary of a project manager is $90,551/yr.

Career Growth

Since both product manager and project managers are growing and in-demand professions. So regardless of what you choose, you can enjoy great job opportunities with high salary perks and benefits.

You may also read our blog on Project Manager Career Path – A Complete Guide


So, now you must have understood the key differences between a project manager and a product manager. Nevertheless, both of them are regarded as powerful duos, who complement each other with regard to achieving the common goals and objectives of the organization by working together to plan project deliveries and ultimately envisioning long-term success for the company.

Both a project manager and a product manager are essential for planning and executing organizational projects.

Do you need clarification about the difference between a product manager and a project manager? Project managers are in charge of ensuring the performance of those development plans, whereas product managers are in charge of proactively managing the product's development. Project managers are the captain of the project who leads the entire team and makes it work.

Techcanvass’s PMP course is a valuable investment for project managers looking to enhance their skills and advance their careers. Our PMP course covers all aspects of project management, from initiation to closure, and provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to pass the PMP exam.

The course is designed to ensure that you fully grasp the ideas and can apply them in both your career and the PMP test, our curriculum includes extensive class exercises based on real-life scenarios, making it accessible for project managers at all levels. Whether you want to increase your earning potential, take on more challenging projects, or demonstrate your commitment to the field, this course can help you achieve your goals.

PMP Training

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