Decoding PM vs PjM: Key Differences

Product and Project Management

Decoding PM vs PjM: Key Differences

In the business world, it’s common to come across the roles of Product Manager and Project Manager. While these roles may seem interchangeable, they serve different purposes within an organisation. Each plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of a company’s projects, but their areas of focus and responsibilities are distinct.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between Product Managers and Project Managers, their unique responsibilities, and how they contribute to the overall success of an organisation. So, let’s dive in and explore the key differences between these two critical roles.

Product vs Project

Projects and products are two different concepts in the business world, and each requires a type of manager with a unique set of skills and responsibilities.


A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. A project has a defined scope, timeline, and budget and is designed to achieve specific objectives. Project managers are responsible for leading a project from initiation to completion, and their primary focus is on managing the project schedule, budget, and resources to ensure that it is delivered on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.


Conversely, a product is a tangible or intangible item created to meet a customer’s needs or solve a particular problem. A product can be anything from a physical object to a software application or a service. Product managers oversee the entire lifecycle of a product, from ideation and development to launch and beyond. Their primary focus is understanding customer needs, defining the product vision and roadmap, and ensuring that the product meets the market’s needs.

Why do Projects and Products require different Managers?

Product managers deal with creating a product that suits the needs of a specific consumer group and is viable in the future, project managers are occupied with producing an outcome within a predetermined period.

Some of the variables that make projects and products demand diverse managers are as follows:

  • Different skill sets: Project managers should understand project management principles and methods. Additionally, they must be able to handle several stakeholders, keep track of budgets and schedules, and settle disputes. Conversely, product managers must be thoroughly aware of the market, the client, and the competition. To bring goods to market, they also need to be able to build and manage product roadmaps, develop and implement product strategies, and collaborate with other teams.
  • Different objectives: A project aims to be finished on schedule and within the allocated budget. The purpose of a product is to satisfy client wants while also bringing in money for the business.
  • Various periods: Projects have a start and a finish. Contrarily, goods are often utilised or sold over an extended length of time.

The management of projects and products may occasionally fall within the purview of the same manager. However, having distinct supervisors for each is typically more productive. This makes it possible for each manager to concentrate on their area of expertise while also seeing the demands of projects and products.

Tools Used for Product and Project Management

Asana – Asana is a popular project management tool that can also be used for product management. It offers a variety of features, such as task management, project planning, team collaboration, and workflow automation.

Asana - The product and project management tool

Trello – Trello is a visual project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to organise tasks and projects. It can also be used for product management, allowing you to track product development, prioritise features, and collaborate with your team.

Trello - The project management tool

To discover additional project management tools, click on the following link.

What Is Product Management Vs Project Management?

Product management and project management are two distinct roles in a company that are responsible for different aspects of bringing a product to market.

Product management is focused on the overall strategy and vision for a product, from ideation to launch and beyond.

Project management, on the other hand, project management is focused on planning, execution, and delivery of specific projects within a defined timeline and budget.

While there is some overlap between the two roles, product management and project management require different skill sets and focus on different areas of responsibility. Product managers focus on a product’s overall strategy and vision, while project managers focus on the planning, execution, and delivery of specific projects within that strategy.

Responsibilities of a Product Manager vs Project Manager

Responsibilities of a Product manager

  • Defining the product vision and strategy
  • Conducting market research to understand customer needs and pain points
  • Defining the product features and prioritising the product backlog
  • Coordinating with the engineering team to ensure that the product is developed to specification
  • Setting pricing strategies and defining the product roadmap
  • Collaborating with sales and marketing teams to create product messaging and positioning
  • Ensuring that the product is successfully launched and adopted by customers
  • Analysing product performance and making recommendations for improvements and updates

Responsibilities of a Project Manager

  • Developing and managing project plans, timelines, and budgets
  • Coordinating with team members to ensure that project tasks are completed on time and to specification
  • Identifying and mitigating project risks and issues
  • Managing project scope and ensuring that the project stays within budget
  • Communicating project status and progress to stakeholders
  • Ensuring that project deliverables meet quality standards
  • Conducting post-project analysis to identify areas for improvement

While there may be some overlap in their responsibilities, the focus of a product manager is on the product itself, while the focus of a project manager is on delivering a specific project outcome within a defined timeline and budget.

Primary Differences Between Product Managers & Project Managers

Product ManagerProject Manager
Focuses on the product vision and strategyFocuses on project delivery and execution
Conducts market research to understand customer needs and market trendsDevelops and manages project plans, timelines, and budgets
Prioritises product features and sets the product roadmapDefines project scope and objectives
Develops pricing strategies and positioning for the productIdentifies and mitigates project risks and issues
Collaborates with cross-functional teams to execute the product visionManages project resources and team members
Ensures successful launch and adoption of the productCommunicates project status and progress to stakeholders
Analyses product performance metrics and iterates on the product based on customer feedback and market trendsEnsures project deliverables meet quality standards
Manages the development throughout its lifecycleConducts post-project analysis and evaluation

To Conclude

In conclusion, while Product Managers and Project Managers both play crucial roles in the success of an organisation, their responsibilities and areas of focus are distinct.

Product Managers are responsible for overseeing the entire lifecycle of a product, from ideation to launch and beyond, while Project Managers are responsible for delivering specific projects within a defined timeline and budget. It’s important for companies to understand the differences between these two roles and to hire the appropriate manager for each task.

By doing so, organisations can ensure they have the expertise and skills to meet their business goals and drive growth.


Can a Project Manager Also Be a Product Manager?

Yes, a project manager may go to product management. They may need to build new abilities and expertise in market research, consumer insights, and the creation of products to advance to the product manager position.

Which Is Better, a Product Manager or a Project Manager?

Both product and project managers are vital to the growth of a company. Before picking an avenue, looking at your abilities, preferences, and professional aspirations is essential.

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