Project Manager and Product Manager

Responsibility of Project Manager


a) Confirmation of project’s scope, quality, schedule and cost.

b) Standardization and normalization of project’s process/task.

c) General and phased planning according to the integration of project’s scope, quality, schedule and cost.

d) Getting approval and recognition of various plan from superior, costumer and project member.


a) Organizing various resources based on project’s need

b) Defining various roles of project team and allocating every role’s responsibility and authority.

c) Customizing communication plan for internal and external stakeholders.

d) Arranging roles in project team such as requirement analyst and customer contact, et al. And arranging communication between internal project members and customer.

e) Dealing with the relationships between internal project members and other stakeholders.

f) Dealing with the relationships between various roles or members in project team

g) Arranging training activity for customer.


a) Assuring every member in project team has a common understanding of project’s goal.

b) Creating an exploitation environment and atmosphere for project team, and assuring project team members focusing on the project scope and not being affected by other aspects of the project.

c) Raising project team’s morale and enhancing team cohesiveness.

d) Reasonably arranging every team member’s work and ensuring saturation of every member’s work

e) Developing plan for recruitment and training if needed.

f) Regularly arranging technical training for project team and industrial training for the whole project

g) Detecting problems of the project team in time

h) Solving problems of the project team in time


a) Achieving the project’s goal by finishing project’s scope under the constraints of budget, quality and schedule.

b) Monitoring and examining the workmanship of team members during every stages of project life cycle.

c) Reporting to leaders regularly of project’s work progress and issues accounted from project’s development

d) Knowing about team members’ work progress, managing and planning configuration of project.

Responsibility of product manager

Planning and Executing

1) Responsible for sales and marketing plans of product lines, strategy of market promotion, marketing action plans, and coordinating between market department and other departments to realize the action plan;

2) Organizing various of publicizing materials, product materials and training materials, and performing product training and sales training to salesman and relevant staffs.

3) Coordinating market promotion activities of relevant product lines;

4) Negotiation with various departments’ leaders to develop market promotion plans and action plans for relevant product lines, executing and achieving the market promotion plans of the product lines;

5) Developing and executing sales strategy

Core value of product manager

a) Acknowledgment and analysis of industry

b) Analysis and systematization of requirement

c) User experience and product design

Differences between project manager and product manager

Knowledge background

First of all, from the point of knowledge area, technical background is required for project manager. A typical project manager is a research and development engineer with rich project experience. His/her responsibility is to transfer the project’s goal into a measurable and achievable project plan, which means his/her job focuses on aspect of execution. On the other hand, the knowledge area of product manager is usually wider, but not necessarily requires technical background.

Duty cycle

Second of all, from the point of duty cycle, project manager has to carry one’s duty through to the end. Project manager can switch to another project once he/she finishes a project while product manager can not. Product manager has to grow up with his/her product, and the growth of a product usually comes along with countless projects, each of which is an iteration of the product.

Points of focus

Product manager focuses on “what product should do?”.

Responsible for product’s plan, including market analysis, components analysis, user analysis et al. Developing product scheme and plan, and coordinating product design, industrial design, and product development et al.

In a word, product manager is in charge of the requirement and concept of the product.

Project manager focuses on “how to develop the product?”

After the product manager defines the requirement and concept of the product, it’s project manager’s job to establish a team and realize the product using methodology of project management. The main factors under consideration would be schedule, cost, quality and production et al.

In a word, project manager is in charge of achievement of the product which has been defined by product manager.

Substantial differences

Fourth, if a product could be compared to a child, then product manager would be the child’s mother, and project manager would be a teacher of a certain stage of the child’s growing up. There are different types of teachers. For instance, primary school teacher can teach a class of students from their grade one to grade six. After the child’s graduation from primary school, this teacher would switch to another class of students. From this metaphor the relationship between product manager and project manager can be clearly comprehended.

Please consider this: a child’s teacher can be changed, but how about the child’s mother?

Supplementing each other

Lastly but most importantly, project manager and product manager supplement each other.

If a product manager could not provide a good concept, or a good strategy, or a good plan for a product, then the product’s development direction and route would be wrong. In this scenario, even if the project manager had finished the project and achieve the product so well, there would be no success.

On the contrary, if the project manager could not nicely control the performance of the project, or deliver the product under constraints of schedule, quality, cost and quantity, then the product plan would not be achieved, no matter how good the plan is.

In summary, product manager determines the upper limit of a product, and project manager determines the lower limit of achievement. Certainly, if there was not enough resources, all would be a tale of a tub.

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