Project Manager vs Product Owner

Differences between a project manager vs product owner
and why you need them

There’s a lot of confusion about the differences between a project manager vs product owner. Project managers and product owners work together to achieve the project but they each have different roles. In this blog, we will be able to answer your questions about the core differences between a project manager vs product owner.

What is a project manager?

A Project Manager is a person who is responsible for the suitable implementation and delivery of a project on time.

The main task of a Project Manager is to guarantee that the results are accomplished with quality requirements and client expectations.

In the case of software development companies, Project Managers tend to have a technical background with some kind of technical knowledge as they work closely with the software developers.

And are they necessary to have in software development companies?

The project manager role is one of the most important roles in any software company, as it is very important for them to manage complex projects on time.

If there are multiple groups of people involved, the role of the project manager will be different from the business group. However the core roles of being a project manager are the same, which is to balance time, budget, and scope of work.

In order for the work to reach its goals, the project manager needs to look at the whole picture in order to get the project done correctly and  on time.

Before the project begins, the project manager is responsible for communicating with stakeholder & clients to mutually come to an agreement, as well as identifying the resources to be used, risks, the advantages, and the work patterns well in advance.

The project manager has to balance the scope, budget, and timing of the project including reviewing each step of the project, in order to report those results to executives and update the plan if there is a change in goals, or if a risk arises. 

The next step is to know more about product owners to see what is the difference between product owner and project manager.

What is a product owner?

A Product Owner is a person who has the duty of planning and prioritizing tasks for the Scrum teams. Product Owners are capable of the scope of work to be implemented and to be managed into achievement.

The Product Owner has to work with internal and external stakeholders to generate the best product plan, requiring them to talk with clients and report to management to establish the final product vision.

Product Owners are also responsible for the final shape and quality of the product, so his/her work should focus on analyzing the opinions about products while staying up-to-date with the latest market trends.

Product Owners will always try to look at the broader picture on how to get the job done. They must understand the matter of the Market &Customer to draw a vision of the real pain-points of the customer and be able to describe it in simple terms .

What does a product owner do?

Being a Product Owner means taking care of the end-to-end process by

  • Conception: Conception means  imagining what the product will look like, what problem did you solve, and how was the result?
  • Execution: To really create a product, product owners need to work with stakeholders both inside and outside the organization through a product development team.
  • Launch:Making sure that they bring the product-to-market with success.

Project manager vs product owner: different focuses of work

Complex projects that have multiple groups of people involved need to have a good operational plan, in which the project manager and product owner can work to help the project succeed effectively.

Reasons why project managers are necessary

Motivating your team

Building positive energy for the team to work well, supporting the team’s work, and reducing the stress that may arise from work — in the case that the work still needs to be further adjusted and modified.

Coping with the obstacles that must be faced

As a project manager, you may encounter obstacles in many directions. The decision to solve these problems depends on the project manager.

Project managers must analyze which is the most important problem to be solved first and what will the outcome be? Project managers need to understand the problem quickly and find the right solutions.

Increasing engagement and linking between the company and the client

The project manager will play a key role during communication to stakeholders. The project could be implemented appropriately if the project manager has identified the risks, issues and compliances.

Reasons why product owners are necessary

To carry out the product under the influence of customers

Product owners can give a clear understanding of the processes involved in product development to both the customers and stakeholders. This can drive good prioritization that brings value to the business. Product knowledge is a very vital part to make sure that the team meets all the requirements.

To help and scope the vision

Product owners will create the roadmap,  broader than project manager, to control the product development processes so that they can keep the team focused and stay on track.

To manage the product backlog

The goal here is to make incremental product development to be successfully delivered. During sprint meetings, the product owner should set up the criteria to arrange the backlog in order to be ready to tackle any issues  while testing the product.

By doing this, the product owner can add or remove tasks inside the backlog as well as adjust the process after getting the feedback before the next sprint.


What is the difference between product owner and project manager? Project managers need to balance the scope, budget, and timing of a project , including reviewing each step of the process.

On the other hand, the product owner is the person who has the duty of planning and prioritizing the tasks.

Knowing these differences between a project manager vs product owner can help your project be effectively achieved. They are both very important to your software development team to work well, and that’s why you need them.

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