#PMChat: Differences between Product and Project Management

PMChat PreGame Show is a 15 minute podcast prior to the #PMChat weekly Twitter Chat for Project Managers.

Listen in http://bit.ly/10Afptk

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StartUP Product‘s insight:

Product Management vs. Project Management 05/17 by PMChat PreGame Show | Blog Talk Radio

Listen to internet radio with PMChat PreGame Show on BlogTalkRadio

Questions for discussion:

  • Help us differentiate between Product and Project Management – let’s start by defining the two: What is a Project, and what is a Product?
  • What is the focus of Product Management (vs. the focus of Project Management)?
  • What are the responsibilities involved in Product Management and those that are involved in Project Management?
  • Where do you see Product Management in terms of its evolution and maturity as a profession, vs. Project Management?
  • What are the skills required for effective Product Management, vs. those required for effective Project Management?
  • What is the difference between where the passion lies for Product Managers vs. Project Managers?
  • Why would one choose to go into Product Management vs. Project Management?
  • What advice do you have for those who want to further their career in Product Management?

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What is a Project, and what is a Product?

According to Sequent Learning:

A Product includes any tangible or intangible item or service, or bundles of goods and services offered for sale. Products have a life cycle. They are conceived, developed, introduced to and managed in the market, over a period of time.

A Project is a series of activities and tasks which contribute to the creation or support of a product or service. Projects are organized within a systematic framework, utilizing appointed or allocated resources. The tasks are subject to dependencies (e.g. upon the performance of others) and risks (e.g. upon factors that can go wrong). The delivery of a product signals the conclusion of these project activities and tasks. Projects also have a life cycle. They have a start point and an end point.

Product Managers are individuals appointed to be product or product line “mini-business” owners. They are the leaders of cross-functional product teams. These teams are formed to optimize the product’s market position and financial return over its life cycle and their performance should be consistent with division and corporate strategies.

Project Managers are individuals responsible for planning, monitoring and controlling all aspects of a project. They must motivate and synchronize the assigned resources to achieve the goals of the project, while coping with the constraints of time, cost and consistent quality. Project Managers manage projects from start to finish.

Similarities of Roles

  • Both roles align activities performed by cross-functional teams with strategic objectives
  • Both roles require strong influential and collaborative skills to guide critical decisions
  • Both roles orchestrate key activities and manage key deliverables

What are the responsibilities involved in Product Management and those that are involved in Project Management?

Project Management

  • Organizational function of planning, organizing, securing and managing resources
  • Applies processes and knowledge over time
  • Aligns cross-functional teams to complete projects

Product Management

  • Organizational function throughout product lifecycle
  • Proactive planning of products
  • Aligns cross-functional teams to create and support a product

projvsprd

Product Management:

Conceive, Plan, Develop, Qualify, Launch, Deliver Retire

Project Management:

Initiate, Plan, Execute, Monitor/Control, Close

What is the focus of Product Management (vs. the focus of Project Management)?

Project Management focus:

A. Organizational function of planning, organizing, securing and managing resources

B. Applies processes and knowledge over time

C. Aligns cross-functional teams to complete projects

Project Managers guide key decisions to maximize quality and minimize risk.

Product Management focus:

A. Maximize revenue.

B. Lead product development activities.

C. Reduce development cost.

D. Maximize profit.

E. Deliver high quality

Product Managers guide key decisions to maximize value and create new revenue streams

Where do you see Product Management in terms of its evolution and maturity as a profession, vs. Project Management?

Project Management has established standards, certifications, education and qualifications that have been in place and documented with the PMBok.

Product Management is an emerging profession, currently defined uniquely by every organization.  The AIPMM has been driving establishment of the profession with the forthcoming ProdBOK, product management body of knowledge developed by over 60 contributors.

What are the skills required for effective Product Management, vs. those required for effective Project Management?

Professional communication and leadership skills are essential to both. Ability to generate collaboration and work cross-functionally is a necessity to be successful in either role.

 
Here’s a recap of the twitter chat presented by PDU Of The Day and compiled by Martin Chernenkoff. Martin, known as @EdmontonPM on Twitter:  bit.ly/10LdXQd

[View the story “Product Management vs. Project Management #pmchat May 17, 2013” on Storify]

Here’s the slidevu of the full twitter transcript conversation that includes all voices in chronological order:

[View the story “#PMChat Product Management vs. Project Management – May 17,2013” on Storify]