Product Manager Vs Product Owner

Scrum frameworks require the role of a Product Owner, which differs a little with the traditional Product Manager’s role. Usually, responsibilities of both overlap but they are indeed different positions. Let me clarify a bit:

Product Manager Product Owner
  • Business. Important stakeholder.
  • Bridge between business and engineering.
  • Always thinking of the product ‘outwards’ (focusing on clients and customers)
  • Harder focus on how the product is defined inwards.
  • Analyzes competitors and tracks the market.
  • Analyzes stakeholders’ interests on the product.
  • Perfect understanding of customers’ behaviour and likes.
  • Perfect understanding on the product that is desired.
  • Definition of the product’s roadmap and the product itself.
  • Gathering requirements and writing user stories.
  • Attending demos.
  • Attending sprint plannings, backlog groomings, sprint reviews and presenting demos
  • Support to non-technical departments (Marketing, Customer Service, etc.).
  • Support to technical departments in product doubts and queries.

To sum up, Product Owners are part of the Scrum team while Product Managers are out of the team but represent one of the most important stakeholders. When a company develops a highly complex product or has a extensive portfolio, both roles co-exist; but if the product is simple or limited, these two roles could be united. It basically depends on your business’ needs.

Antonio González

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