More Posts
379 words
Black ellipse iconBlack ellipse icon
3 minute read

What's the difference between a project manager and a product manager?

In the bustling world of software development, you may often hear the terms "Project Manager" and "Product Manager." While they may seem interchangeable, they represent two completely distinct roles, each critical in the lifecycle of a software product. Let's explore the differences and how they contribute to the success of your organization.

Project Manager

A Project Manager (PM) focuses on the "how" of a project. They are responsible for planning, executing, and closing projects, ensuring they are completed on time and within budget.

A Project Manager's responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring and controlling the project's progress and making necessary adjustments.
  • Managing risks and issues that may arise.
  • Communicating with stakeholders, including team members and company leadership, about the project's status.
  • Ensuring that all individual contributors know what they're doing at all times.

Product Manager

A Product Manager (PdM) centers on the "what" of a product. They are responsible for guiding the product's vision, strategy, and development, ensuring it meets the needs of customers and the market.

A Product Manager's responsibilities include:

  • Defining and communicating the product's vision and goals.
  • Researching market trends and customer needs to inform product strategy.
  • Collaborating with various teams, such as design and marketing, to define the product.
  • Maintaining the product roadmap, including prioritizing features and enhancements.

Key Differences

  • Focus: Project Managers focus on the process, while Product Managers focus on the product itself.
  • Goals: Project Managers aim to deliver a project on time and budget, while Product Managers strive to meet the needs of the market and customers.
  • Skill Set: Project Managers need strong organizational and communication skills, while Product Managers require market insight, strategic thinking, and collaboration capabilities.
  • Metrics: Project Managers track project-related metrics, like timeline and team performance, while Product Managers analyze product related metrics, like user engagement and revenue.


Project Managers and Product Managers play vital but distinct roles in software development. By understanding their unique responsibilities and focus, organizations can better leverage these roles to drive success.

At PeaEm, we understand that your company lives and dies on the strength of your product insight, while project management needs to get done reliably and as simply and efficiently as possible. PeaEm offers technical project management as a subscription service. Whether it's building out your project management processes, monitoring progress, or ensuring timely delivery, our team of expert project managers has got you covered. Contact us today to get started and schedule as free consultation.