What is the difference between the product owner and the product manager? Does the product manager rank higher in the organization than the product owner? Do we need both?
With so much debate over the roles of the product owner and the product manager, it’s finally time to unpack these questions in detail.
Defining a product owner vs. a product manager can be challenging as many factors influence how these roles operate from company to company. The maturity of the product, size of the organization, departmental structures, adoption of scrum and agile practices, and company philosophy are just a few examples.
Both the product manager and the product owner work towards a common goal — to build and improve products that create meaningful value for customers and all stakeholders within the company. This usually happens by delivering and optimizing product features.
Both the product manager and the product owner work towards a common goal — to build and improve products that create meaningful value for customers and all stakeholders within the company.
Because they share the same goal, it’s often difficult to draw a line between the two positions. While there are some areas of overlap, the product owner and the product manager have different responsibilities in the product management process.
To break it down:
The product manager discovers what users need, prioritizes what to build next, and rallies the team around a product roadmap.
The product owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product by creating and managing the product backlog. This person creates user stories for the development team and communicates the voice of the customer in the Scrum process.
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