Product owner vs. product manager: Does an organisation need both?

Many organizations struggle with whether to hire a product manager, a product owner, or both. For instance, a side-by-side comparison of their roles is given below for reference:

As shown above, both roles hold their own strategic and tactical advantages, making it a confusing choice for some organizations. To make this decision, the company must focus on outcomes, not titles. As Rosemary King, Director of Training Products at Mind the Product, puts it: “Titles are not as important as understanding the outcomes that you would like to achieve, and the weaknesses in your current structure and process.”

She suggests approaching the decision a series of questions: “Who is currently doing what right now?” “What are the main challenges of the key players?” “What is your process for making decisions?” “What does success look like?”

Once one collects all the answers to these questions, they will have a clear picture of how their company operates, critical bottlenecks, and other factors. These insights will help them structure their team.

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