What is the difference between a Product Owner and a Product Manager?

I get asked this question almost every week – probably because the local scene in Dhaka isn’t that used to having a product-first culture.

The idea is simple. A Product Owner is primarily responsible for defining and prioritizing the product backlog, while a Product Manager is responsible for overall product strategy and roadmap.

The Product Owner focuses on defining the user stories and prioritizing the product backlog to ensure that development efforts are aligned with business objectives. They work closely with the development team to ensure that the product backlog is well-defined and that the team has a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

The Product Manager, on the other hand, is responsible for overall product strategy and roadmap. They work with stakeholders such as executives, sales, and marketing to understand market trends and customer needs, and then use that information to drive the product strategy. The Product Manager is also responsible for ensuring that the product is aligned with the company’s overall business goals.

In summary, the Product Owner is focused on the tactical execution of the product backlog, while the Product Manager is focused on the strategic direction of the product. Both roles are critical to the success of a technology product, and it is common for one person to wear both hats in smaller companies.

However, in larger organizations, it is typical for these roles to be separated to ensure that both the tactical and strategic aspects of product development are properly managed.