businessBusiness Coachingbusiness growthconsultantERPFinanceProcess Improvementsmall-businessWhy You Must Differentiate Product Management And Project Management

July 28, 2021by amybabashoff0

The demand in the manufacturing world is hot.

As ambushed businesses in this industry continue hustling to keep up with ever increasing demand, the slightest mistakes can incur significant costs in reparation.

To maintain a continuous quality level of execution, each team member must adhere to their own designated responsibilities- and with many similarities surrounding project managers and product managers, it’s crucial that their roles don’t overlap.

With a similarity in job titles and relationship of a few responsibilities, it’s common for one individual to step-either unintentionally or purposefully- on the toes of the other. However, depending on several factors, just one offense can strain your leadership relationship and further impact your business operations.

We would know, we’ve witnessed it firsthand.

Avoid this at all costs! Take the time and necessary effort to ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page- including yourself. First, read on to explore the similarities and differences of product and project managers.

What is the difference between a project manager and a product manager?

While both roles are high in demand and mandate large salaries, they differ education requirements, valuable skill sets, and responsibilities.

Project managers develop, plan, execute, monitor, and close a set of activities to achieve a particular goal, such as the delivery of a service or product. Typically (but not always) they manage temporary projects, ranging in size and complexity from industry to industry. Provided a range of resources and specified budget, project managers lead teams in executing project expectations to deliver a service or product on time.

Product managers, on the other hand, \set the long-term vision for a company’s products, and communicate this strategy to all relevant stakeholders. To do so successfully involves gaining in-depth insights into products, market needs, competitors, customers, and other market influences. Product manager roles typically don’t have a set beginning and end as a project lifecycle would.

Product Manager Vs. Project Manager
  • Communicate with everyone from shop floor operators all the way up to top management.
  • Manage their own staff and outside contractors.
  • Maintain team unity
  • Keep product on schedule
  • Studiously adhere to a budget.
  • Frequently communicate with stakeholders.
  • Managing costs incurred

Product Manager

  • Motivating, and provide guidance to production staff
  • Ensuring compliance to all safety and health standards
  • Communicating regularly with upper management regarding production issues
  • Evaluating machine resources to ensure continued production and minimal downtime
  • Setting productivity goals for each manufacturing team
  • Developing workflow policies and procedures that improve efficiency without compromising safety or quality
  • Ensuring adequate scheduling of staff

As you may notice from above, the role similarities of one resemble the other, but with a predetermined layout backing the expectations of each role, you can ensure an environment of respect and cooperation.

If you choose to ignore and forego this increasingly serious concern, questions like the following will arise:

Who possesses the roadmap?
Who gets to communicate with each team?
Who talks to the customer?

Both of these managerial positions involve responsibility for principal project elements and at some point, may intersect. Consequently, it’s crucial that each grasp their specified duties and how to work together with others for the overall success of the project; here, you will likely need an HR professional to clearly outlay the expectations of each role.

To ensure streamlined operations and prevent situations involving disastrous conflict, effective staffing methods and employee relation solutions must be in place for reference. Furthermore, an uneducated and lethargic approach to implementing company specific standards will only create additional problems.

As mentioned above, we’ve witnessed the effects of employee conflict in manufacturing businesses like yours, and with years of demonstrable experience helping reinforce them from the inside out, we can ensure effective solutions tailored to your organization.

Located in Placentia, Orange County, our consulting team of industry leading experts at MCDA CCG, INC. are here to help you succeed. Whether you need help with critical staffing needs, human resource components, and/or other areas of concern, we can help. Act NOW to schedule a complimentary call with us!

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