If an agency specializes in internal projects, it hires a project Manager. It controls the entire workflow. Although its responsibilities are much broader:
- collect and create rules for working with the project;
- create tasks and make sure that they are completed on time;
- search for contractors;
- create and maintain a schedule;
- to control costs;
- maintain internal documentation.
It is important to keep track of deadlines and budgets. But another of the main qualities of a Project Manager is communication skills. After all, you will have to communicate not only with your team, but also with your managers and customers. Therefore, the communication will be both formal and informal. Moreover, different situations will have to be resolved. Each organization makes its own requirements. For example, you may need to know foreign languages somewhere.
Here is an example of the responsibilities that can be found in job openings:
- conducting negotiations with customers, coordinating documentation and resolving disputes;
- full immersion in the project with an understanding of all the features of the work;
- monitoring deadlines and budgets;
- risk management and timely error correction;
- competent interaction with customers or outsourcers;
- motivation of the team to get the desired result.
In general, a Project Manager usually tries to divide one large task into several small ones. But in any case, it sets a deadline for each of them.
Now you can talk about how a Product Manager differs from a Brand Manager. Here the role is played by creating, improving and developing the product. And the features include:
- study of product users;
- analysis of competitors and their ways of interacting with users;
- retention of current users;
- attracting new customers;
- developing techniques that will lead to payment;
- working with reasons for refusing to use the product.
For example, to attract new users, sometimes it is enough to introduce several new features. An unfriendly interface may be the reason for rejection. By analyzing various indicators, product manager creates technical tasks for developers and designers. It also determines their priority. If a new idea comes up, you can easily test it. And if you’re lucky, embed it in the product.
The difference between a product and a project can be seen in the responsibilities that are imposed when searching for employees. For example, the following requirements are often made for a Product Manager position:
- analyze the market and target audience needs;
- monitor the behavior of users and competitors;
- create and manage business processes;
- you can set priorities to tasks;
- learn customer needs and translate them into a language that developers can understand;
- communicate with developers, designers, and analysts;
- conduct product testing;
- introduce new ideas and improvements;
- manage the technical support group.
The company’s work is not always focused on the development and Analytics simultaneously. Of course, some of their elements are always present. But usually the emphasis is on one thing. Much depends not only on priorities company, but also from the product development stage:
- When it is just starting to be created or changed, describe all the functions and scenarios that should be present in the base version. This also includes the development of the interface and design in general. Therefore, the roles of developers and designers at this stage are one of the most important. To find out what product characteristics users like, you need to study your competitors.
- When you need to improve the product’s performance, the most important thing is to study user behavior. How they interact with the product, what they like, why they reject it, and so on. Analytics and testing are a priority at this stage. Therefore, the product Manager examines the reasons why users do this or that.
Whatever tools are used to determine indicators, the main thing remains the growth of the product’s profit. To achieve this, you should study user engagement, retention, and lifecycle. In addition, it is important to understand how much revenue they bring.
If you carefully understand how the project differs from the product, then the edges will immediately become noticeable. But the responsibilities of product and project managers are gradually being combined. But you shouldn’t do that.
When you don’t want to look at vacancies
Unfortunately, some employers do not fully understand the positions. Therefore, vacancies can mean another person instead of one person. Product managers are particularly offended by this. Sometimes there are ads that combine the responsibilities of content managers, product managers, project managers, and even SEO specialists. Here is an example of requirements from a job offer:
- project management;
- developing logistics for participants;
- event control;
- interaction with contractors;
- organizing a coffee break;
- setting and meeting deadlines;
- writing technical specifications for programmers, typesetters, and designers.
Although this is more appropriate for an event manager. Perhaps only the last two items can be attributed to the work of the product manager. And there are many such cases. Business owners can be forgiven for this. However, they should understand other issues. But when such vacancies are posted by the human resources service, questions arise about its professional suitability.
A product and a project are different things. Therefore, the product manager and project manager professions are also different. A project is a process. A product is a result. But usually it takes a lot of projects to achieve this result. If you want to work in any of these professions, then always pay attention to the list of responsibilities. Often it is he who plays the role, and not the position that is written in the vacancy.