Product Owner vs Project Manager
You have already decided to put your idea into action! It is a great step towards the finalization and making your project a reality. From this time also the most intensive work begins. But don’t worry! You will have your Project Manager and the software development team beside you at all times. It is all about the vision and ideas of the Product Owner vs Project Manager’s skills.
The Product Owner is you. You are the inventor and the leader of the realization process. Without your clear guide of what is going inside your mind the Project Manager will not be able to do his best. So the Product Owner’s vision fulfills the actions of the Project Manager. You both have different roles which together are going to provide the success. But to be specific let’s divide and explain the roles that you both are gonna posit. This is Product Owner vs Project Manager work.
The Product Owner’s Responsibilities
- Assess the time and budget
It is the very first and essential information for the development team. Basing on that they can adjust the methods that will be used to your money resources. It will also be easier for them to meet your expectations when the amount of money is defined clearly. Thanks to the time estimation you provide – you have the comfort and the team can set out the particular amount of time for individual parts of the project to suit your needs!
- Make sure to answer some of the following questions
You should know whether you need mobile or web development or maybe product designing services. It would also be great to have determined clearly the aims and benefits of your project. Without those aspects any vision can fail. To be fully satisfied it must appeal to you strongly. So make also sure that everything your Project Manager suggested goes hand in hand with your vision. Also, be able to depict it. And remember if you do not know what you want your team will help you figure it out! So be confident about your idea, believe in it and feel free to discuss each doubt with your Project Manager.
- Specify the target users
The target audience is a very vital point, if not the most important one when it comes to new product development, so you cannot forget about it. Basing on that the team and the Project Manager will create the most suitable product. So make sure to find out why and how they would use it. It is very helpful for the team as every kind of weaknesses or threats will be eliminated. We are aware that sometimes it’s hard to specify the target users on your own, so here at INVO we have experts dedicated to help you do that!
- Try to make an analysis
You do not have to do that, but your project would benefit if you took an insight into your business and market. Look for solutions that are unknown yet or try to mix some of the best existing ones. What I mean is that there is a low point in creating something that is already common. Focusing on business needs will provide you with a high quality product and in effect with a wide group of consumers. So do the market research and show it to your development team during the very first meeting!
- Communicate with your software development team
Teamwork is the key. You should supervise the work of the team as to make sure they build exactly what you expect. Developers have to understand the end-goals. It is not enough to just demand from somebody. It is crucial to demand engagement from yourself as well. Efficiency will then rise and a good Product Owner should be involved in the process from the very begging until the end. So be available when the team needs you. You can read more about communication here.
It all may seem like a lot of responsibilities but the truth is – without you the product would not exist. So the more involved you are in the project the higher are the chances for success. If you want to know more about how to prepare yourself for this process you can read our eBook – “How to put your idea into action”. However, remember that your project would not move forward without the effort of the Project Manager. It is all about the teamwork. Below you can see what responsibilities a Project Manager holds.
The Project Manager’s Role
Project Manager is someone who is responsible for the project’s structure – planning it, carrying it out and making sure everything goes well along the process. There are many things to take care of when it comes to software development and a Project Manager has to manage them all and put them together in order to provide you with the best product possible.
- First meeting
During the first meeting the Project Manager asks questions pertaining to all points listed above. Every client has different requirements and concepts. Project Manager not only adjusts to the PO’s vision, but also gives out directions for the rest of the team to follow. A PM knows very well what sort of suggestions and ideas you should consider to expand and enhance your project. A Project Manager also makes sure that the whole team is familiar with your needs and expectations.
After the Project Manager has basic information about your idea the real work begins. First, your PM defines all the necessary resources. The next step is creating a plan – putting together the budget, timeframe and resources. You can read all about what goes into it, in our post about the project management process.
- Executing the plan
Now the Project Manager has to ensure that everything is working how it is supposed to. It involves checking if the work process follows the requirements and previously stated time and money estimations. A Project Manager is the leader of the software development team. The whole team is supervised and supported by a talented Project Manager that is the captain. People on the team also need to be encouraged and guided which is a duty of Project Manager as well. A crucial part of executing a plan is providing communication between the team and stakeholders. Without that the project is meant to be a disaster as they all must prepare for eventual risks. This also something the Project Manager takes care of.
- Depicting the whole process of putting an idea into reality
The Project Manager is also there to show you what you can expect from the process. Explains what the workflow looks like and how to align your vision with your software development team’s vision. Do not hesitate to ask your PM questions and voice any doubts as he or she is a crucial part of your project’s success as well as a great support for you. Your Project Manager also monitors and collects all the information during progress to constantly ensure everything matches your vision.
- Arranging an in-depth meeting before launching the project
During this important meeting your Project Manager will teach you about how the communication process with the team looks and which tools will be used. Moreover, it is a Project Manager who provides you with information about the estimates, milestones and iterations of your project. At the meeting your PM will also ask you to provide some details. They may differ depending on your project, but usually they have to do with servers, technical background or an in-house development team of yours (if you have one, of course!). As you can see a Project Manager makes in-depth analysis of the whole process. From the questions about budget or time through technical issues, up to your worries. All fields are under control.
Product Owner vs Project Manager
As you can see both the Project Manager and the Product Owner are management roles – the difference is as to what they manage. And this, at its core, is the most prominent difference. We can very easily compare it to the book revealing process. A Product Owner is an author while a Project Manager is a publisher. It is about great cooperation that leads to success. There will not be a book and there won’t be an app or website without it. In short they are both responsible for bringing value for the target users.
Somebody could say that the Product Owner is the decisional person. It is all about his idea to be realized so he has all rights if is eager of changes. Even though the Project Manager does not agree – he or she hasn’t got that much power. PO makes all the critical choices. But it doesn’t always mean these are the good and suitable ones. For this reason there is a PM who is experienced when it comes to putting ideas into actions – a Project Manager can help you make all the right choices. It is worthy for your own purpose to trust your Project Manager. The whole software development team has your best interests in mind and it makes a world of a difference if you trust them with your idea to be carried out perfectly!
Trust Your Project Manager
Your ideas are crucial for the project – you are the Product Owner after all, but you need to put your faith into a team of experienced specialists. What is better – a couple inteligent and creative brains or just one brain who thinks that he or she knows best? The answer is not always that obvious when it comes to our pride. So let the Project Manager and your team put your idea into life and it will benefit you more than trying to control the whole process yourself.
The last, but not least, difference is the origin of the roles. The Project Manager position is rather steal and defined. He or she works like a programmed machine designed to make somebody’s ideas some true. It is a very structured ecosystem. By contrast – a Product Owner is very prone to changes. A PO must adjust to current popular methods and requirement of the non-stop changing world. So flexibility and creativity are demanded. This role has its roots in Agile Methodology.
It Is All About Teamwork
During all projects, the work is divided between a Product Owner, a Project Manager and the rest of the software development team. When thinking about it – both the Product Owner and the Project Managers are leaders and they fulfill each other. So trust and great communication are crucial to make the process work! Remember this while working on a project of your own, whether you are a Project Manager or a Product Owner.