The most common job title, this can span a wide gamut of experience, responsibility, and skills. The Difference Between a Product Owner and a Project Manager It is safe to say, that most business savvy people know what a Project Manager does. And the larger your organization is, the more complicated it gets. As we mentioned above, the product management function is to discover and deliver valuable products.. Agile is only one aspect of the product function -> Delivery.. In the diagram below, I try to represent some of what I’m suggesting about the ideal agile team in this post. In PM vs DM terms, you can view Santi Cazorla as the Product Manager and Francis Coquelin as the Delivery Manager. And for all my PMI friends, yes, you can probably call this an Agile Project Manager or Agile Program Manager as long as you mean the same thing as I describe below (but I don’t have to like it). For football fans, let me use the example of the base of the very successful Arsenal midfield: Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla. Finally, one very important role that the Delivery Manager plays (or might have to play) is as a coach. Delivery Manager found the following resources, articles, links, and information helpful. So for instance if the team has decided to work in an Agile way (which is the ideal way, really) the DM educates himself on what this means and ensures that this way of working is followed* Creating an enabling environment for continuous improvement to the way the team works* Enabling visibility of project progress and helping the Product Manager communicate progress to relevant stakeholders* Introducing processes within the team for things like absence management, time tracking, task scheduling, etc* Marshalling the team to get involved in exercises like planning and estimation in order to give the Product Manager a picture of relative sizing of various features and an indication of when she can have them* Tracking spend on the project thus giving the Product Manager valuable information about what her project is costing, thereby helping with forward planning* Facilitating conflict resolution (because when you have a group of highly skilled and very opinionated experts working together, there will be conflict)* Removing any impediments that could divert the team from their primary function* … and basically anything else that diverts her attention from the laser focus her product needs. What is the difference between the below 2 jobs:-Technical Project Manager.-Technical Service Delivery Manager. And since most of the time PM’s are working in an agile environment, you can say that a Product Manager is always a Product Owner. (This analogy only works with a team that has an attacking philosophy). Because a Product Manager needs to constantly ask questions about and validate her product, and because the activities related to this are all-consuming, she needs someone to ensure the day-to-day running of the team is happening. And the confusion only grows in companies where there is a product owner on the team too. On team are all of the skills necessary to own the whole development and delivery of the product. Your team members are not drones. The Product Owner Role. But in some cases, you may want and need to offer coaching to the managers as well. Your team should include whatever skills and roles you need to be successful (don’t read too much into how many circles of which colors I have). While the former is a manager-facilitator of the process, the later represents the client (user) voice. * Will I be able to deliver these features based on the budget I’ve got? A web team will be needed to build and code the web pages for the trial download, the … And all agile transformations are messy, it seems. As a Product Owner and the CEO of I was invited to speak at ProductTank NYC earlier this year about the conflict between the roles Product Owner and Product Manager. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. The autonomous team, as I like to define it, has all of the skills and roles it needs and is empowered to design, architect, develop, deliver, deploy, own and support the entire solution. The Product Manager has the overall responsibility for the “shape” of whatever product or service is being delivered and, as a result, the overall direction of the product. A Guide To Writing Effective User Stories. Cultivate relationships outside of the team with people that will be able to help with unblocking any issues in the future. But clearly, that can’t be true. These usually lead projects following the Waterfall framework, overseeing teams and projects. How come? I’m curious to know if anyone else agrees with me. They work quite efficiently side by side with Coquelin stopping the attacks of the opposition, making key interceptions to prevent incisive passing in the final third of the pitch and generally mopping up at the base of the midfield. Perhaps the best we can do is “Delivery Manager” and just “Manager”? And traditional project management isn’t usually in line with that, in my experience. By definition, and very simply, a Delivery Manager is that person who ensures that the Product Manager’s product gets delivered. In my opinion, the role of the team member’s HR manager should evolve into more of a Servant Leader. * Does my team understand why they are creating this product? The Product Owner is the tactical ground force looking to build and refine the product. The perfect visionary and doer pairing. I’ve talked with a lot of different scrum masters and agile teams over the years. There is every chance of conflict with defining roles and drawing the line between your functions. If you are working in an Agile/Scrum environment, the PO is a role that needs to be fulfilled. But because it’s the most common title what’s importan… Consider that each team member brings a particular skill to bear towards the collective in order to contribute to the success of the product, and would presumably be an expert in that field. One of them holding and driving … Naturally, whatever tools and techniques are required in order for the Product Manager to answer the questions will also need to be learned to an expert level. A good place to start, I suppose, is a brief description of both roles and what they entail. The Delivery Manager is a coach, a communicator, an expectation manager, a facilitator and a diplomat. I bet you have been called a “project manager” more times than you can count. In Scrum methodology, it is clearly defined. Intensive communication with stakeholders; which might include: clients (up to C-level), internal and external users, or third party business users 2. The confusion stems—at least partl… Understanding the Product Manager and the Product Owner Role. They are often responsible for the longterm well-being of the products and solutions their people have built, even though they may not be involved in the day-to-day management of the delivery. When they are, it’s fantastic and you simply need to make sure you’re on the same page. In fact, there are only two roles that Scrum defines explicitly and that is Scrum Master and Product Owner. Just to give you an idea of why it is problematic, consider this question: … if my team is not practicing scrum, what am I? The product manager is charged with communicating the voice of the customer — achieving both customer and market success. They should also care about the product and customers and you must be open to their challenges, opinions and ideas on how the product can be improved. Product manager. There are only three defined roles in pure Scrum - Scrum Master, Product Owner and Developer. There’s an important reason I don’t like those Project Management sounding titles though, because what we’re talking about here is an agile-specific concept that needs to closely complement our evolving standard about longstanding autonomous teams. Five years ago I wrote an article arguing that it is essential that the product manager is also the product owner. They can step in and run a retrospective or play Scrum Master while he or she is on vacation for a week. Nowadays, there is mention of creating product backlogs and keeping them groomed, estimated, prioritised, etc. If this seems like a lot for one person to do, you are right. As you may know, the product owner originated in Scrum, where the role is responsible for “maximising the value of the product create.” This sounds like a text-book product management responsibility to me. He looses autonomy to make decisions and becomes a mere "delivery manager" for engineering. * How can I improve it? There are clearly on-team roles, for those that adhere to one of the various agile software development processes or frameworks. But in a larger organization, there are many other possible stakeholders. For this reason, they should be kept up to date with all changes, needs and challenges that arise on the team. Defining a product owner vs. a product manager can be challenging as many factors influence how these roles operate from company to company. You also need people who work closely with the specific development team on articulating the vision of the current user story and who focus on making tough decis… But if you have opposing points of view or comments about the role of Delivery Manager, I’d like to hear them! 8 Different Ways to Organize Your Backlog to Make it More Impactful. A product manager defines, owns and solve problems. Embrace this conflict and discuss what a good working together could be. In PM vs DM terms, you can view Santi Cazorla as the Product Manager and Francis Coquelin as the Delivery Manager. That is the relationship. This is exactly what I mean by the role of Delivery Manager. On that ideal team are also the Scrum Master (if you’re in fact Scrum, otherwise I hope you call it something else like Agile Lead), as well as the Product Owner. Product vs. project. Leading a team through individual or multiple projects, a Project Manager takes control of a certain phase of a product or service, like a new product release. What they probably won’t be so great at is how to function in the particular way of working that the team has chosen. Either way, I think we need new names and better clarity about these roles. Cue the Delivery Manager whose responsibility it is to deepen his knowledge and understanding of that way of working in order to give the team the tools it needs to achieve it. If you are a product manager, you know where I am going with this. Because, ultimately the person in the role of Delivery Manager as well as the individuals on the entire team may come and go over time. Now, this is where it gets interesting. Imagine a product manager moving a product through the development process. Great question, and I’m sure many people starting out in IT wonder the same, especially in environments where the Tech PM is paired with a business project manager or … The mundane, boring stuff like:* Facilitating the establishment of and monitoring ways of working. Who handles the questions and challenges posed by any of those groups so that the team can stay focused? With the wide scale adoption of Agile methods amongst software development teams, understanding the difference between the Product Manager and the Product Owner role is a frequent discussion topic in our Agile training course.. To begin to explain the topic requires some framing. A Product Owner is not always a Product Manager. “oh, it depends… “. But these days, especially in IT, it is a very probable scenario for you to be introduced to a Product Owner instead of a good old PM. Sounds like utter bullshit to me. Modern product management has shifted toward applying agile principles, which results in short development cycles, fast feedback, and continuous discovery. In any case I have a fundamental problem with the designation Scrum Master and I hope to write about this in the near future. Product Manager: what is the difference? They can help uplift the Product Owner’s skills. His role is popularly also referred to as the “water carrier” role. But here is where a Delivery Manager needs to be sensitive and coordinate closely with the direct HR managers of the individuals on the team. The Delivery Manager can fill in any gaps of agile knowledge to help the team in their journey of Continuous Improvement. On team resources are in the rectangle and make up the Product Delivery Team. * What are their needs? Delivery Manager (DM), Product Manager (PdM), Scrum Master (SM), Product Owner (PO), HR Manager (Mgr) In my opinion, the role of the team member’s HR manager should evolve into more of a … And if you plan to coach individuals, make sure you are well connected and discuss with the HR manager in advance out of respect. But there’s one place where all the dysfunction tends to collect and concentrate. * How is my product being used? These are artefacts of the Agile principles of Product Development and delivery but a focus on these completely miss the real role of a Product Manager. Agile ethnography: Does such a thing exist in UX Research? This is the job of a product manager, who helps upper management, investors, and even customers understand the evolution of the product. Who does the Scrum Master and Product Owner turn to when they need help? Designing an efficient, user-friendly image data structure, SOLID: Five Fundamental Principles in OOP, Detroit and London Schools of Test-Driven Development, 4 Apps Must Install On Your Mac for Development in 2020. What does an agile product roadmap look like? Unless you work at a startup and I just described your entire development organization, all of the on-team roles above are inward facing and working exclusively on one product and solving day-to-day challenges with the Scrum Master and Product Owner to make your customers delighted every sprint. You could almost summarise their roles as Coquelin preventing the team from failing by reducing the chances of the opposition scoring and Cazorla dictating the success of the team by creating the chances for goals with his creative play and vision. And if you’re really awesome, many of your team members can wear multiple hats (Development and QA skills, for example, are best when an Engineer can represent both roles interchangeably and any two Engineers on a team can pair to accomplish any technical card in the sprint backlog, fully developed and tested). Who keeps everyone and all of the stakeholders connected and well-informed? * Am I building the right thing? Product Owner vs. You need someone who owns the overall road map, a high-level view of where the complete product will be over the next few years. The role of a Project Manager has been around since the very beginning. Perhaps there’s an even better name for this type of Servant Leader: the People and Solution owner. Who makes sure the team has everything they need to stay happy, safe and productive? I also used the word longstanding because I assume you understand the value of a team gelling over time and are no longer tearing down teams and reforming them as your organization changes its mind about which products are being actively developed. The Scrum Master is the on-team process advocate which serves the function of Agile Coach as needed. Scrum Master and Delivery Manager. Nevertheless, the product owner is often regarded as a tactical role tasked with managing the product backlog, detailing requirements, and interacting with the development team. The Product Manager needs to first and foremost understand, really understand, her user. I deliberately do not use the Scrum Master designation as I believe those two can be sometimes conflated i.e. In my experience, there are rarely enough Agile Coaches to assign one to every team. Key influence on the pr… The true difference between a Product Owner and a Product Manager, though, is that Product Owner is a role within a Scrum team. There’s articles about “what do all the managers do”, for example, that give a lot of reasons why manager’s roles need to be radically changed or even not needed in an agile environment. It’s worth noting that it is important that these two roles are not performed by the same person. Also you inevitably create a hirarchy between PMs and POs. I think it’s time we admitted that there is a role that we’ve been terrible about defining and staffing properly in the industry. A Product Manager implies inclusion of the work of the Product Owner. She needs to constantly ask herself questions like:* Who is the user? Mohamed got in touch via the Project Management Café Facebook group, and asked an interesting question:. In pure Scrum, there is no role called “Delivery Manager”. The agile product owner does this in part through the product backlog, which is a prioritized features list for the product. The Product Manager leads and the team follows, with the help of the Delivery Manager. To help you understand who is who, let’s go over their responsibilities one by one. Remember what’s most important is the product! Product Owner is a Role That a Product Manager Plays Within a Delivery Team. In many organisations, the Product Manager is also given a pot of money to deliver the product but I will be skipping the budgeting and estimation/sizing process in this post. Here is how DAD’s product managers vs. product owners page describes the product owner role: “Product owners are more tactical in practice,” and they “work closely with delivery teams to ensure they build the right functionality in a timely manner. In fact, it is a lot for one person to do and the responsibility a Product Manager bears is quite high. The term Product Owner is mainly used in Scrum context. Product Owner’s activities includes: 1. The Delivery Manager often has these responsibilities as well as the daily impediment chasing. The amount of confusion these two words can cause never surprises me. Broadly this is someone who operates independently, leads the work of a product development team and is responsible for a product or customer journey. Product Owner is Scrum-dependent. The worst possible team you can have is one in which nothing gets challenged and they simply follow instructions to the letter without questioning. The Product Manager drives the strategic vision for the product. One of them holding and driving the creative vision and the other mopping up and ensuring things are ticking over. They work closely with the product manager (sometimes known as product owner), but while the product manager is concerned with the vision the delivery manager is concerned with making it happen. You may even have some shared roles if you don’t need all of a Solution Architect, UX Designer or UX Researcher, for example. I often am asked what the relationship should be between a Product Manager and a Delivery Manager and the answer I give almost all of the time is contextual. It seems crystal clear to me as I’ve been able to operate in similar ways at multiple companies. While the Product Manager (or Owner) focuses on ‘Why’ the team are doing what they are doing, the problems they are trying to solve, the vision they are trying to deliver. I myself have in the past worked with Product Managers with whom I have not quite been able to define the boundaries nor the best working relationship. The "Agile delivery manager" seems to be an undefined/undocumented role, and from what I read in the job openings is mostly a combination of a Project Manager, a Product Owner and a Scrum Master. In short, cultivate a good relationship with everyone! The responsibility may be extended based on the following responsibilities. If your team uses some kind of Agile framework to deliver products — like Scrum or SAFE, there is a role called Product Owner. And as an organization, there should be a process, perhaps through an Agile Center of Excellence, where a team can request the assistance of an Agile Coach to achieve some new skill or capability or solve a challenge the team is struggling with consistently. * Is my roadmap up to date? The maturity of the product, size of the organization, departmental structures, adoption of scrum and agile practices, and company philosophy are … What is the difference between a Product Owner and Product Manager role? They can even serve as mentor and coach for individuals. People searching for Project Manager vs. the Delivery Manager is also responsible triaging run-time issues with the product, thus freeing up the Product Owner The Scrum folk obviously agree with the project manager role is so tarnished that it needs rebranding. Cazorla, on the other hand, receives the ball from Coquelin or directly from the defence and orchestrates the attacking play of the team which, ultimately, leads to the goals. The direct HR managers should be responsible for the career of the individuals on the team, but they are not always capable of also being agile coaches. And if there are multiple teams working on the same product, I’ll assume you’ve figured out how to share a common backlog, possibly (but hopefully not) share the Scrum Master and Product Owner and use some scaling techniques so that the teams can cohesively work together on the solution as a larger collective team. Meanwhile, agile development teams demand that the product owner must articulate detailed user stories, participate in daily scrum rituals, and answer questions as the customer representative. This is why many organisations have Delivery Managers supporting their Product Managers. So, to better describe what I mean by the Delivery Manager role, let me first level set with you what I think about teams and teams of teams. However, there can be a rough guide to what this relationship could be and here is what I think. We’re talking about Marketing release schedules, Sales training, Customer Support, Data Center change management, Finance and budgeting topics, HR and staffing challenges, greater Product Management organizational expectation management, Portfolio Management, Executives and PMOs and Core Teams and Architectural committees and the list goes on. I realize there are many barriers at some organizations to achieve all of those functions on-team, but this is what I would label as the ideal team. Agile product companies have a hard time managing products. * What is this project costing my business stakeholders? The Product Owner (PO) is a member of the Agile Team responsible for defining Stories and prioritizing the Team Backlog to streamline the execution of program priorities while maintaining the conceptual and technical integrity of the Features or components for the team.. A Product Manager is always a Product Owner. In bigger companies, the product manager stands a level higher than the product owner and serves as a connector between the house and the outside world. Eventually, a marketing team will need to create the collateral and other deliverables to support the launch campaign. A made up title to map existing roles to a probably fake-Agile implementation, while using a lot of buzzwords. Middle management! They are the glue that keeps the team or team of teams healthy, connected and plugged-in to the rest of the organization as far as the product and solution are concerned. And I think this applies whether you’re Scrum or Kanban or LeSS or Nexus or most anything that doesn’t get specific with new roles like SAFe does. You must be ready and willing to slay the dragon, cuddle the kitten or carry the sewage in your quest to ensure the team can deliver the product. * Why am I creating this product? This is why it’s sometimes so hard to draw a line between the two positions or jobs. Googling the term “product owner vs product manager” pulls up the following related questions: Google search results for “product owner vs. product manager” ()This quick search tells us that businesses have a lot of questions about product owners and product managers—two of the most important Agile project management roles for a product team, also known as an Agile team, Scrum … I do think that this relationship can — and should — be fluid as the two roles can complement each other quite well, so codifying the relationship can lead to rigidity and poor expectations. One note on Agile Coaches, because I realize I didn’t mention that role in any of the discussion above. POs will transform the high-level vision of the product manager into detailed requirements. The space is called Delivery Management. The product manager