Originally, the term “Product Management” appeared in the 1930s. HP or Procter & Gamble were the first companies to create Product Manager positions and to organize themselves around the product. Product Management was then enriched over the years, especially when companies began to compose teams entirely dedicated to building successful digital products. Conversely, the profession of Product Owner is much more recent, since it is defined within the framework of the SCRUM framework established in the 1980s, then in the Agile manifesto of 2001.
The major difference between these two functions concerns the nature of their commitment:
In short, the Product Owner would be in charge of delivery and the Product Manager would have a broader role in guaranteeing the product strategy as a whole. The function of Product Manager is not necessarily synonymous with management, but the Product Manager can be brought into some organizations to manage Product Owners.
Another point of difference concerns the methodological framework:
In reality, strictly comparing “Product Manager” to “Product Owner” is too simplistic.
In several organizations, one and the same person, a “full-stack” Product Manager, is in charge of strategy, delivery, construction and communication of KPIs. We find this unique role within small structures such as start-ups, whose workforces are sometimes too small and involve the merger of the discovery and delivery parts. We can easily draw a parallel with a Developer who would also take on the role of Scrum Master.
The “full-stack” Product Manager is therefore the only entry point for users and businesses. It benefits from a 360° vision: environmental control and product vision, along with an understanding of business and technical issues.
The presence of a “full-stack” Product Manager within an organization, or a Product Manager alongside a Product Owner, depends on several criteria:
The discovery stage is essential for delivery, and vice versa. Product Manager and Product Owner cannot work in silos if they ultimately want to build a successful digital product.
The user value must drive and challenge the thinking of the Product Owner, the choices of prioritization of User Stories and justify their realization to the development team.
If you can accommodate both functions within your organization, it will allow you to have:
The Product Manager and the Product Owner must then work closely together, feeding each other in order to achieve their common goal: the creation of a successful digital product.
Depending on your needs and resources, keep in mind that:
Un rôle vient du framework Scrum, l'autre est plus généraliste mais les deux sont agiles et doivent porter la vision produit.
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