Hello, Alberta Innovation Community,

You’ve likely heard of a Project Manager, but are you familiar with a Product Manager? The two titles may sound similar, but there is a notable difference: the Product Manager is the strategic thinker who works with key stakeholders to determine the purpose and roadmap of the company’s product or service, whereas the Project Manager is the facilitator who works with a team to achieve a finite project scope, on time, on budget.

The Product Manager is responsible for the complete lifecycle of the product, which encompasses planning, development, deployment, and maintenance, until the product is retired. While the role varies from product-to-product and company-to-company, in general the Product Manager will be responsible for defining the metrics of product success, coordinating with multiple teams to develop and pursue product strategy, and regularly working on improving and growing the product.

In comparison, the Project Manager has a set of specific tasks that must be completed within a specified timeframe, such as finalizing the design or having the product ready for the launch date. A Project Manager will work to define project milestones, develop processes and systems, manage team collaboration, and ensure that deadlines are being met.
Ultimately, both product and project managers are essential team members. Whether or not these two roles are undertaken by the same person or by different people will depend on the size and structure of your business. Having a clear understanding of the distinction between these roles is of significant benefit to the growth and development of your business.
Technology Alberta, in partnership with Alberta Innovates and Tacit Edge, is pleased to offer the “I Heart Alberta Tech Product Management” course. This 5-week Product Management Professional (PdM-T) Certification micro-credential is an accessible way to further understand product management and how it can benefit your business. Follow the link above to learn more about the course and to register. Do not delay, and join the many Albertans’ that have already taken this course.  The first cohort begins this week on Thursday, June 27!

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