The Key Differences of a Product Manager and Product Owner

In a scrum-friendly environment often the roles and responsibilities of a product manager and owner can end up overlapping as their area of concern and future goals end up correlating. While some may deem the product owner to be a more essential role, some may value the manager more. While some establishments employ only either of the two, thinking there’s no need for the other. Whichever is the scenario the truth is the product owner and manager are meant to serve distinct individual purposes in an organization and have gone through their distinct training to attain a CSPO certification or that of a product manager. So here are the key differences between the two.

Area of Focus

A product manager’s focus is always on the bigger picture. Their focus is on forming a high-level longer-term strategy or a project that would establish the future of how the product is worked. While the manager focuses on the long-term strategy, it is the product owner’s responsibility to go over the minute tactical details, such as the quantified value, overviewing the business strategy, meeting customer satisfaction, organization needs, and users, and so on. Their focus is more short-term and centered on the other.

Area of Execution

While the product manager’s work is centered on the vision for the product, the product owner works on executing this vision and making this product vision into an actionable backlog. It is upon the product owner to consider the value, predict the risks, and estimate dependencies, and so on. Sure the manager works on the product vision, the owner’s work on the other hand driven by it.


Yes, the Product Owner and manager are in the end working for the same goal. But their responsibilities vary. As established the manager’s responsibility is the product vision, along with other factors which include cross-team alignment, feature prioritization, customer discovery, and customer understanding, and so on. The product owner’s work is with how the development process is optimized, advocating for the customer’s needs in the account of the development team, and as aforementioned working on transferring the vision into an executable backlog. The product owner doesn’t own a certain finished product or an organization for that matter and rather is the voice for the customer.

Is an Owner Of?

The product owner is a role and doesn’t really ‘own’ the product. But then what are they then accountable of? The product owner owns the backlog, the Epics, and the User stories. On the other hand, the product manager is in charge of the product roadmap and MVPs.

Skilled in

The skills required to be a product owner and a manager at the core are different. Since the product manager’s area of work is more external and outward, the skills required off of them are leadership, time management, risk management, and so on. On the other hand, the skills required to be a product owner, are communication skills, in-depth knowledge in the scrum, and agile and servant leadership.

These are the key differences between a product owner and a manager. If you want further information and a deeper understanding of the role of a product owner, Zeolearn has all the answers you need.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button