Project management is basically a practice whereby certain processes, methods, skills, and such are initiated, organized, implemented, directed, and concluded in order to meet and fulfill certain pre-set objectives. A successful project management venture is one that achieves certain goals without exceeding a particular timeframe and budget. One thing in particular that separates project management from ordinary management is the fact that project management deliverables have a time constraint, whereas management is a continual and unbroken process.
What is a project?
A project is basically a temporary series of activities undertaken with the aim of developing a unique product or service or to achieve a particular result within a specific time frame and budget. Projects usually have an end goal in sight and this could be assessed in terms of output, outcome, or benefit. Successful projects are those which fulfill the criteria laid out for their fulfillment including time, cost, and quality.
What is product management?
Product management is a complementary process to project management, although distinct. Product management deals with the planning, research, forecasting, manufacturing or marketing of a particular product at every stage of its lifecycle. In simpler words, product management is the introduction of a new product to the market or the invention of an entirely new one.
What is a product?
A product is simply a commodity, service, or idea which has the capacity of satisfying the want or need of a target market. A product is something that is manufactured via the application of labor or input of effort.
Products can be different things to different industries, for instance, manufacturers view products as raw materials which are then sold as finished goods after having been taken through a particular process, while retailers view products as merchandise which is sold in exchange for money.
Commodity, service, or scheme
Commodities are basically products that have a physical representation and can, thus be given to the buyer, after which the seller ceases to possess their ownership rights with that being assumed by the seller.
Services refer to non-material action, which when undertaken by the service provider, results in a quantifiable and assessable difference for the buyer.
Ideas (ideas, or intellectual properties) refer to the development and invention of certain intellect which can be sold for profit. This intellect can, however, only be traded as an idea (that is, in their pure state) without experiencing a development into a service or a commodity. Ideas encompass several things including copyrighted items, such as products of literary and/or artistic origin, and ideational properties, such as patents, industrial methods, and so on.
Products can also either be classified into tangible or intangible, where tangible products are those items that can be experienced via touching examples of which are houses, books, and clothes, while intangible products are those products that cannot be experienced via touch examples of which are computer software, repair, education, and healthcare.
Product management simply deals with the ideation, planning, designing, and eventual production of the above-defined product. This particular role requires knowledge and experience of several industries and disciplines if it is to be carried out effectively. It especially requires an in-depth knowledge of customers, technology, and business.
That is to say, a successful product manager will need to have solid business skills, practical knowledge of UX design (user experience design), and product knowledge.
What are the responsibilities associated with product management roles?
A large majority of product management roles have several responsibilities in common among them. More often not, people who work in product management roles are required to have a good understanding of customer’s needs and requirements, elucidate and prioritize the features of the product, and finally, cooperate with the product engineering team to develop the final product which is subsequently released to the market.
The difference between project and product management
Product management and project management are quite similar in many respects, for instance, each phase of product management is a project itself and the application of project management can cater for the reliance of these phases. A product lifecycle like in project management repeats itself to become better. Despite their similarities, they are also two distinct processes, however, both are usually required for the accomplishment of certain objectives.
The difference between project management and product management is that, whereas project management treats a product as temporary, managing it only until it is executed and a reality, product management takes a broader role including the ideation of the product, its development, its introduction to the market, and so on stopping only when the product becomes defunct.
And while in certain organizations, the same individual takes on the mantle of both the project manager and the product manager, it is recommended that both roles are separated. This will help avoid underperformance and ensure efficiency.
How to ensure a successful product management outcome
There are several tools available today that can help product managers ensure they are on track. An example of this is Planless. Using this platform, the product manager can do the following;
Strategize product lifecycle: with Planless, product managers will have a single source of truth which they can then utilize in setting goals and objectives, ensure that all members of their team have the same priorities, keep an eye on, and ensure that each stage of the product’s lifecycle is being achieved.
Make easier sprint plans: Planless can also help product managers simplify their sprint plans. That is to say, it provides an avenue by which team members can keep track of who can do what, track sprint plans, ensure that crucial details are easily visible, and provide constant updates about what each member of the team is doing.
Ensure hitch-free product launches: product management teams can also utilize Planless to devise and ensure that the launching of their product is as hitch-free as possible. This is possible because the platform will help ensure that deadlines are prioritized, avoid timing conflicts, make assets essential to the product’s launching easily accessible, and keep everybody up to date on the progress of the initiative.
Planless is a tool that can greatly ease the management of a product and it is highly recommended to product managers who are looking to have a hitch-free and successful outcome.