HomeEducationSpot the Distinction: Product Supervisor vs. Challenge Supervisor Acquire US

Spot the Distinction: Product Supervisor vs. Challenge Supervisor Acquire US

You’ve in all probability heard the phrases “product supervisor” and “challenge supervisor” thrown round in prime enterprise circles.

And for good purpose.

A research signifies {that a} highly-competent product supervisor may increase profits by 34.2%. Analysis by prime consultancy agency McKinsey additionally reveals that the majority senior executives think about strong project management a main priority in planning for the long run.

However generally, throughout discussions about these necessary roles, individuals confuse one for the opposite. This text goals to eradicate confusion by distinguishing a product supervisor vs. challenge supervisor.

To get to that, it’s necessary to first differentiate the ideas of “product” and “challenge.”

Product vs. challenge

Although the 2 are carefully linked, they’re totally different.

A product is any factor or service that satisfies the wants or solves the issues of a gaggle of individuals, reminiscent of app customers or prospects.

Conversely, a challenge is a one-time endeavor to make, enhance, or reinvent a product.

There was a time when a enterprise may survive with out in search of to enhance its product. However product enchancment is extra necessary these days because of the following challenges:

The three factors above make challenge and product administration groups indispensable. With out these groups, companies may find yourself with merchandise that no one buys.

Each merchandise and initiatives received’t develop into drivers of development with out succesful captains.

What’s a product supervisor?

A product supervisor defines what a superb product is and leads groups to comprehend that imaginative and prescient.

Product managers have various standards in measuring the standard of merchandise. However these standards all boil right down to the truth that good merchandise:

  • Have sufficient prospects or customers to justify enterprise bills AND
  • Are made in accordance with firm tradition, objectives, and goals

Briefly, good merchandise are those who the corporate truly desires to make and are incessantly purchased by many individuals.

To make sure a enterprise has a superb product, the product supervisor has to carry out sure duties, which I’ll focus on subsequent.

Roles and obligations

Among the many many features {that a} product supervisor performs to make sure the supply of excellent merchandise are:

  1. Getting the heartbeat of the corporate, rivals, and prospects
  2. Making a product roadmap
  3. Monitoring and coordinating group efforts in aligning with the product roadmap

Let’s have a more in-depth have a look at every.

Getting the heartbeat of the corporate, rivals, and prospects

As a enterprise main, I’ve had my fair proportion of acronyms just like the 4 P’s of selling, and so forth.

I’d like so as to add my 3 C’s of product administration to that massive physique of acronyms. These are:

  • Firm
  • Opponents
  • Prospects

This trio is the “lighthouse” that protects product managers from the shipwreck of undesirable or badly made merchandise.

A product supervisor can decide what product must be created, improved, or phased out via conducting or learning:

  • Firm manuals and monetary information
  • Buyer critiques or surveys
  • The newest business traits and competitor information

Paying attention to the three factors above helps a product supervisor guarantee the corporate’s merchandise result in revenue and never losses.

Making a product roadmap

The product roadmap guides growth planning. It’s a doc that lays out a product’s objectives, technique, priorities, and progress.

Aligning groups with the product roadmap

Consider a superb product as lovely music produced by an orchestra.

On this analogy, a product supervisor is sort of a conductor directing a various group of musicians. By way of conferences and evaluation of the three C’s, the product supervisor ensures that help, gross sales, growth/manufacturing, advertising and marketing, and different groups are all taking part in to the tune dictated by the product roadmap.


The perfect product supervisor possesses information or expertise within the following:

  1. Product life cycle administration (from product growth to phaseout)
  2. Planning
  3. Scheduling
  4. Useful resource administration
  5. Information evaluation
  6. Market evaluation
  7. Worth modeling
  8. Fundamental user experience (UX) knowledge
  9. Basic business knowledge

Educational background

Though product managers don’t necessarily have to have college degrees, some sort of formal training is necessary to thrive in this field. Among the many credentials that the average product manager should have are:

  1. A product manager certification from bootcamps
  2. A bachelor’s degree in product management, business administration, or other related fields
  3. A master’s degree in the areas mentioned in number two

Among the three, bootcamps are the shortest (sometimes taking just a few months to finish).

The beauty of bootcamps is that they are comprehensive yet intensive, focusing only on the essential skills needed for product management. In addition, some of these learning programs don’t require relevant work experience or college degrees, making them ideal for people doing a hard career pivot toward product management.

Now that you know what being a product manager is all about, it’s time to learn about a project manager’s role and skill set.

What is a project manager?

A project manager breaks down the vision of a product manager into manageable tasks or initiatives. Project management involves translating the idea of a good product into daily or monthly work.

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If the product manager is more involved with the strategic side of things, the project manager goes down to the dirty details. The latter coordinates material and human resources to achieve the objectives set by the former.

Roles and responsibilities

Often with the use of project management tools and other resources, a typical project manager does the following:

  1. Prioritizes and coordinates work and resources
  2. Communicates and collaborates with team members
  3. Leads team meetings

Let’s unpack each of these.

Prioritizes and coordinates work and resources

Before the beginning or resumption of projects, a project manager assigns which projects are high priority and which are at the bottom of the list. In prioritizing, these leaders consider available human and physical resources and the type of client they are dealing with. All these are part of project planning.

Once a project manager has determined a project as highly urgent, they start to delegate the tasks and ensure that these jobs are finished on schedule. For effective delegation, a project manager must know the best work for the most qualified people.

Communicates and collaborates with team members

In many cases, a project manager has to deal with multiple teams.

For example, there are times they have to act as a bridge between production and the product manager. This is to ensure that the product or service offered is actually aligned with the objectives set by the product manager.

In short, a project manager interacts with different team members to ensure everybody is on the same page.

Leads team meetings

Aside from liaising among different teams, project managers also have to set and lead regular meetings. These meetings are especially important for strategic planning purposes.


An effective project manager possesses the following competencies:

  1. Leadership skills
  2. Problem-solving and communication skills
  3. Organizational skills
  4. Negotiation skills

Educational background

Though project managers come from various backgrounds, they usually need extra training to gain credibility in the industry.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is an organization that trains people for this unique leadership role. Specifically, PMI’s certifications provide the following designations:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® – For entry-level project managers
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)® – For more seasoned project managers

If you’re planning to undergo training to get a certification in project management, some training centers may require you to hold a high school diploma, associate degree, OR bachelor’s degree. There are also SOME cases where related work experience is a prerequisite for certification.

It’s clear that project managers and product managers have slightly different responsibilities and competencies. However, they have to work closely together if a project or an organization is to reach its fullest potential.

When PMs collaborate


Product and project managers have to collaborate and communicate well with each other whenever they have to:

  1. Prioritize product backlogs
  2. Ensure their products are marketed well while satisfying a critical mass of customers and other stakeholders
  3. Meet for project progress reports and/or goal-product alignment

When PMs collide (constructively)

In a smaller company, you might have a product manager who is more closely responsible for delivering company offerings or a project manager with more say in what needs to be done next.

At any rate, both project managers and product managers need to understand their products inside and out. In addition, they should be aware of any progress or blockers to development.

However, most of the time, product managers should keep their heads up and look forward while also listening to customer, user, and stakeholder feedback. Working this way ensures that these managers see where the product should go next.

Meanwhile, project managers are on the ground with the product development team, ensuring that operations run smoothly. They also clear out any bugs or bottlenecks that might come along.

Of course, a project manager might need to bring a product manager down to earth. This could mean ensuring the product roadmap is realistic while leaving room for important activities like maintenance work or updates.

Alternatively, the product manager might need to help the project manager see the long-term vision for the company. Giving the project manager a broader view helps the team understand why certain things are prioritized or ensures product features are developed with scalability in mind.

Product manager and project manager: the dynamic duo of business development

When these two roles unite in an organization, amazing results can happen.

For instance, our product and project managers at Appetiser have enabled clients to grow their net worth exponentially through high-quality web and mobile apps. These applications are brought to market 50% faster than average, maximizing our clients’ chance of success.

Speed-to-market helped Roamni attract investors in just a matter of weeks. The local tourism champion even earned a partnership with Formula 1 partly due to our app design.

PMVPM: Roamni app and Formula One

PMVPM: Roamni mobile app screenshots

Like Roamni, you too may have that product or project that could be the next big thing in business or the nonprofit scene. Book us for a free consultation to discover how we could turn your vision into amazing and growth-generating apps.

Jesus Carmelo Arguelles, aka Mel, is a Content material Advertising and marketing Specialist by career. Although he holds a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise administration, he has additionally taken up programs in fields like laptop troubleshooting and information analytics. Exterior workplace hours, he finds deep pleasure in studying books and journals, watching automotive races, the occasional sightseeing, images, and biking.

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