product manager vs engineering manager

Product Manager vs. Engineering Manager

2 min read

What are the responsibilities of a Product Manager vs Engineering Manager? As Jen Liu writes:

Product Managers are responsible for the “what” and “why” while engineers are responsible for the “how” and the “when”

The title Product Manager can differ from company to company, and often overlaps with other roles. In our mini-series, Product Manager vs. Other Roles, we discuss how the role of a Product Manager compares to different roles. Here, we will talk about Product Managers in comparison with Engineering Managers.

Product Manager

a Product Manager owns the product and is responsible for the success and failure of the product. They’re also responsible for the vision and strategy of the product. They have to stay on top of developments and make sure the product is covering all bases. Some of their responsibilities include:

  • Setting the strategy and vision of the product to align with business and user goals
  • Building a product roadmap
  • Working with engineers, designers, and stakeholders
  • Requirements evaluation
  • Stakeholder management

A Product Manager will need to have healthy working relationships with their team of engineers who will be building the product, and especially with the Engineering Manager. One of the most important Product Manager skills to have is excellent communication. As a leader, it’s the PM’s responsibility to not only set the strategy, roadmap, and vision: the Product Manager needs to keep their team on the same page every step of the way. 

Engineering Manager

Engineering Managers are responsible for the management of the engineering team and making sure that the product is being built correctly. Their role entails being the technical lead to technical decisions and needing to stay on top of advancements in related technologies. They are responsible for the implementation of the product.

The biggest difference between a Product Manager vs Engineering Manager is that Engineering Managers directly manage the team, whether that means sitting down and coding along with his team or supporting the development opportunities for the engineering staff, including mentoring, coaching, and reviewing their progress.

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Product Manager vs. Engineering Manager

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