Product Managers vs. Business Analysts

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

The roles of Product Managers and Business Analysts may require some of the same skill sets. Titles aren’t always the same in different companies. For example, some companies refer to Business Analysts as Product Owners. But both roles work together to make products that customers will love and enjoy.

You can check out our blog post about the differences between Product Managers and Product Owners.

Product Manager

Product Managers are outward facing. This means that they interact with customers and look at the market to evaluate opportunities.

They also take care of finding the most urgent problem to fix and making sure that the team has a solution for it. Product Managers are the owners of the product roadmap for the entire lifespan of the product. They ask the questions that lead to the success of the product, such as “what direction is the product going?”, “what are the customers asking for?” and, “what is the company doing to give the customers what they want?”

We have a blog post explaining what Product Management is in more detail.

Business Analyst

Business Analysts are usually inward facing. This means that they focus on what is happening inside of the company. They evaluate internal systems, practices, and processes to see how they can best support what the Product Manager is asking for based on what the customers and the market want.

Business Analysts work with the engineering team to determine how the problems with the product will get resolved from a functional user perspective. They evaluate what the internal business challenges will be, what the technical restraints are, the known risks and which action items could lead to solutions.

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