Should a product manager be a project manager?

I see some companies with product manager that are also project managers. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this double-role?

Pros:

  • No need to hire a project manager (or product manager) – saving money
  • All customer project requirements are developed – satisfaction of a particular customer

Cons:

  • Features that only a single customer needs are built – feature bloat
  • The product manager is distracted of his/her original task – distraction and unavailability
  • Product managers and project managers have opposite goals, and maybe even financial targets. The product manager is responsible for a commercially and technically feasible product, while the project manager is responsible for on-time delivery of a project. (By the way, sales have yet other goals, so don’t make product managers or project managers part-time sales people.)

The last disadvantage is the most important to me: Product managers and project managers have different goals that can hardly be matched. Therefore, I recommend every company not combining the two roles.

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