Product Manager vs. Project Manager: What’s the Difference?

In the professional world, we often see several similar jobs, such as Product Manager and Project Manager. But did you know that they are two different roles with different job responsibilities? We will share the differences with you, so you won’t be confused when applying to become a Product Manager or Project Manager!

Start with the definition…

Product can be defined as a physical product, software, or service that meets the needs of a group of users. A product goes through a lifecycle. First, it is developed and launched in the market, grows, and used by people.

While a project is a series of tasks that need to complete a particular outcome, like a product, a project has a start and end date and a defined result. It usually goes through six stages – initiation, planning, implementation, monitoring and control, and closure.

Then, how about the responsibilities?

A Product Manager is responsible for making a product and circulating it for consumers. In contrast, a Project Manager must obtain the product vision from the Product Manager, develop a project timeline, and plan the workflow that the development team should do to achieve important goals and deadlines. 

Or, simply put, the responsibility of a Project Manager is to complete a project within the agreed budget, time, and quality – one project at a time.

A Project Manager does not need to have expertise in product management. Still, a Product Manager must have expertise in project management because they manage various projects throughout the development and management of a product.

And to become one of them, what skills do you need?

A Product Manager focuses more on the performance and quality of the products they are building. Therefore, the skills they must possess are also product-related, such as user research, problem-solving, product design, and marketing. These skills are needed because a Product Manager must work closely alongside three parties: the tech team, the design team, and the customers.

On the other hand, a Project Manager is expected to have organization and time management skills because they have to ensure that the project timeline is under control.

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So, from the explanation above, which one are you interested in? Product Manager or Project Manager?

For those interested in becoming Product Managers, join Apiary Academy, a 12-week training program to prepare you to be a leading Product Manager. You will learn directly from experienced Product Managers through direct mentoring and real-life projects. At the end of the program, you will be connected to hiring companies! 

What are you waiting for? 

Register now at academy.apiary.id/registration

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How to Get that Product Manager Job

Product Management roles are practically new in Indonesia, but there is a surprisingly high demand for them in companies nowadays. The fact that almost every startup now requires a Product Manager (PM) makes it an extremely attractive career path.

Apiary hosted two brilliant Apiary Academy Mentors who have much experience in product management roles in our event on 26th August: Gilang Ramadhan, Product Manager in Swift and Radika Prabu, Lead Product Manager in Pinhome. They provided great insights for you students, fresh graduates or even professionals who are thinking of pursuing a product management career, on the skills you need to prepare as a PM, and how to stand out among competitors so that you will be chosen by your dream company.

Firstly, understand what A Product Manager is.

A Product Manager is a person who identifies the customer need and business objectives and can visualize it to a product or features, defining what is the success matrix, motivate & manage the team to turn that vision into a reality, and help the company to make a successful & useful product (reference: Atlassian).

A level above the PM, a Lead Product Manager is a position in charge of a product consisting of several individual components or applications, who is responsible for driving the development of new products and their strategies as well as managing and mentoring other PMs.

To be one of them, you need to understand that product management is a field of planning, forecasting, marketing, and production of a product that meets the customers’ needs.

So, what skills do you need as a PM?

Fundamentally, there are 2 most important skills which you should have as a PM, namely Communication and Critical Thinking.

Communication skill is needed because a PM always deals with people – more accurately the stakeholders in a company (the customers, the management team, the marketing and engineering team) to negotiate the best outcome of a product. Whereas critical thinking is required to analyze and solve problems that arise when developing a product.

In addition, you also need to have analytical, production, and execution senses. An analytical sense means the ability to formulate the right questions, evaluate problems and simulate results based on data. A product sense means the ability to make decisions to create the right products with empathy and creativity. An execution sense means the ability to harmonize the team to achieve the goal. 

As time goes by and your career path is getting higher, you would be required to scale up and have more skills in Product Management.

Courtesy: Presentation from Gilang Ramadhan

It’s quite difficult to master so many skills at the same time, but you can try to use the 10-20-50 PM skills framework system to be able to improve your skills and not get stuck on the career treadmill.

Courtesy: Presentation from Gilang Ramadhan

Additional PM skills that would make you stand out from your competitors:

  • Analytical skills where critical thinking plays a crucial role here.
  • Collaboration in groups and problem-solving.
  • Growth mindset where technology is currently growing.
  • Leadership and attention to details in making documents and managing projects well and on time.
  • Hard skills such as making a Product Requirements Document (PRD).
  • Technical & Design Skills are nice to have to help you communicate more clearly to your stakeholders

Those are all the tips from Radika and Gilang! 

By joining our upcoming Product Management Training, you will get the chance to be mentored by them and the opportunity to acquire the skills mentioned in this article. 

Apiary Academy PM Training is a 12-week cohort-based training taught by Product Leaders from top startups, which allows you to experience working as a Product Manager in a real startup. 

We are now opening applications to the PM Training in October! Learn more about the training here: https://academy.apiary.id/

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5 Success Factors in Product

Product management can be said to be entering the “Golden Age” stage in the world because of its high development. This is due to the high competition between companies and the increasing need for a personalized product from society.

Pramudono Adhi Kumoro (Product Management Experts), the Program Lead at Apiary Academy, conveyed four outlines related to Product Management;

Chapter 1 – The Basic Product Management Concept

There are several elements that are needed in the basics of product management, one of them is the balance between value to customers and value to the company. In addition to the team, tools and communication skills are also an important main factor in building good product management.

Chapter 2 – How to Develop A Product

The thing that is very crucial in product development is to understand the process and business model. It will help to create a clear road map.  At this stage, the PM needs to focus on priority and timeline to make sure all the projects run well.

Chapter 3 – Minimum Viable Product

Ways to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is you should know what the customer needs and how to develop them to increase customer value. MVP also has several goals including user testing and knowing more about your persona and characteristics to find out future goals.

Chapter 4 – Determining Success Metrics

There are 5 factors related to the success of a product manager in building product management in a company, such as Timing, Idea, Team, Business Model, and Funding. Timing is one of the most crucial things as it can determine the success of a product through a certain moment. 

Product management (or product manager) must also have clear and agile goals that can visualize the company’s primary goal. In addition, a Product Manager must also prioritize feedback and user personas.

Based on his experience, Pramudono Kumoro explained that being a Product Manager is a good role now and will grow in the future and really fun to study into more depth.

Detailed lessons for Product Management also will be delivered and thoroughly discussed by Pramudono Kumoro and several other trainers and mentors at Apiary Academy. 

If you’re interested to be Product Manager and learn more about this, check our Product Management Training program at our website https://academy.apiary.id/

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Omni-Channel Customer Experience Best Practices for Successful Startups

Every successful startup has the best Customer Experience, that’s why their customers stay loyal to the company. They can have the best Customer Experience because they know how to manage, treat and make their customer happy. 

On August 12th, 2021, Apiary held an amazing webinar with three speakers who are experts in Customer Experience. They are Mardiansyah Putra as Head of Business Growth at TADA Indonesia, Irwing Antonio as Mid-Market Account Executive at Twilio, and Helmy Rianda as Co-Founder & COO at Doogether.

They shared about how the companies implement Omni-channel to have the best Customer Experience. So here’s the summary of the event that will be useful for you.

Improve Customer Experience Through Omni-channel.

Omni-channel is an attempt to interact with customers anywhere and anytime, both online and offline. It has multiple touchpoints that help raise awareness and improve customer experience while supporting companies to generate more revenue. According to a study, multiple channel shoppers have a 30% higher value in life than those who buy through only one sales channel. One of the best ways to attract customers through multiple channels is using a point system that encourages customers to use multiple channels. One of the metrics you can use is the AARRR method, which stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referrals.

If you’re wondering when is the right time to use omni-channel, you can use it as soon as possible once you start your business and have customers. Also, it depends on your budget, channel, stage, and customer. Every business today is a relationship business. So it is crucial to strengthen and maintain relationships with your customers. The more you know about your customers, the more you improve your customer experience and achieve their needs and goals.

Maintain Customer Engagement and Retention, be constant & consistent

Engage with customers has to be constant and consistent. From the first time your customer is interested in your product, you have to give the best experience to ensure they come again later. You also can create a campaign strategy based on your customer needs and interest, don’t forget to look at your form database or latest campaign report. Analyze the impact and create a new campaign that will bring more new customers as well as maintain current customers. The strategy is to use the successful campaign multiple times until they stop producing results before making a new campaign. Campaigns need to generate revenue, not expenses.

This strategy requires a good technology partner to run Omni-channel in order to know your customer’s preference such as email, WhatsApp, SMS, or any other channel. You can find these features available in Twilio, a cloud communications platform to help your company communicate and strengthen customer relationships across your business – from marketing and sales to customer service and operations.

Also, you can learn more about best practices on how to scale customer engagement and provide advice for organizations planning on implementing Twilio WhatsApp Business API through a fireside chat with Twilio experts. Register now to book your seat 

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Six Things You Should Know About Creating A Product Roadmap and MVP

A product is made in order to help people’s life in a better way, easier way, and more practical and economical. When creating a product (plan), Product Managers should be able to see problems and chances based on the customer needs and Journey. It also requires you to understand the fundamentals of Product Roadmap and MVP.

What is a Product Roadmap?

A product roadmap is a high-level visual summary that displays your product’s vision and direction over time. Product roadmaps tell you why and what is behind what you create. Roadmaps are strategic guidance documents as well as product strategy implementation plans.

and Minimum Viable Product is….

The simplest version of the product that a company intends to bring to market. You only need to understand customer reaction and feedback. It will help the company bring the final product to market. The smallest viable product is the version that collects the most customer demand analysis and provides effective services with the least effort. 

To make a successful Product Roadmap you have to know 6 important things;

  1. Content Creation

The initial design of an application, in terms of letters, colors, and stages must be defined as optimally as possible to fit the theme raised. By creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) where the app is aimed at the user’s needs, the Product Owner will not spend time designing this app for a single purpose. So that it will be easier when the content in this application is only related to things that are a problem and user needs. Moreover, users can really feel the usefulness of the application. Not only beneficial for users, but also the company.

  1. Awareness

It is a way of promoting the application to make them more easily recognized by the market. You can put ads on high-traffic websites and users in Indonesia like Kaskus, Detik.com, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Data must be obtained from reliable sources so that the identification of the advertising media used is not misleading so that the company does not need to spend money on promotions.

  1. Consumption

The content should be easy to use because just being interesting is not enough, the steps should be understandable for everyone. This is very important because if an application is considered complex, there will not be many users, especially if it is a paid one. The application will certainly not sell well in the market. The operation of the application should be as simple as possible to use.

  1. Acquisition & Engagement

This feature is used to increase the number of registered and logged-in users, and to engage the apps they use. The application must be able to be used to interact directly with the creator to make an engagement between the user and the creator. So suggestions, criticisms, and good communication can be created here. It is important to understand that statistics determine whether our app products are marketable or not. It is also very useful to improve the quality and performance of the application whether it is in accordance with the market demand or not.

  1. Retention

This feature allows the user to return to the application that we created. For example, we send weekly emails to consumers about promotions, discounts, or attractive low-priced packages enabling consumers to start using the app again. However, it is important to remember that the emails sent must be well-arranged so that consumers do not experience spam interference from the applications we create with emails or advertisements. 

  1. Monetization 

Features focused on increasing the revenue of companies that build the apps regardless of functionality. We must cooperate with all departments related to the field of business that can facilitate the application. Remember, do not make the wrong collaboration, it can reduce the branding of the company/application. 

So if you have a great MVP business idea, no one can stop you from creating a great MVP. Just write your ideas on paper, discuss and contact the application development company to understand your MVP development process. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be efficient.

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Apiary Academy also has one module in Fundamental – Introductory Course that provides learning topics about Developing a Successful Product. In that course, you will learn not only about Product Roadmap and MVP but also problem definition and validation, methods of frameworks, and analyzing and utilizing user feedback.

If you’re interested to be Product Manager and learn more about this, check our Product Management Training program at our website https://academy.apiary.id/

Writer: Pramudono Adhi Kumoro

Editor: Apiary Coworking Space

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What are Product Owners & What do they do?

Are you exploring the role of Product Owner and are you interested in being one? Before jumping into the role, you need to first understand the fundamentals of a good Product Owner and what exactly a Product Owner does.

In a Scrum team, there is a role called Product Owner.

Product Owner is a person/ role who is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals. The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the product backlog management (Scrum.org — 2019).

One major role of a Product Owner is Value Prioritization. As a Product Owner, you have to understand that in doing your job, you are not just delivering the creation of new products or development, but delivering value. Any increment in the product must bring at least one value for our customers — and stakeholders. If it does not, then it has failed.

In order to prioritize, one must fully understand the team capacity, capability and resources needed. You can’t force your team to do all the backlog in a running sprint without any reason or meaningful goal. You need to be able to show the team that the work they are doing is creating value that benefits others. Remember, motivate them — not force them – to get the job done. As a Product Owner, you don’t only have to lead the Scrum Team to get the backlogs done, (you also have another job as a Scrum Master) where you ensure that Scrum is well-implemented in the team. If that’s not enough, you also need to be the change agent for a company that is transforming from waterfall into agile.

To give you more insight about being a Product Owner, there are explanations from Product Owners in various industries. As a Product Owner, you have to take the lead of the Scrum team(s) with a clear plan, vision, road-map, performance and other details. The job also requires you to be agile, have good time management and communication skills.

All in all, as a Product Owner, you need to master various soft and hard skills related to Product Management, and you can’t really obtain these skills in a formal education setting. It’s best that you learn them from experienced Product Owners. There are many courses and training programs nowadays that will help and guide you to become a good Product Owner.

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Apiary Academy is one of them. They will launch a Product Management Training brought to you by incredible Product Leaders in October and will open the registration in the middle of August. If you’re looking to learn product management skills from the best, or seeking a career as a Product Owner, their training is an excellent opportunity you don’t want to miss. Check more detail information: academy.apiary.id

Writer: Pramudono Kumoro, Professional Scrum Product Owner (edited by apiary team)

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