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program manager vs. product manager

Joel describes the program manager function from his days at microsoft, but his discription of the role sounds similar to that of a product manager.  Are the roles within a software company different? or are we talking about the same function?  Does the program manager report into development and the product manager reports into marketing?

David Levin
Saturday, September 13, 2003

It differs at every company.

Last company I worked at, product and program managers were both marketing. Programs were composed of products, so program managers managed product managers.

Project managers were the development managers.

Brad Wilson (
Saturday, September 13, 2003

program manager
product manager
project manager
process manager
p....... manager

how many of these PM's can we churn out.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

As you guessed, at Microsoft Program Managers are part of the development org (along with developers and testers) while Product Managers are part of Marketing.

Historically (at least in Office and Windows) Product Managers were not so involved in the planning of new products, but were mostly tasked with putting together the mktg strategy to get what has been built out the door. Depending on who you talk to, this may or may not be changing.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

In the UK:
Product Manager = Business Analyst
Program Manager = Project Manager

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

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