What Is the Difference Between Product  Portfolio Management?

If you own a business that regularly releases new products, a product manager and a portfolio manager are both crucial roles. These professionals help ensure your products are launched successfully and according to your specified schedule.

Product & portfolio management are two terms that are often used interchangeably. However, they do not mean the exact same thing. To ensure you have the right person for the job, here’s what you should know about how these two roles differ.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

What Does Product & Portfolio Management Involve?

When determining who to hire for your management needs, you must fully understand the distinction between a product and a portfolio. A product is a single thing that a company sells. It could be a physical item, a digital item or even a service. A portfolio, on the other hand, is a collection of products that a company sells.

In the finance industry, an example of a single product could be a bridge loan. A product portfolio would be an entire collection of loan products. In marketing, a single product may be a pay-per-click marketing service, while a product portfolio may refer to an entire selection of digital marketing services.

How Do Product and Portfolio Managers Differ?

Now that you know how a product and a product portfolio differ from each other, it’s time to dive into the differences between a product manager and a portfolio manager. You’ll be better equipped to hire the right professionals for your needs once you can distinguish between these two management categories. To make sure all your bases are covered, Benjamin Naderi is adept at both product and portfolio management.

What Is a Product Manager?

Product & portfolio management often involves two separate professionals: a product manager and a product portfolio manager. A product manager is a professional responsible for a single product. This business role establishes and maintains the strategy for planning, developing and releasing a product. The product manager may also be responsible for the following:

  • Setting due dates for each stage of product development
  • Following up with different employees and departments to ensure each aspect of product development goes according to plan
  • Marketing the product
  • Handling profit and loss scenarios

The product manager must rally and motivate a team of professionals to help transform a product idea into a tangible product.

What Is a Portfolio Manager?

A portfolio manager is someone who manages an entire portfolio of products. When it comes to product & portfolio management, portfolio management is often more complicated than managing a single product. A portfolio manager strategically oversees the ideation, development and launch of a portfolio of products.

As with product management, a portfolio manager also sets due dates, follows up with different departments throughout the product development process, and identifies risks and opportunities with each product. In short, a portfolio manager helps create a road map for the production and marketing of a whole product line.

Why Is Product & Portfolio Management Important?

It is important for a business to properly manage products to be able to successfully meet product launch deadlines and determine which products to prioritize in their portfolios. Without good management, many projects fail.

According to the Project Management Institute, bad planning is one of the top causes of project failure for businesses across all industries. Your business could waste a lot of money trying to develop a product that never ends up in your portfolio due to planning insufficiencies.

When you hire the right professionals to take care of your product & portfolio management needs, you increase your likelihood of ending up with one or more successful new product launches. Every successful product launch translates into higher profits for your organization.  

A business should have one or more product and portfolio managers to handle the entire lifecycle of each product. Without this key role, it is all too easy for a product to become “stuck” in any phase of its progression. A product manager directs different departments to handle their part in the product development process in a timely manner.

What Does a Good Product & Portfolio Manager Look Like?

When hiring someone for your product & portfolio management needs, look for a professional who:

  • Has previous experience managing the types of products your business offers
  • Knows how to inspire and motivate others
  • Is good at thinking strategically
  • Understands how to garner excitement for a new product launch
  • Is skilled at marketing and pitching new products

An effective product and portfolio manager should also have excellent organizational skills, understand statistics, and be naturally curious and driven to succeed. He or she should also be dedicated to receiving continuing education. As technology changes, it’s vital for product managers to stay on top of trends so they can continue honing their craft and becoming even better at what they do.

Good product managers are always situated to take quick action, free up backlogs and make sure every project runs on time. When hiring the right professional for your company, choose someone who melds well with your team and knows how to get things done without causing rifts. The best product and portfolio managers earn respect and give it to their team in turn.

Find the Right Person for Your Product & Portfolio Management

It’s important to find the right person to manage your products and portfolio, as failing to do so will impact your product launches. When you find the right fit for this position, your product launches should go more smoothly and yield more successful results.

Benjamin Naderi has a long and successful history of business consulting and product management. He knows how to help businesses come up with successful product ideas and develop those ideas into exciting finished products. He also assists with pricing optimization to make sure you’re setting the right product price for optimal profits.

If you want to give your businesses the best chance of succeeding, contact Benjamin Naderi today. You’ll receive world-class product & portfolio management services that will help set you apart from your competitors.




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