Jun 25, 2024

The Role Overlap Between PM and PD

Roles in product and design teams often overlap. Both product managers and product designers talk to customers, come up with feature ideas, and suggest UX improvements.

However, these overlaps can sometimes lead to conflict and frustration.

The solution is quite simple.
If you're a product manager and your product designer is doing a great job, take a step back. There are plenty of other things you can do without getting in each other's way - review and update your product strategy, improve collaboration with other departments, or even write a blog post. These are all good options!

If you are a product designer and the product manager is taking over your responsibilities, communicate openly about the overlap and seek a balance in responsibilities.

When Should Product Managers Step In?
- When your Product Designer asks for help.
- When you need to accelerate research and interviews.
- When the quality of the Product Designer’s work does not meet the required standards. In this case, provide constructive feedback and then step back.

While clear roles are important, so is fostering a culture of flexibility where team members can contribute beyond their defined responsibilities.

Push for open communication and occasional role fluidity to maintain creativity and innovation.

Also checkout out "3 Quick Tips for Better Teamwork".

Overlap Between a PM and a PD

Exploring Problem SpacesIdentifying and analysing user problems and needs to inform product and design decisions
Customer ResearchConducting market research, user interviews, and usability testing
Feature IdeationBrainstorming, defining, and contributing to new feature ideas and conceptual designs
PrototypingCreating wireframes, workflow diagrams, and prototypes
User FeedbackGathering and analysing user feedback
TestingConducting A/B tests and analysing results
DocumentationWriting product requirements and specifications
CollaborationWorking and collaborating with engineering, marketing and product teams

If you're curious about how product managers and product designers can work well together, check out Product Development Roles and Responsibilities. It explains the key duties each role typically has and how they collaborate to create successful products.
About Max Antonov
Head of Product @ Backpocket and a Product Coach. I write about product management and random topics that are on my mind. You can find me on Twitter, Substack, LinkedIn or Goodreads