Isn’t the Product Owner simply an Agile product manager?

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Product ownership is commonly associated with product management. Although for some, at first sight, they are the same things, there are important differences between them.

Product Owner, as a role in Scrum, shares a lot with a product manager. A product manager could make a good Product Owner, but you don't have to be a product manager at all to take a Product Owner’s accountabilities. In fact, a financial analyst can be a Product Owner as well as a business owner. How so?

A product manager is a profession, and very often a position in a company. Product Owner is a role, a set of accountabilities defined in the Scrum framework. In practice, if you work as a financial analyst, you simultaneously don’t have a position of a product manager - these are two separate occupations. However, as a financial analyst, there is nothing stopping you from being a Product Owner. Being a Product Owner means taking accountability, and ownership, and it can be done as part of another position.

To sum up, regardless of what your company email footer says, you can perform the role of the Product Owner.

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