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What is the difference between a Product Manager and a Product Owner in SAFe?


Product managers are focused on the organization and customer benefits. Prioritizing features is done by the product manager. Each feature must have clearly defined benefits for the customer or the organization before they can be taken up by an agile team. 

Product owners are focused only on their agile teams' needs. They make sure their teams have all the information they need about the feature that they are working on so they can break it down into stories. You can also check out this site, to explore more about product managers & product owners.

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Effective working relationships must be formed between the product manager and product owners within an agile release train. They need to work together to understand the customer's needs. The PM is the primary contact for the customer. 

Product Manager:

SAFe Product Managers have the following responsibilities:

  • The vision for an agile release train
  • Managing the roadmap to the agile release train
  • To understand enabler features, we work with product owners and the system architect
  • Ordering the backlog of program features (including enablers)
  • Participating in System Demos, PI Planning, and the Inspect and Adapt workshop to their agile release train
  • Accepting features as complete

Product Owner:

SAFe product owners have the following responsibilities:

  • Assisting the team in ensuring that user stories align with their PI objectives, the features the team has agreed to work on, as well as the vision.
  • Stories and acceptance criteria are more important than content authority.
  • Assisting the agile team to break down features into stories so they can go on the team backlog
  • The team backlog of stories must be ordered.
  • When interacting with stakeholders or organizational management, use the iteration goal
  • In the agile release train, work with the product manager and the other product owners.