Art of Production
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Art of Production

3 differences between PM and producer. Which one are you?

Something I’ve found fascinating since starting AoP is how producers instinctively understand that we are different to project managers but how difficult they find it to pinpoint the difference exactly. After years of talking about this with many of you, I’ve summarised 3 of the most common themes below.

#1 Producers do project development and project management

Every project begins life as an idea, but you can’t project-manage ideas, you can only cultivate them. Producers transform possibilities into projects, then we boss them with our bad ass project management skills.

#2 Producers coach; PMs control

Project management makes use of solid technical ability to control all aspects of a project: the budget, the resources, the communications, the risks.

Because creativity thrives on disorder, it’s not possible to control. Producing makes use of strategic ability to help others clarify their thinking, adapt to the changing shape and needs of the context, then choose a way forward.

# 3 Producing is creative; PM is a technical

Project management ensures the things we make are done on time and budget. Producing shapes what we make in the first instance. There’s a reason the only other industries producers operate in are film and music. To produce literally means, “to make, create or form.” Digital producers are the driving force behind the myriad websites, apps, games and mixed reality projects transforming our culture and modernising our lives.

So are you a PM or a producer? Tell us what you think the difference is in the comments.

This post was created with Typeshare



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Emma Willis

Emma Willis

Training Digital Producers | Co-founder, Production Consultant & Coach @ Art of Production | #aop | Helping company leaders work on the business, not in it