Group Product Supervisor vs. Principal Product Supervisor: What’s The Distinction?


Curious to know how you can advance your profession as a long-term product supervisor as both s group product supervisor or principal product supervisor?

Then look no additional.

Product managers are answerable for establishing a product’s imaginative and prescient and long-term enterprise technique whereas guaranteeing that every one stakeholders are conscious of mentioned technique. Whereas it’s a senior place, there are quite a few profession paths, corresponding to Group Product Supervisor (GPM) and Principal Product Supervisor (PPM). 

However what distinguishes these roles from one another? How do you identify which path is best for you?

On this article, we define the variations between a gaggle product supervisor and a principal product supervisor, whereas exploring intimately the duties, salaries, abilities, profession path trajectory, and certifications for every function.

Let’s dive proper into the dialogue.

Group Product Supervisor vs. Principal Product Supervisor: What Do They Do?

One of many important variations between the group product supervisor place and the principal product supervisor function, is the capability through which they contribute to the product administration workforce.

On the one hand, principal product managers are Particular person Contributors (IC). Because of this though they maintain a senior place throughout the group and contribute to the corporate’s targets, they don’t have any duties because it pertains to administration.

However, group product managers assume a extra direct function inside administration as a result of they’re answerable for managing different members all through the group. They make sure that the assorted groups stay on track towards reaching the corporate’s aims.

Every profession monitor is out there to product managers and are depending on aspirations, expertise, and a deep understanding of the first duties. Let’s discover these duties beneath.

What Does A Group Product Supervisor Do?

Inside this management function, group product managers oversee the event of a gaggle of merchandise from the start, to its testing levels and eventual product launch onto the market. This allows them to determine and mitigate any dangers that come up.

Since we take into account this place to be on the administration profession monitor, group product managers have a duty towards managing product groups. This contains the event and evaluate of the product roadmap to information the product workforce towards reaching the corporate’s aims.

Group product managers usually collaborate with inner groups on the event and updating of merchandise in order that they continue to be aggressive in the marketplace and earn income in accordance with the targets of the group. Having alignment throughout all product groups is significant to their success. It additionally helps that group product managers create documentation that outlines the product imaginative and prescient and necessities.

One of many major aims of any product technique is to fulfill buyer satisfaction. As a gaggle product supervisor, it’s essential to spearhead the person analysis (for instance by way of focus teams) to determine alternatives for product enchancment by soliciting suggestions that ultimately, helps to know the shopper wants.

Though the purchasers are sometimes on the forefront, the group product supervisor is within the ultimate place to speak with stakeholders and higher administration and on the similar time, supervise and prepare junior members of the product workforce, ensuring to handle any of their considerations.

What Does A Principal Product Supervisor Do?

Principal product managers don’t oversee the day-to-day operations and administration of product groups, which we affiliate with senior positions. Their duties middle on the basics of the product imaginative and prescient and product technique. They do, nonetheless, collaborate with product groups when creating methods and resolving points that have an effect on effectivity and profitability.

On the helm of the principal product supervisor’s duties is supervising the vital facets of the product roadmap. These are inclusive of the product workforce aims, the product imaginative and prescient or finish aim towards which the workforce works and the efforts or duties that the groups full to make sure the achievement of the imaginative and prescient. The principal product supervisor then shares the contents of the roadmap to the assorted advertising, design, and engineering groups.

One other duty is guaranteeing that there’s alignment between the product technique and key stakeholders by coaching them how you can handle and prioritize their product backlogs. To this finish, principal product managers foster collaboration among the many related groups, corresponding to product leaders, and advertising and improvement managers.

On the exterior stage, principal product managers signify the voice of the purchasers. They collaborate with analysis and advertising groups to know buyer wants and forecast their calls for whereas discovering viable options to their ache factors.

Additionally it is the responsibility of the principal product supervisor to investigate advanced enterprise instances and metrics to find out product feasibility, characteristic prioritization, and the general return on funding (ROI).

How Do Group Product Managers and Principal Product Managers Work Collectively?

Group product managers and principal product managers are each senior-level roles. Subsequently, they usually collaborate on totally different steps all through the product administration ladder to make sure the profitable completion of enterprise necessities. 

It’s protected to say that basically, product managers don’t construct merchandise on their very own. They’re, largely, accountable for organizing sure components of the method. For instance, conducting person analysis and translating the corporate’s methods and aims into product roadmaps. As such, they depend on different workforce members to meet different duties within the backlog corresponding to writing code or billing the purchasers.

This trade of knowledge is proof of cross-functional workforce collaboration, a key tenet of product administration. The product supervisor communicates the particular product necessities and potential outcomes as per the shopper’s preferences, guaranteeing the accuracy of the product lifecycle from its inception to launch onto the market. 

As a way to foster wholesome relationships throughout the product groups, group product managers and principal product managers think about constructing belief amongst groups and utilizing their constructive affect to drive the product ahead. Combining their abilities of managing folks and being particular person contributors, the cross-functional workforce has the information and scope to construct, have interaction in product advertising, measure characteristic effectiveness, and supply buyer help.

Given the vary of duties right here, the everyday construction of product groups is inclusive of representatives from a number of departments: engineering, finance, authorized, advertising, mission administration, gross sales, and help. By collaborating to this extent, product managers encourage innovation, various views, and shorter improvement cycles.

In essence, group product managers and principal product managers work collectively through the use of inspiring and efficient management to domesticate a collaborative work setting for product groups.

Who Earns Extra: Group Product Supervisor or Principal Product Supervisor?

Based on Glassdoor, the common wage of a gaggle product supervisor in the USA within the 12 months 2022 is $164,768 per 12 months. This whole accounts for a median annual base pay of $143,798 with estimates of further pay totaling $20,970. Further pay on this occasion accounts for money bonuses, commissions, revenue sharing, and ideas. Take be aware that, basically, the general wage ranges from $124,000 to $224,000, representing a respective 25% and 75% of pay knowledge.

Quite the opposite, Zippia experiences that group product managers earn $155,050 per 12 months on common ($74.54 per hour), including that the underside 10% earns $112,000 on an annual foundation whereas the highest 10% earns $213,000.

Zippia additionally estimates that principal product managers earn $145,943 per 12 months on common ($70.16 per hour) with the underside 10% incomes $106,000 whereas the highest 10% earns $199,000.

In distinction, PayScale experiences that the common base wage for a principal product supervisor is $152,849 ($45.00 per hour). The bottom compensation ranges from $117,000 (backside 10%) to $186,000 (high 90%) and excludes bonuses and revenue sharing.

From these statistics, we deduce that the group product supervisor has extra incomes potential compared to the principal product supervisor. 

It is very important be aware that a significant factor that impacts these salaries is the placement. The highest 5 highest-paying states are California, Washington, Rhode Island, Alaska, and Oregon. Different components that decide compensation charges embrace training, certifications, further abilities, and the whole variety of years of expertise as a product supervisor.

Turning into A Group Product Supervisor vs. Principal Product Supervisor

Let’s study the profession trajectory of every product administration monitor beneath:

Profession Path

The standard profession path of each the group product supervisor and principal product supervisor is as follows:

  1. Affiliate Product Supervisor
  2. Product Supervisor
  3. Senior Product Supervisor
  4. Product Lead
  5. Group Product Supervisor or Principal Product Supervisor
  6. Director of Product
  7. VP of Product
  8. Chief Product Officer

The first distinction is whether or not you aspire towards managing folks (GPM) or contributing to the day-to-day operations (PPM).


Advancing as a gaggle product supervisor requires the next abilities:

  • Communication abilities
  • Management abilities
  • Analytical abilities
  • Product information
  • Product administration expertise
  • Data of enterprise points

To progress as a principal product supervisor, you will need to have the next abilities:

  • Interpersonal abilities
  • Communication abilities
  • Analytical abilities
  • Prioritization abilities
  • Technical experience
  • Product information


Lengthy-term profession success relies upon persevering with training. Though having a college diploma is just not a necessity in product administration, there’s a direct connection between furthering your information and transferring up the ranks. 

Listed below are 5 on-line product administration certification assets to think about:

Length: Self-paced

Pricing: $350

Length: Self-paced

Pricing: $399

Length: 8 weeks

Pricing: $4,799 

Length: 8 weeks

Pricing: $4,799

Length: 14 hours

Pricing: Free

Group Product Supervisor vs. Principal Product Supervisor: Key Takeaways

Group product managers and principal product managers are each senior product managers whose duties differ because it pertains to their administration processes. The group product supervisor profession monitor facilities on folks administration duties whereas the Principal Product Supervisor profession monitor focuses on particular person contribution duties.

Regardless of the disparity with their compensation, they’re each a part of a cross-functional product workforce and make the most of each technical and extra tender abilities to ascertain and keep a product technique that capabilities in accordance with the product roadmap. 

Josh Fechter

Josh Fechter is the co-founder of Product HQ, founding father of Technical Author HQ, and founder and head of product of Squibler. You may join with him on LinkedIn right here.


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