What is a fractional product manager?

by Sam Feldman in

It's a Product Manager.

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In all seriousness, if you've heard the term "fractional Product Manager" or "part time Product Manager" mentioned, and you're wondering how it's different than a normal PM, it's not.

A fractional product manager is someone you employ to ship product, to prioritize roadmap, to work with Engineering, etc. The only difference is that they're only employed part-time.

PM vs. Fractional PM Comparison Chart

A full-time Product Manager is an employee that you hire to be the bridge between business stakeholders, engineers/designers, and your customers. They come to work 9-5 and you pay them a full salary with benefits.

A part-time Product Manager is usually a contractor (though it's totally awesome if you want to hire them as an employee with benefits) who you hire for a subset of hours to be the bridge between business stakeholders, engineers/designers, and your customers. They work the agreed upon hours and you pay them accordingly. 

In future posts I'll:

  • Debunk common myths about "needing the full-time PM hire" and help you understand what business issues they may be a sign of 
  • Help you identify which projects are best suited for fractional PMs
  • Explain common compensation models for fractional PMs and make recommendations which you should use depending on your needs
  • Help you understand what phase of company a fractional PM is best suited for
  • Share best practices for setting up a fractional PM for success

If there are other topics you're interested to learn about, please leave a comment.

You're awesome!