I was recently reading a blog about UX potentially eliminating the need for software product managers. But the two are not competing areas of focus. They are very complementary and need to collaborate to leverage the best of both disciplines.
This is a true statement:
Winning products are created by visionary, multidisciplinary teams that are able to deliver a stunning experience. Those who have mastered the magic of crafting the user experience are able to smash their weaker competitors. (Marcin Treder, UXPin)
Both User Experience Designers and Product Managers can fulfill the roll of helping to create products that are well designed and easy to use. Why? Because both are deeply entrenched in understanding users, their needs and pain points as well as their product.
In this sense, there is overlap between the two roles. But each role does so much more.
Having been a software product manager for over two decades, I know that product management also includes things like:
And the list goes on. UX Designers only focus on a few of these points. But they also tend to do many other things that product managers generally do not do or don't do well:
Both roles are closely connected to any software product, especially any with a user interface, whether website, web or mobile app. UX Designers need to focus on creating the optimum experience, whereas Product Managers need to focus on creating an optimum, successful and profitable product.
When UX Designers and Product Managers work together, they can create the killer product. If one of these elements is left out, you can easily end up with a dud.
Update: A very good article explains how UX designers can work well with product managers. As a veteran software product manager just getting into UX design, I probably should write the antithesis.