The product life cycle consists of generally sequential, non-overlapping product phases determined by the manufacturing and control need of the organization. The last product life cycle phase for a product is generally the product's retirement. Generally, a project life cycle is contained within one or more product life cycles. Care should be taken to distinguish the project life cycle from the product life cycle. All projects have a purpose or objective, but in those cases where the objective is a service or result, there may be a life cycle for the service or result, not a product life cycle.
When the output of the project is related to a product, there are many possible relationships. For instance, the development of a new product could be a project on its own. Alternatively, an existing product might benefit from a project to add new functions or features, or a project might be created to develop a new model. Many facets of the product life cycle lend themselves to being run as projects, for example, performing a feasibility study, conducting market research, running an advertising campaign, installing a product, holding focus groups, conducting a product trial in a test market, etc. In each of these examples, the project life cycle would differ from the product life cycle.
Since one product may have many projects associated with it, additional efficiencies may be gained by managing all related projects collectively. For instance, a number of separate projects may be related to the development of a new automobile. Each project may be distinct, but still contributes a key deliverable necessary to bring the automobile to market. Oversight of all projects by a higher authority could significantly increase the likelihood of success.
Was this article helpful?
What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.