What is the difference between a project life cycle and an SDLC?

Let’s explore each step in the PDLC in more detail and examine the product manager’s role throughout the process. Having a clear view of an entire project, workers involved, estimated costs and timelines. https://globalcloudteam.com/ Finally, the application goes on to be deployed in a live environment. This stage involves deployment, support, and maintenance necessary to keep the system functional and up-to-date.

product development life cycle vs software development life cycle

The prototype is a scaled-down version of a product aimed at reduction of feasibility, value, and usability risks. You need to put as little effort as possible to be able to say whether the solution is achievable from the technical point of view. Once the feasibility risk is minimized, try to focus on building a user prototype. Keep in mind that that the user prototype has a sole purpose — validate proposed value and usability. Don’t focus on its operational readiness since it is not supposed to be launched.

How a Software Development Life Cycle Works

Stick to them so you don’t lose your way, whether you’re building a web app or a mobile app. Even though it happens last, maintenance is one of the most important phases of software development. You must maintain—or hire someone to maintain—your product in order to improve, update, and keep it running without downtime. As Jeffrey Elliott explains in his book Global Information Technology for Business. Business strategists from large corporations developed this model to help manage complex business systems that require a lot of data processing and analysis. Understanding of where a product is in the product life cycle, as well as business, customers and users needs, can help to prioritize product effort.

  • Become aqualified product manager in 3-6 months—backed by the CareerFoundry job guarantee.
  • Once the product is tested and ready to be deployed it is released formally in the appropriate market.
  • This includes planning dependencies, third-party integrations if required, and considering all the nonfunctional requirements needed to build and deliver a solid product.
  • Even though Figma has now successfully developed into the most competitive option on the design web app market, the lifecycle of its product development is still ongoing.
  • Remember, having a knowledge base makes you independent and allows changing vendors anytime.
  • A related factor is stiffer competition from new entrants and copycats.

Even two software companies with similar tech stacks, the same number of developers, and similar users will develop different software. While the high-level steps might be the same, there’s a lot of variation within each of those steps. As with every process in agile development, the product lifecycle management process is designed to deliver value quickly and effectively through learning and iteration. The product lifecycle does not end at delivery; it’s a cycle, not a linear process. Once delivered, the team conducts a continuous evaluation on performance, identifies any new needs, and then begins the PDLC process all over again, starting from ideation. During the ideation phase, multiple ideas are produced, including new designs, try-at-home, VR opportunities, etc.

Product lifecycle doesn’t evolve according to plan

All your hard work has paid off, and now it’s time to introduce your product to the world. You’ll want to plan your launch carefully, ensuring everything is in place for a successful start. This includes setting up analytics tools, testing for bugs, updating documentation, etc.

In such a case, the improved user experience may help to solve a business problem and diminish the presence of competitors by making users more satisfied. A product development process depends on the nature of the business. But these steps can turn your ordinary software idea into an extraordinary solution. Make sure to integrate product testing as a mandatory step in your process. This way, you can verify that your application is working effectively.

Benefits of the SDLC

The author represented the model as a logical progression of the software development life cycle, resembling the cascading steps down an incremental waterfall. Even though Figma has now successfully developed into the most competitive option on the design web app market, the lifecycle of its product development is still ongoing. On this page, Figma software product development company lists details of all of the upcoming additions to the design tool that are currently in beta mode. An iterative rollout of beta features helps the Figma team to receive user feedback on each one, and improve them accordingly. The next stage of software product development is to act on user testing feedback and optimise your product accordingly.

product development life cycle vs software development life cycle

An image on HBSC’s site that doesn’t seem to have any accompanying explanation depicts this very well graphically. Product managers play a crucial role during each phase of the development cycle. When the product is in development, that’s the time to plan the solution’s actual development roadmap and technical implementation. The goal of the development step is to prepare the new functionality to deliver to the end user.


The stages discussed above mirror milestones a product passes through on its life cycle. Their duration is hard to predict, and the borders between phases are blurry. Besides, at any stage, a set of unexpected factors may emerge and affect a product’s life cycle.

product development life cycle vs software development life cycle

And by following this systemized approach to developing new products or services, businesses can stay focused, competitive, and efficient. The definition of software development life cycle would be an activity aimed at achieving the highest quality in the shortest time possible with minimal effort. A product development process describes all the activities that are performed to deliver a concept to the market and end-user.

Get the latest news, tips, and guides on software development.

Since then, SDLC evolved in many variations to adapt to complex business systems development that required a lot of data processing and analysis. Despite the longevity and celebrated success of Instagram, it is still passing through the product lifecycle to this day. New and innovative features are still being tested, optimised and launched to ensure the web app remains competitive in a fast-moving market. Continued optimisation of your product increases the chance that it will eventually achieve product-market fit. The aim of this stage is not to create a fully-fledged, finished version of the product. Concentrate your efforts instead on creating the most basic iteration of the product as quickly as possible, and release it immediately to start receiving user feedback.

To top