Product Lifecycle Management and Project Management

Based on yesterday’s comments, it’s past time for me to define what I mean when I talk about product management, product lifecycle management, lifecycle choices, and project management. Here goes:

  • Product management: The activities that plan the product’s evolution from birth to obsolescence. In a product company, product managers perform these roles. In an IT organization, the functional owners sometimes perform these roles. (I think more IT organizations need sponsors who plan more than one release out for the product’s evolution.)
  • Product lifecycle management: The plans, by release (project), of what the product will become and a rough guess (or wish) for when that release will occur.
  • Lifecycle: The choice of how a project manager organizes the project. It may be serial (waterfall or phase-gate), iterative (evolutionary delivery or spiral), incremental (staged delivery), or agile (Scrum, Feature-Driven Development). See Selecting a Lifecycle for a comparison of different types of lifecycles.
  • Project management: The activities in initiating, planning, steering, and closing a project (one release of the product lifecycle management)

Let me know if you have more terms you’d like here. And, I have every confidence you’ll let me know if you disagree 🙂

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