Product development and project development, though sounding similar, are entirely different concepts. In fact, they sound so similar that at times people, including those specializing in either of these two fail to distinguish between the two. So, in case you intend hiring the services of any of the two, you should essentially be able to differentiate between them, for if you go wrong in hiring the services of the right professional, you’ll be wasting your time, money and efforts.
The execution of project development is generally entrusted to a skilled project manager, closely working with a product manager to produce a product that would work successfully. However, it should be noted that project manager doesn’t form a part of the process of developing the product, though associated with pre-development processes. Simply said, a project is a short-term undertaking taken to fashion a distinctive process or service that an organization develops exclusively for its operational necessities.
As you can see, the process is nowhere connected to development of product, though it provides guidelines on the kind of product to be produced. Moreover, project development takes care of defined applications of the organization with no consideration to the feel or looks of the product. It is like a company wanting to derive the most from one of its processes without having to invest in a ready to use tool, of which the company is not very certain if it would fulfill its precise requirements.
Product development refers to the process wherein a product manager interacts with members of different teams to develop new ideas, relevant to the product and to finally get a product which the company finds viable for generating revenue through its marketing. It is firmly connected to business and takes consideration of many factors, most importantly of consumers’ expectations and requirements. On the whole, it comprises of many different stages.
The process starts right from conceptualizing the idea to developing drawings, design and planning the manufacturing process for the product and transforming these into actually feasible and saleable product. Product development essentially requires services of skilled product designers plus industrial designers. The overall idea at the back of developing a product is to make a product that is profitably saleable in the existing market and helps building an image of the company or its producer.
Project Development vs. Product Development
Project development needs minimum maintenance whereas product development needs top class maintenance, coupled with adequate financial support.
Project development needs limited testing but product development necessitates a lot of testing time.
Project development focuses more on requirements and features and not much on looks or feel of product but product development focuses most on looks, feel and user friendliness of product.
Product development is intended for generating revenue through marketing and selling while project development is meant for internal operations of the company.
Development of product is a continuous process, requiring investments for incorporating new features for improving the looks and efficiency of the product whereas project development requires investment just once.
The features mentioned here will help you appreciating the difference between product and project development.