A product life cycle refers to the life of a product in the market, and the processes that it goes through in relation to the business costs, as well as the sale measures. There are certain characteristics about the product life cycle and they include; that the product in a life cycle always has a limited life span, there are distinct stages through which the product sales pass through, there are fluctuations in profits during the cycle, and that the products require varying management strategies (Grieves, M. 2005). A product life cycle comprises of various stages and they are; market introduction, growth, mature, saturation, and decline stages. A project life cycle can be defined as the sequence of project activities in a logical manner, which aims at achieving a project’s set goals or objectives. The cycle comprises of different stages or phases which include the birth, planning, execution, and the exit phases. Both the product and project life cycles have their similarities and differences, which will be discussed in this paper.
Similarities between the Product and Project Life cycles
One major similarity between the product and project life cycles is that both are comprised of different and several phases or stages. These phases are very vital because they ensure that the requirements of the cycles are provided for, and that both the goals and the objectives of the cycles are achieved (Hoffman, M., and Beaumont, T.1997). For instance, while some of the phases of the product cycle include the growth and saturation stages, those of the project life cycle include the birth and closure phases. The aim of integrating the phases in the life cycles is to ensure that there is proper coordination of the activities that take place in the cycles. The two cycles are closely related to each other. In some cases, a product may consist of more than one project, where the projects act as the subset of the product. This makes it necessary for the bigger product view to be put into consideration when it comes to the project management. The product and project life cycles face various challenges which demand the adoption of strategies in the cycle phases, with the aim of ensuring that the cycles give the desired results. For instance, the product life cycle encourage the adoption of marketing strategies that will increase the market share of the product. The project life cycle on the other hand integrates strategies that enable the proper execution of the project activities. Changes are often made in the two life cycles when the need to do so arises. This means that the two cycles create an opportunity for adopting and implementing changes when the need to do so arises. The product life cycle experiences market condition changes, which also trigger changes in the cycle. The reviewing of the activities in the project life cycle encourages the adoption of changes that aim at the execution of plans appropriately.
Differences between the Product and the Project life cycles
One major difference between the two cycles is that, the project life cycle deals directly with products in relation to the business costs and also sale measures. The cycle is concerned with the life of a product in the market, where the management deals with a product’s
description in its useful life (Stark, J. 2004). A project life cycle involves the development and implementation of strategies that are related to a given project. As compared to a product life cycle, a project life cycle in most cases has a definite beginning and a definite end (Hoffman, M., and Beaumont, T. 1997).In addition, a project life cycle gives rise to a certain product, which in turn has its own product cycle. The different phases in this life cycle have sub-phases. A product life cycle may lack a definite end. For instance, product brands that have a dominant life cycle and may monopolize the market will have continuity.
The product and the project life cycles are very important, due to the important role they play in the product’s life cycle or project implementation. Their similarities and differences provide us with a clear understanding on how the two cycles work. The challenges and the external influences that the cycles may experience create great opportunities that ensure that the cycles give the desired outcome when all the phases are completed.
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Hoffman, M., and Beaumont, T. (1997).Application Development: Managing the Project Life
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Stark, J. (2004).Product Life cycle Management: 21st Century Paradigm for Product
Realization. Springer Publishers