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Difference between software product lifecycle and software project lifecycle

First of all, software product lifecycle and software project lifecycle is not the same, the software product starts at an initial idea, ends with the software product is no longer used. The lifecycle of software product consists of birth, growth, maturity, until to die. The late stage of software products may be a long-term maintenance of repetitive work, which can be treated as a daily operation.

Project is unique work, so it contains a certain degree of uncertainty. When we are in the implementation of the project, we will usually break down each project into several project phases to better management and control. Overall, the various stages of the project constitutes the entire life cycle of project development.

To illustrate the difference between the two, we take following scenario for example:

A software development company plans to develop an antivirus software product, the typical process includes:

  1. Product research (feasibility study)
  2. Project approval (agreement or contract)
  3. Requirement research
  4. Design
  5. Development
  6. Test
  7. Delivery
  8. Production
  9. Maintain
  10. Upgrade
  11. Die out

The lifecycle of a software product should cover the whole process, from early product research until to die out; but the lifecycle of software project can be from project approval to delivery. The phases of product research, production, maintenance, upgrades, and die out may not be contained.

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