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Valentina Gomez
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Software vs Product Lifecycle Management


What sets Software Development Lifecycle Management apart from Product Development Lifecycle Management? Differences show that they differ from their initial planning stages to the finished product. As tech advances, it's key to manage both processes. It's time to learn more about Development Lifecycle Management!

Software Development Lifecycle Management

​​Software Development Lifecycle Management (SDLCM) aims to develop software with the highest quality and shortest time. It also includes detailed documentation about developing, extending, and maintaining the software system. So the goal is to cut risks and ensure the software meets customer expectations.

Stages of ​​Software Development Lifecycle Management

SDLCM usually revolves around six main stages.

1. Analysis. Gather stakeholder requirements to analyze the feasibility of creating the product.
2. Design. Elaborate on a plan to take your vision to life, adapting it to the software's structure.
3. Development. Turn specifications and requirements into code to create the product.
4. Testing. Make sure all software functions work correctly.
5. Deployment. Release the software to different niches and audiences.
6. Maintenance. Keeping the software up-to-date and fixing any issues.

Pros and Cons of Software Development Lifecycle Management

SDLCM aims to improve software and development quality processes. Some pros of SDLC include ensuring the right team members are in the proper activities at the right time. It also measures correlating progress with goals while ensuring everything is on track. SDLCM helps you understand your requirements and how you want your software to work.

But, there are also some cons associated with the SDLCM. For example, some SDLC models are unsuitable for long-term and complex projects. Further, some models may not allow for changes at later stages of development. In the end, the success of a project using SDLCM also depends on precise requirements.

Product Development Lifecycle Management

Product Development Lifecycle Management involves managing a product’s entire lifecycle. Its involvement includes product planning, design, development, and more from conception to retirement. To succeed in PDLCM, balancing quality with cost and time constraints is vital. Having a structure when developing products makes them practical and avoids outdating.

Stages of Product Development Lifecycle Management

PDLCM breaks down into four stages: Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline. Yet, the whole process can also fall into the following stages.

1. Ideation. Here, the ideas flow and aim to create a myriad of solutions for a user's problem.
2. Conceptualization. After ideating, you must make your ideas tangible. Of course, this step comes once the team confirms which concepts are worth developing and likely to produce value to the user requirements.
3. Prototyping. With a defined concept, the team prototypes to test design and functions. To meet the user requirements, ensure you have tested and analyzed the product correctly. After this, the team explores the results to make any required changes.
4. Design. The product' design always relies on the previous tests and analyses made by the team. Before starting to mature the final design, dedicate some time to planning how your product development and delivery will happen!
5. Iterate. This process covers making changes to the product based on user feedback gathered in different ways. Although you've made some changes, you must stick to the plan. As a result, development processes must continue as established.
6. The final stage is the Delivery. Now, the product is ready to go public! 

Pros and Cons of Product Development Lifecycle Management

Product Development Lifecycle Management has several pros, starting with a complete understanding of where the products in a company's portfolio sit. It also shortens product development times and focuses marketing efforts. Another limelight of PDLCM is that it allows managers to define strategies based on the product's lifecycle stage.

Nonetheless, there are also some cons to PDLCM since it may need more applicability in specific markets. Due to this reason, it may be harder to achieve the goal of lowering costs. PDLCM can be a valuable tool for managing the development and delivery of a product. Still, it's vital to consider its limitations as well.

Software Lifecycle vs Product Lifecycle

Software Lifecycle Management Product Lifecycle Management
Definition Designing, developing, testing, and maintaining software products. Designing, developing, testing, and launching a new product.
Goal Building and delivering high-quality software that meets users' needs. Creating successful products that fulfill users' needs while creating revenue.
Phases Planning, Design, Development, Testing, Deployment, Maintenance. Ideation, Concept, Development, Design, Testing, and Launch.
Deliverables Software requirements documents, design documents, source code, test cases, and product release notes Product prototypes, design specifications, product marketing plans, and market research reports
Roles Developers, QA testers, project managers and analysts, and technical writers Product Managers, Designers, Engineers, Marketers, and Salespeople
Tools Project Management software, version control systems, Integrated Development Environments, and Testing tools Product Management software, Design and Prototyping tools, and Market Research tools.


SDLCM and PDLM are vital methods for the quality of software and products. SDLCM focuses on the software development process. Yet, PDLM is for developing physical or digital products. Both approaches have stages to deliver what the customer wants on time and within budget. Choosing between them depends on the product type and the company's vision.