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05.03.2020 / 16:49

Project thinking vs Product thinking: what will work better for your software development

Project management is a key element in the software development process that determines the way your team is organized while implementing a software solution. Project thinking and product thinking are 2 fundamentally different approaches to managing project activities and problem-solving. What is the difference and what will work better for building your software platform?

Project thinking

Since the main responsibility of PM is to achieve the expected results documented in project requirements or specified in the contract, the main focus of project thinking is the delivery of a software product or specific feature. In this case, time and schedule are the measurements for the effectiveness and a great amount of time is dedicated to planning, estimation and evaluation of scope. The delivery mindset also requires considering all the risks properly to have a high level of confidence in risk management. It will help your team not to get stuck in meetings in case of unexpected issues.

Project thinking is widely used in IT outsourcing where development teams work for a customer during the set period achieving specified requirements. It makes delivery mindset necessary for IT outsourcing companies as the quality of their cooperation with customers is measured in completed projects. This option will work best for you if you have a small project with a limited budget and need to present it to your stakeholders on time. Use the Fixed Price cooperation model to get the result that meets your budget expectations.

Product thinking

Sometimes planning can limit the true potential of software product development that can lead to missing the unique opportunities for your business. That is why the product mindset is focused on the outcomes rather than on the outputs. The idea of product thinking doesn’t involve planning with strict deadlines and fixed budget but still involves a bit of project management activities for better process management. In contrast to projects, products are continuously evolving, which changes focus from schedule to quality and user experience improvement. It gives rise to new innovative ideas, opens new ways of product promotion and enhances quality.

Product thinking allows stakeholders to always learn new valuable information within the development process. This way they can better understand the needs and goals of a software product and make it standout using the important insights for functionality or design improvements. Such an approach tends to be more streamlined in case of mobile development field where app markets offer mobile software for all tastes and needs. It is also a great solution for Agile development welcoming requirements changes and new features implementation. Notice that product thinking doesn’t imply the Fixed Price cooperation model. Instead of it, you can choose the Time & Material model and pay only for the actually realized tasks according to the time spent.

A decision on the right strategy of managing the software development process depends on the nature of your software project, its goals and needs. Remember that there are also unique cases when the development process involves both project and product thinking. Exposit Project Managers have a vast experience coordinating work on various software solutions in different development environments. Contact us if you want to have the right view of your idea implementation and achieve results valuable for your business and your users.