Product life cycle and project life cycle sound quite similar, but in fact, are very different from one another. A marketing project can impact a product's life cycle, but otherwise these two concepts are essentially unrelated. However, understanding what each one is and having some strategies for their use will help you to integrate both into your business plans with maximum effectiveness.
Differences Between the Two
A product life cycle is a conceptual map of where a product's sales are and where they may be headed. However, it has no comment on what to do with the product. If a company believes its product is entering the decline phase, it will probably create a plan to either rejuvenate the product or cease production, but that is not inherent in the product life cycle. By contrast, a project life cycle is all about action. A project life cycle maps out the steps needed to complete a project with specific targeted results.
Remember that the product life cycle concept has limitations. Not every product follows a smooth, predictable bell curve from introduction to decline. A product may appear to be in the decline phase and enjoy a return to the maturity phase due to a competitor exiting the market or a successful project rejuvenation strategy. With regards to project life cycle management, things tend to be much more clearly defined, but watch out for "scope creep." This is the tendency for projects to continually grow in breadth to the point where they never actually get completed.