The Difference Between Project and Product Development

Despite similarly sounding names, there are huge differences between project and product development. These two concepts are often confused with one another that sometimes even experienced people in the field find it difficult to tell the difference. So, if you plan on hiring a developer for product or project development, it is imperative for you to conceptualize the difference between the two.

This is mainly because the process of selecting the right IT Company during development is of great importance. Therefore, if you make a mistake and hire the wrong company, it will directly result in the wastage of your efforts, time and money. That’s why in today’s article, you will learn more about the main differences between project and product development.

Project Development

The process of project development is usually carried out by a professional project manager who works closely with a product manager to create a successful product. However, please note that project managers are not a part of development process, but they are involved in the pre-development process. In simpler words, a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique service or process that is developed by an organization for its own operational requirements.

Therefore, the process has nothing to do with product development, despite the fact it provides valuable information on what type of product has to be created. Additionally, a project is developed only for handling specific applications of an organization where look and feel of a product doesn’t matter, just the idea does. It is when a company wants to optimize its processes, but doesn’t want to waste money on purchase a ready-made tool that may or may not meet the exact requirements.

Product Development

Product development, also known as the ‘Stage-Gate’ process is when a product manager collaborates with other teams in order to ‘develop’ new innovations. Developing a product means creating something that a company intends to sell and generate revenues afterwards. It is strictly related to business and focuses on a wide range of consumer needs, wants and requirements. In fact, it has a whole life-cycle consisting of multiple stages.

The process begins right from the very conceptualization of the idea to developing all the architecture, drawings, designs of the products and then converting them into real, workable and sellable products. However, developing a product requires strong support and the assistance of professional product designers and industrial designers. Regardless, the entire process is carried out to develop a product with the intention of selling it in the marketplace to represent the image of a company.

Project Development vs. Product Development

In project development, less maintenance is required, but product development requires high maintenance, strong support, and good financial resources.
The development of a project requires long term testing, whereas project development involves limited tested.
In project development, features and requirements are important, but the feel and look don’t carry much significance. However, product development is all about the look, feel and user-experience of a product.

CD Packaging – Finding a Supplier and Sourcing Products From A Consumer Perspective

The CD Packaging Requirement Becomes Apparent

Laney works for a company that supplies promotional, branded items to businesses large and small all over the world. The company supplies everything from pens to t-shirts and from mugs to golf towels. Every year, representatives from the company attend many business to business and business to consumer exhibitions. Over the last few years they have been attending larger and larger shows more frequently, as the business has grown and the customer base has widened. Laney works as part of the team who organise the shows and she works on various aspects of the pre-show process such as designing the stand ensuring maximum exposure for the company. She normally orders a few hundred CDs with the company catalogue stored on them to hand out at these events and in previous years these have been produced as cheaply as possible with a single colour print on the disc and a clear plastic wallet to give nominal protection.

Laney has noticed that at the shows they are starting to attend where they are competing with the really big companies, the competition are handing out promotional CDs containing interactive catalogues and high quality CD packaging with printed covers and instruction booklets to help people use the software on the CDs. She knows that in order to compete with them, her company will need to be doing the same, if not more, to get themselves noticed.

The CD Packaging Plan

Laney discusses the situation with her team and they decide that for the shows they will be attending in a month’s time, they will take CDs with a similar interactive brochure and eye-catching packaging. She employs the services of a website design team to create the interactive brochure which makes it easy for customers to locate the promotional items that they need and to get a ball park cost for the order. She also starts looking on the internet for companies offering a CD printing and packaging service with short lead times and good reputations.

Finding a Reputable Supplier

There are 4 CD packaging suppliers on Laney’s shortlist and each has a great website detailing their services with great customer feedback. Customer service is important to Laney so she puts in a request for quote to each potential supplier so what sort of response she gets. One company is on the ball and within ten minutes she has a quote which seems reasonable and shortly after that she receives a telephone call from the same company to see if they can help out. She speaks to a project manager who politely asks for further details about the project and arranges a meeting with Laney at their manufacturing unit as they are quite close.

The project manager’s name is Kier and he arranges to meet Laney in 2 days time at their plant. Laney spends the next couple of days gathering the information together that she wants to discuss with Kier and meets up with him at 9.30 a.m. on the selected day.

Laney first discusses the disc printing side of the project with Kier. In order to keep the costs down on the project, in the past she has utilised the screen printing method with just one or two colours on the discs. The designs that she has lend themselves perfectly to screen printing in that they use solid block colours with text showing through as the silver of the bare disc surface which looks very effective and results in high class eye catching discs.

She explains to Kier that, historically, they have used plastic wallets to protect the discs as they are cheap and have been perfectly adequate for handing out free discs up to now. She then goes on to explain the need for upgrading the CD packaging to keep up with the competition in her industry. Kier talks her through the many options that are available to her:

Clamshell or Trigger Cases – The first option offered to Laney is either a clamshell or a trigger case, both are made of flexible polypropylene and can be sourced in various translucent colours. The clamshell case is a hinged case with a moulded central spindle to hold the CD in place. The trigger case has an ejector switch on one corner and, when inserted, a disc can then be ejected by pressing the switch. Whilst they are more durable and have a higher quality appearance and feel than a clear plastic wallet, they are not designed to contain any printed paper parts.

Card Wallets – These are made by printing onto a piece of card with a weight of between 250 and 350 gsm depending upon the quality of product required. The card is prepared on one side with a printable semi-gloss finish. This printable surface is then digitally printed with a high resolution image. For a premium finish, the card can then be gloss laminated with a very thin, clear high gloss effect layer of plastic. After the clear plastic wallets, card wallets are the most cost effective CD packaging type and variants can be manufactured in a gatefold style which have a pocket on the inside left hand panel to house an information booklet, if required.