When we treat software development as a project, we are giving it a start and an end, since all projects have clearly defined starts and ends. If we think about starts, that’s ok. All software development efforts have a clearly defined start.
However, when we talk about end, software development and the software which is the product of the software development process may have an end but:
- it’s quite difficult to define when is the end of the software development since that as soon as we put the very first version of the software in front of real users, we’ll receive a lot of feedback which we’ll make us start to think on opportunities to improve the software;
- it’s quite difficult to define when is the end of the software. Every software exists to support one or more business processes, to reach certain business objectives while satisfying the needs of its users. As long as theses processes exist, and the software reaches the business objectives and satisfy the user needs, there’s no reason to end the life of the software.
For this reason both software development and the software which is the product of the software development process may have an end, but it is a clearly defined end. When we treat software development as project we are forced to define an end for this development since projects require a clearly defined end. In this situation we tend to define the software development end as the delivery of the software first release. But what happens after this delivery? Aren’t we going to do anything new in this software? Or should we start a new project to work on the next release of the software? If we decide to start a new project, what we will do while we don’t start to work on this new version?
This is why companies have started to treat software development as a continuous process, not a project, and the software as a product of this process. Software is a product with a clearly defined start, but no clearly defined end. The history of a software product is written during the life cycle of this product and the end depends a lot on the decisions made during this life cycle.
Hence the need of software product management in our industry.
Product Management book
Are you interested in the software product management topic? Do you to learn more about it? I wrote a book about the topic. The book has 5 main sections:
- Definitions and requirements
- Software product life cycle
- Relationship with the other areas
- Software portfolio management
- Where should we use software product management
This book is recommended not only for those who have software as her core business. Companies who develop tailor made software as well as companies who use software to communicate with its customers like banks, schools, hospitals, etc., can also benefit from the book.
Interested? Well, the book is currently only available in Portuguese. So if you can read Portuguese, get your copy today!
If you don’t speak Portuguese, don’t worry! Paulo Caroli and I are working on translating the book into English, so feel free to leave a comment below, and we’ll let you know when the book is ready.