SDLC vs PDLC: Understanding the Differences of the Development Life Cycle

SDLC vs PDLC: Understanding the Differences of the Development Life Cycle

A software development project's success depends on the methodologies of the Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC) and Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which are used to manage the process of creating and delivering software products. A framework for overseeing the many phases of software development, from conception to release, is offered by both the PDLC and SDLC.

It is crucial to use the approaches of the PDLC and SDLC to guarantee that projects run smoothly and provide consumers with a seamless solution. In this article, we will look at the product development life cycle vs software development life cycle.

What is the Software Development Life Cycle?

Development teams utilize the software development life cycle as a method to produce software that is excellent in terms of quality, cost-effectiveness, and time efficiency. Before choosing how to launch your SaaS product, reduce risks as much as possible. Also, make sure the software fulfills client expectations both before and after production.

This method involves developing a thorough strategy to direct the product's development and then segmenting the process into smaller, more manageable modules that can be assigned, finished, and monitored.

What Is a Product Development Life Cycle?

A new product or service is developed and commercialized using a methodical process called the Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC).

It includes every step of the process, from coming up with the original product concept to evaluating and improving it after launch. Businesses may increase the efficiency of their product development activities, reduce risks, and increase the likelihood of success by using the PDLC from Mangosoft, which offers an organized framework.

Marketers must comprehend the product development life cycle (PDLC) to effectively traverse the challenging process of introducing a new product to the market. Marketers may make sure that their efforts are targeted, effective, and in line with the requirements and preferences of their target audience by adhering to a well-defined procedure.

What's the Difference between PDLC and SDLC?

A poll conducted by the Standish Group indicates that projects with a specified methodology, such as the SDLC or PDLC, have a higher chance of success. According to the poll, initiatives that adhered to a methodology had a success percentage of 31%, whereas those that did not have a methodology had a success rate of just 14%. The most popular technique is agile as it has been shown to provide quantifiable and reliable outcomes for project success.

You cannot completely compare PDLC vs SDLC and say that they are completely different.

They are often used in tandem, with PDLC providing the project's overarching direction and SDLC offering the software development process's intricate strategy.

Steps in Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Whether you're a developer or a founder, let's dive into the details of each cycle so you can understand the importance of each phase.


At this point, the project manager assumes a central role. It entails in-depth conversations about the project, including your preferences and budget, which your manager subsequently converts into an estimate. What is included in this estimate?

  • Schedules for carrying out tasks (usually divided into two-week sprints)
  • Budget breakdown (for example, use an hourly rate)

The group of experts working on your project (usually consisting of a quality assurance specialist, project manager, designer, and developers)

Analysis of Requirements

If one word could describe it, it would be documentation, which includes your project's logic, technical specifications, and business procedures.

Creating software or product requirements gives teams the knowledge and context they need to create and deliver software solutions.


As an alternative, you may call it the creative process of prototyping.

This includes creating design documentation, defining coding standards, and having conversations about runtimes, frameworks, tools, and procedures. These decisions are meant to be in keeping with the objectives and requirements specifications for the software that were established during the previous requirements-gathering stage.


This is the key and time-consuming task. This is where the Figma design begins to form, though it is still in its trial run on the test server.

Promoting code quality and reducing the time to market are the two priorities.

It is quite often that this stage involves a big group of people. First of all, a single person can be sufficient for concept generation, but two or more are needed for development. Their team leader and the project manager direct them as they execute their tasks.

Integration and Testing

It is rare for developers to produce flawless code on their first attempt; testers are needed instead. It is possible to do testing manually and automatically.

Each aspect of manual testing is manually reviewed. For example, a tester examines each page of the program, paying close attention to the visuals and seeking for any issues. Conversely, automated testing uses specialized tools to execute pre-written scripts that control testing tools throughout the execution of tests and validation of results. 

Even though both methods are reliable, automated testing is more costly since it takes more skill, even if it is often faster. On the other hand, manual testing is often less expensive when done on an hourly basis, even if it may take longer.


Continuous updates, problem repairs, and improvements are all part of maintenance. A lot of customers decide to work together with agencies to gradually improve their goods or services.

Steps in Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC)

The Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC) is an organized procedure that directs a digital product's development from conception to launch and beyond. It involves several phases, each of which is vital to the development of the finished product.

Generating Ideas

The concept-generating phase is when the product development process starts. The development and design studio investigates different ideas and possible product concepts here. During this phase, market research, consumer input, and brainstorming sessions are crucial. Finding creative solutions that meet user demands and complement the studio's vision and goals is the aim.

Definition of a Product

The process of defining the product comes next, after concept generation. The selected product idea is now being honed and developed into a distinct concept. The value proposition, key features, and functionality of the product are defined by the studio. To evaluate the technical and financial viability of the product, a feasibility study is often carried out.

Development of Prototypes

After a clear understanding of the product idea, the studio works on creating a prototype. A prototype is an early iteration of the product, usually in the form of a mockup or rudimentary model that highlights its salient characteristics and user interface. Through prototyping, the studio may verify and test the product's functioning and usability before devoting more resources to its full-scale production.

First Draft

Building on the prototype, the product moves into the first phase of design. For the product's user interface, general aesthetics, and overall experience, the studio creates thorough drawings and requirements. The aim is to provide a design that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use while adhering to the product's specified goals and objectives.

Testing and Validation

The product goes through extensive validation and testing at this critical stage. This phase's key elements include user testing and feedback, which enable the studio to find and fix any bugs, performance difficulties, or usability concerns. Iterative testing and improvements are typical since genuine user inputs are used to fine-tune the product.


Commercialization is the last phase of the product development lifecycle, during which the product is introduced and made accessible to the intended market. The goals of marketing and promotion are to raise awareness and encourage adoption. Monitoring and assistance after the product is launched are equally essential to its commercial success.

Because each of these phases in the Product Development Lifecycle is interrelated and iterative, it is possible to make constant modifications and enhancements in response to customer input and market needs.

Bottom Line

The SDLC vs PDLC have parallel differences and overlaps.

The process of introducing a new laptop computer to the market is a prime example. Both hardware and software components will be included in the future computer. The process of developing the computer and all of its parts will adhere to the product development life cycle. The system development life cycle would apply to any bespoke software that was installed on the machine.

It is possible to see the system development lifecycle as offering a comprehensive framework for the third stage of the product development lifecycle, albeit this is not the only way it is used. The SDLC is also often used on its own, particularly when managing complicated or large IT projects.