Project and Product Processes

Project management body of knowledge describe the project processes that project managers should be using for their work.

Product processes are about how the team goes about creating the project outcome – the craftsmanship of the product or service. In software development – this will include things like how are requirements engineered, how is the design done, the development and testing performed – this is the area of software development methodologies.

There are obviously some overlap and both set of processes show overlaps. The most glaring example is usually around “scope”, in PMBOK version 5, the “Collect Requirements” process outputs the “Requirements documentation”, which is an area where product development methodologies would usually be very prescriptive.

Similarly, the Praxis Framework has a “Define Scope” process that covers requirements but acknowledging that it is vastly influences by the delivery mechanism.

With regards to the delivery work, the creation of the product, neither PMBOK or Praxis are descriptive and that’s a good thing. Praxis identify this “doing work” as the “Development Process” which is piloted by the Delivery Process yet not part of the framework itself.

In practice, what matters is that:

  • There are processes in place to develop the scope,
  • There are processes in place to develop the product,
  • There are overarching processes to define, monitor and control the work being done.
  • Roles and responsibilities are defined so that there is no ambiguity about who is running which process.