Products Over Projects

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Software projects are a popular way of funding and organizing software development. Projects are funded on a case-by-case basis on the basis of benefits projected in a business case. They are organized in the form of one or more temporary teams whose members have durable reporting lines outside the project organization. They are staffed from a “pool of talent” whose members are considered fungible within lines of specialization. And usually, a software project team’s job is to build or enhance some system or application and move on.

However, projects are not the only way of funding and organizing software development. For instance, many companies that sell software as a product or a service do not fund or organize their core product/platform development in the form of projects. Instead, they run product development and support using near-permanent teams for as long as the product is sold in the market. 

“Product-mode” is a way of working. It is a way of funding and organizing software development that differs significantly from the projects way of doing it. The differences are summarized below and elaborated in the rest of the article.

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