Product Development and Project Management Tools

A white paper “Product Development and Project Management Tools” published on is a research report based on a study with 142 participants from a number of industries (mostly architecture-engineering-construction and hi-tech) with over 50% of respondents working in engineering design and analysis or project/program management positions.

46% of respondents worked for companies launching more than 10 new products a year:

  • 26% – for companies launching between 11 and 50 new products a year
  • 9% – for companies launching between 51 and 250 new products a year
  • 10% – for companies launching 251+ new products a year

The majority (78%) of respondents stated that their companies launched products in several variants.

The first part of the study was focused on identifying project management challenges impacting product development at respondents’ companies. The most serious challenges included:

  • Understanding how requirement changes impact a project’s schedule and resources
  • Getting accurate and consistent project task updates with proof of completion
  • Identifying product development issues that are causing project delays
  • Executing the simultaneous launch of multiple variants of a product

The second part of the study explored the use of project and portfolio management systems. Only 38% of respondents worked for companies that were using Product Lifecyle Management (PLM) systems for managing product data and development processes.  Not surprisingly, PLM adoption was higher in the companies with high number of products and product variants.

The study found that adoption of a PLM system correlated with higher project execution ratings and that higher level of integration between PLM and project management systems correlated with effective project management. Interestingly, having the PLM and project management system from the same vendor did not automatically indicate a high level of integration between these systems.

Some other insights of the study include:

  • The overwhelming majority of respondents believed that their project management system would work better if project tasks were updated automatically when product development data (models, specs, etc) were updated
  • Adoption of web-based systems correlates strongly with higher project management effectiveness

The full version of the white paper is available free of charge however a registration is required.