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The latter is a standard role across industries and domains whereas the former is likely to be specific to a given industry or even company.
I agree with Kiron - Developer is more industry specific and you can find this title in industries like IT.
Kiron's comment makes sense.
in Germany project developer is a job role particularly for construction business. It involves several steps from budgeting and funding, finding/securing the ground to build on, establishing construction plans, building the site and commissioning it.
The wording may come from seeing the building as the project (although it rather is the product) and developing it from the beginning.
A project developer works along a very much refined regulation, federal to local, and with a variety of people, like investors, land owners, architects, geo-specialists. Erecting the building is just a final step of a often 2-3 year journey.
I would deem the project developer rather to be a program manager than a project manager in PMI speak. We do not see these guys in PMI communities too often since their relevant skills are different from PMI PMs.
A project developer is responsible for the technical leadership, and responsible for the technical planning that populates the WBS. This has other names such as technical principal or systems engineer. When you combine this role with a PM, the job title is frequently called a Project Engineer.
Project development is one part of project management. It is about the "development" of your project artefacts: from project charter to project management plan.
I understand the project developer is like a consultant that gives que ideas and produce a conceptual project that later is built by the project manager.
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