The essential investments in new product development (NPD) made by industrial companies entail effective management of NPD activities. In this context, performance measurement is one of the means that can be employed in the pursuit of effectiveness. The primary aim of the study is to structure and analyze the concept of product life cycle in the context of new product development. This objective includes answering the question of what elements comprise product life cycle and identifying the different types of life cycles relevant to NPD performance measurement. The study is founded on two main elements. First, an extensive literature study on performance measurement and product life cycle has been made for conducting a conceptual analysis covering and synthesizing these two issues. On the basis of this, a conceptual framework comprising the idea of "life cycle conscious" NPD performance measurement is constructed. Second, the empirical base of the study relies on a case study of six industrial companies. This case study was carried out to provide empirical evidence on the product life cycles and their distinct phases in different industrial settings. The primary contribution of the study is the constructed conceptual framework for the comprehensive performance measurement of product development. Especially its particular emphasis on life cycle requirements has some novelty value - both in practical and theoretical sense. Life cycle oriented performance measurement of NPD reported in the literature has been something of immature, and the novel approach presented in this study provides the doctrine with at least incremental improvement to this. On the basis of the discussion of this study, a couple of potential research questions can be formulated for future studies. First, proper testing of the constructed framework entails real life cases that would employ the ideas presented in this study for the performance measurement of their product development activities. Second, quantitative evidence on the product life cycles in metal industry should be collected. This can be done either by survey research or by in-depth case studies. Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts (Albert Einstein).