The success of a software product depends on skilled and competent software product management (SPM). In essence, a product manager decides what functionality and quality a product should offer, to which customers, and when in time, while assuring a winning business case. Sometimes a product manager is referred to as the ‘mini-CEO’ of an organization.
This course is built around three pillars: SPM theory, SPM research, and SPM consultancy. We use the competence model for SPM (depicted in Figure 1) to structure this course. In this competence model, SPM knowledge is divided over four domains: requirements management, release planning, product planning, and portfolio management. For each domain, the student will acquire knowledge in order to a) work as a product manager in a software company, b) perform SPM research in an academic environment, and c) carry out SPM assessments as a consultant.
Students will attend three lectures a week. In the first lecture of the week, competences in requirements management, release planning, product planning and portfolio management are covered. The other lecture has a seminar form, which will mainly be filled by student presentations. In addition, students can attend a workshop in which they can be coached in their assignment.
The grade of the course is a weighted average of three elements: the research paper, the consultancy report, and the exam. In order to pass the course, each element has to be graded with a 5.5 or higher.
Figure 1. Competence model for Software Product Management