Product Management of software-intensive products

✓ Improve your PM skills with our trainings and coaching
✓ For all industries with software-intensive products
✓ Optimize your product management in a company-specific way

What is product management?

Product management consists of product strategy, planning and product-related orchestration of the functional areas of the company. The objective is the product’s sustainable economic success across its life cycle. The product management role requires a high degree of management competence and orchestration across organizational structures, often without a hierarchical management position. Software product management is not only utilized by software product vendors, but also by vendors of software-intensive products and services in other industries and in corporate IT organizations.

Software is special

Since software is very special and different from physical components, product management must take these characteristics into account. The combination of high complexity and frequency of change as well as the need for value-based pricing have a significant impact on the work of software product management.

What makes a good product manager?

The requirements for a product manager are high. A combination of technical and domain knowledge is needed as well as business sense, i.e. the ability to understand and influence the economic as well as the technical and domain aspects of the product, its customers and its market. For the orchestration of the functional areas of the organization, being a team player, able to communicate and able to deal with conflict are big advantages.

In our consulting projects and trainings on software product management as well as in ISPMA (International Software Product Management Association) we frequently work with successful and experienced product managers who share their experiences, tips and tricks with us; also with researchers who involve us in their projects and discuss their results with us. So we are able to expand our own expertise. Our customers and training participants benefit from this. And it is reflected in our publications.

We can help with:

combining best industry practices with 20 years of hands-on experience. Our CEO Hans-Bernd Kittlaus is internationally recognized as thought leader on SPM with a high number of publications and invited presentations.

ISPMA's SPM Excellence Level Trainings

Based on the big success of ISPMA-based SPM Foundation Level Trainings, which have been available since early 2012, and the wishes of many training participants, ISPMA has extended its Curriculum with syllabi for four Excellence Level Trainings:

Product Strategy (3 Days)

What is the right strategy for your product to achieve business success in changing times? Utilize the business model canvas to make your strategic decisions, get feedback faster and make informed adjustments.

Strategic Management (2 Days)

How can you as a product manager influence strategic decisions on the corporate or business unit level? And how do you get the market data to base your decisions on?

Product Planning (3 Days)

How can you implement your vision and strategy in a structured & efficient way? Utilize experimental approaches like customer discovery in combination with analytical approaches to make informed business choices, accelerate implementation and drive change aligned with new approaches in development like DevOps and continuous development, integration and delivery.

Orchestration (2 Days)

How can you as a product manager make sure that your colleagues in the other functional units of your company support your product in the best possible way? Learn to convince, persuade, influence and drive change through role play, based on a thorough understanding of underlying motivations.

The trainings will focus on methods and their practical application, i.e. there will be sufficient room for realistic case studies and exercises. Certification is offered for each training.

Participants can be product managers who already have the ISPMA Foundation Level Certificate or comparable SPM experience of at least 3 years. They may work in the software industry, or with vendors of software-intensive products and services in other industries, or with corporate IT organizations in all industries.

InnoTivum provides these Excellence Level Trainings both as public and in-house trainings.

“Being new to the Software Product Manager role, the training was enlightening in many ways: Hans-Bernd Kittlaus managed to not only give a comprehensive overview of the various activities and responsibilities of an SPM, he also provided detailed insights into Product Strategy and Product Planning – always enriched with helpful advice and entertaining stories. Our product will for sure strongly benefit from my learnings during this training. Thank you for the great experience – highly recommendable.”

Matthias Schlegel, Product Manager Automated Driving, Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany

“I participated in the SPM training in Bangalore together with two of my colleagues from Pune, India. We are working on establishing and fine-tuning Cognizant’s product business in the Life Sciences area. This ISPMA-based training has helped us immensely in understanding the product business and is helping me navigate through the internal system while we transition from a service business to a product business. The contents of the training was highly comprehensive and structured and contained lots of practical advice from the trainer, Hans-Bernd Kittlaus, based on his extensive experience in the industry. We now have better understanding and ideas that we can implement to improve our current operating model for our product- based business.”

Avinash Gaba, Platform Owner, Analytics and Information Management – Life Sciences, Cognizant, India

“As the head of product management for SAP Exchange Media and former director of product management for the SAP Business Suite on HANA, I have a number of years of experience in software product management. Nevertheless, I found a lot of value in the Excellence Level trainings on Product Planning and Orchestration. ISPMA’s well-structured approach in combination with Hans-Bernd Kittlaus’ broad industry experience laid a state-of-the-art foundation and provided relevant in-depth information. Moreover, it gave me great impulses and opportunities to reflect and improve my own frameworks and practices in my product management team. There was enough room for lively discussions. The inspiring exercises were sufficiently complex, but still easily understandable and even entertaining. I can fully recommend these trainings.”

Stefan Wenzel, Head of Product Management, SAP Exchange Media, Germany

The SPM Book: Global Best Practices

This book gives a comprehensive overview on Software Product Management (SPM) for beginners as well as best practices, methodology and in-depth discussions for experienced product managers. This includes product strategy, product planning, participation in strategic management activities and orchestration of the functional units of the company. The book is based on the results of the International Software Product Management Association (ISPMA) which is led by a group of SPM experts from industry and research with the goal to foster software product management excellence across industries. This book can be used as textbook for ISPMA-based education and as guide for anybody interested in SPM as one of the most exciting and challenging disciplines in the business of software.

The authors: Hans-Bernd Kittlaus is the Chairman of ISPMA and owner and managing director of InnoTivum Consulting, Germany. Samuel Fricker is Board Member of ISPMA and Professor at FHNW, Switzerland.

See what readers say and order
Product Management of software-intensive products

InnoTivum provides training, consulting and coaching for software-related organizations in all industries in the areas of product management for software (-intensive) products, pricing, strategy, organizational structure, roles and processes.

Training Dates
SPM Training Excellence Level Product Strategy
JAN 2019
SPM Training Excellence Level Strategic Mgmt.
JAN 2019
SPM Training Foundation Level
FEB 2019
SPM Training Foundation Level
FEB 2019
SPM Training Foundation Level
MAR 2019
SPM Training Foundation Level
MAR 2019
SPM Training Excellence Level Product Planning
APR 2019
SPM Training Excellence Level Orchestration
APR 2019
Software Product Management Summit, Frankfurt, Germany, April 9-10, 2019
Hans-Bernd Kittlaus is a member of the organization team preparing the ISPMA conference 2019. See program and register here.
ISPMA Webinars on Demand and for free:
Hans-Bernd Kittlaus talks about ISPMA’s SPM Framework and other topics and answers questions here.
Subscribe to our SPM Update :

The Update is published every month with links to valuable articles and other information for all product people.