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, i.e. from the initial new product development focused on innovation and product-market fit through market introduction and evolutionary continuous development, the growth and maturity phases to end-of-life. The product management role requires a high degree of management competence and orchestration across organizational structures, often without a hierarchical management position, i.e. leadership without authority. 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. There are different names for the role beside software product manager: solution manager, program manager, IT product manager, offering manager, or product owner.
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. Leadership without authority is required.
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.
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combining best industry practices with more than 25 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.