The Book on Software Product Management for Startups

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Kittlaus - Mangipudi: SPM for Startups - ISPMA-Compliant Study Guide and Handbook


Startup – the term sparkles and is associated with adventure, freedom, innovation, entrepreneurship, and also big money in case of success. It is a subject of fascination for both the entrepreneurs as well as other readers of business literature alike. Scores of books are published every year on various aspects of this subject covering the perspectives of both academia and practitioners. Product Management is critical for the success of a startup, but often goes under the radar while other aspects of entrepreneurship take the spotlight. The purpose of this book is to serve as a study guide and handbook for practitioners in startups, i.e. newly formed companies, and also corporate ventures, i.e. new product development units that work in a startup mode in established companies. The book accompanies the training course “SPM for Startups” of ISPMA® (International Software Product Management Association) and can be used as textbook for ISPMA-based education and certification. It also enables a critical appreciation of the art and science of software product management in the context of startups for readers in academia and the industries.

Table of Contents


Hans-Bernd Kittlaus:

is the owner and managing director of InnoTivum Consulting and works as consultant and trainer for software organizations, in particular in the areas of software product management and organizational aspects of software organizations. Before he was Director of SIZ GmbH, Bonn, Germany (German Savings Banks Organization) and Head of Software Product Management and Development units of IBM. He has published numerous articles and books, in particular on Software Product Management and Pricing. He is Diplom-Informatiker, ISPMA Certified Software Product Manager, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified PRINCE2 Practitioner, and member of ACM and GI. Hans-Bernd lives near Bonn, Germany. He is a founding board member and current chairman of ISPMA.

Haragopal Mangipudi:

is the founder of guNaka® LLC ( established in the USA and India. guNaka’s 360° PM® supports founders of startups and product leaders in building world-class digital products. Hara is passionate about building products with purpose and has been developing product management community both as a Fellow of the global not-for-profit body ISPMA® and as an adjunct professor at some of the top business and technology schools like IIMs and IITs. Currently Hara is a board member of the ISPMA® e.V. and the chairman of their North America chapter. In the past, Hara led an enterprise banking platform Finacle® as an intrapreneur and steered it to its global leadership in 100+ countries across six continents – he was the CEO of Finacle and the member of the Executive Council of Infosys® till 2014. Hara is a Distinguished Alumnus Awardee of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Hans-Bernd Kittlaus is an internationally renowned expert on SPM and a highly experienced SPM trainer and consultant.

What expert readers say

“Today, software is an integral part of the business of most start-ups. The ability to adopt a software product management perspective in this important part of their business is thus key to the success of many entrepreneurs. This comprehensive book by Haragopal and Hans-Bernd, both of whom have significant product management expertise and experience, is a great guide to the science and craft of software product management for start-ups.”

Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director & Professor of Strategy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India

“As co-founder, practitioner as well as researcher in the product management discipline, I find this book invaluable with its fundamental insights and practical tools – this book is an ideal choice for readers seeking a strong foundation to embark as well as succeed in their startup journey.”

Frédéric Pattyn, Co-Founder & Principal Product Manager @ NOWJOBS & PhD Student, Belgium

“Across industries, most startups today are trying to create innovative software-intensive products. This is finally the book that guides practitioners how to manage such a product in a startup environment. It is based on ISPMA’s pioneering SPM best-practice approach, and written by two of ISPMA’s thought leaders. A must-read for every budding entrepreneur and software product manager!”

Prof. S. Sadagopan, Founder and first Director, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, India